Suicidal threats turned into a standoff with police that resulted in the first fatal officer-involved shooting in Grantsville’s known history.
On Sept. 29, officers from the Grantsville City Police Department were called to a house on Clark Street to check on 37-year-old Travis Davis, who had been sending texts and Facebook posts saying that he was considering taking his own life.
When officers arrived, Davis had locked himself in his home. Family members told officers Davis had at least five firearms in the house and showed officers a picture Davis had sent of him holding one gun to his head.
Calls to and a trace on Davis’ cell phone confirmed he was in the house. More officers were called as backup for the escalating situation, which became more serious after one of the officers saw the back door open and Davis come out with a .40 caliber handgun pointed at him.
The first two officers to respond, Cpl. Chism Yeaman and Officer Darrin Yates, took cover in a neighboring backyard, while Lt. Steve Barrett positioned himself by a tree with a good view of Davis’ back door.
At 9:17 p.m., about an hour and a half after police were initially called to the home, Davis came out of the house again, carrying a handgun and a spare loaded magazine. Yeaman ordered Davis to drop the weapon; Davis began to run in the backyard toward the officers but tripped and fell. As he got up, he caught sight of Barrett and pointed the gun at him. Barrett fired one round from a 7 mm tactical rifle, which struck Davis in the chest.
A medical helicopter was called but canceled about a half hour later when medical personnel declared Davis dead from injury.
As per policy, the incident was investigated by the Tooele City Police Department, as well as internally by the Grantsville City Police Department. Upon its conclusion, the investigation’s report, hundreds of pages long, was submitted to the Tooele County Attorney’s Office for review.
On Dec. 12, Tooele County Attorney Doug Hogan finished his review and concluded that Barrett’s actions were legally justified, given the dynamics of the situation.
“Davis’ actions presented an immediate threat to the safety of Barrett, Yates and Yeaman, and Lt. Barrett’s decision to fire at Davis was reasonable based upon Barrett’s knowledge and perception of this tense and rapidly evolving situation,” Hogan wrote. “Consequently, we conclude that Lt. Barrett’s use of deadly force against Davis was legally justified under Utah Code.”
The internal review of the situation similarly found the shooting to be justified and departmental policies were followed.
The shooting was the first fatal officer-involved shooting on record in Grantsville. No local civic leader or law enforcement officer asked about fatal officer-involved shootings in modern history knew of any other incidents in the county.