Sweetwater County Attorney, Daniel Erramouspe, determined that law enforcement officers were justified in their use of force in the shooting of Austin Pacheco.
On November 21, 2018, officers from the Rock Springs Police Department and Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding an agitated male striking vehicles with a hatchet in the area of Kum and Go on Elk Street. Upon arrival, officers were met by Pacheco, who appeared very agitated and was brandishing a hatchet. Pacheco refused to drop the weapon despite repeated demands from law enforcement and pleas from his brother who was on the scene. A bean bag gun was deployed to subdue Pacheco, who responded by rearing back to throw the hatchet at the officer firing the beanbag. Pacheco was shot one time while in the act of throwing the deadly weapon and fell to the ground. The thrown hatchet struck the vehicle next to the intended target-officer.
Officers immediately rendered medical aid to Pacheco, who was subsequently transported to the hospital and later flown to the University of Utah Medical Center where he is still hospitalized. His medical status is unknown.
“After a careful review of the facts and circumstances, as well as the video footage, I have come to the conclusion that these officers were not only justified in the amount of force used but had no other choice in their actions. No charges will be filed against law enforcement in this matter,” Erramouspe said.