Two police officers in Ogden City, Utah, are being praised for how they handled a man who seemed intent on them killing him — even after he got a hold of one of their guns and managed to fire off a round.
The incident occurred on May 29, when police received multiple 911 calls reporting a male suspect punching a pregnant woman in the face.
When the first officer arrived on the scene, the suspect took off running. But upon catching up with him, instead of violently arresting a potentially dangerous suspect, the officer immediately tried to diffuse the situation by insisting: "Let's just talk, okay?"
Body cam footage shows the man repeatedly asking the officer to kill him, as the officer continuously tries to calm him down.
"Just shoot me. I'm going to make you shoot me," the man tells him. "I want to die, I'm suicidal."
"Stop, Please! Dude! Let's talk," the officer soothes him, guiding him to a picnic bench to sit. "I'm not gonna shoot you. What happened?"
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The officer manages to slip off the suspect's backpack, but he becomes increasingly agitated, again demanding he be shot; that's when a second officer arrives to help restrain him.
But as the first officer manages to get one wrist into a handcuff, the suspect can be seen reaching for the second officer's gun.
"I'll kill my f--king self!" the suspects shouts as he falls on top of the second officer, still gripping the gun.
"What did he grab?" the first officer asks his pinned colleague, who replies "He's got my gun."
As the chaos unfolds, a shot suddenly rings out — but miraculously, nobody is struck.
The first officer quickly deploys his taser, until finally they get both arms secured.
"We're trying to help you!" he tells the suspect, amid his continued pleas to die.
The suspect, 29-year-old Dana L. Smith, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, before he was arrested on charges of Assault on a Police Officer, Disarming a Police Officer, Failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, Interfering with a Police Officer, Failure to disclose identity, and Felony discharge of a firearm.
According to Ogden PD, Smith has an extensive felony criminal history, and was on probation when the incident occurred.
The two officers meanwhile where widely praised on Facebook after the footage was shared.
"Incredible restraint on the officers side," one wrote. "He has all the cause needed to pull his fire arm and use it on the suspect and instead he chose the less lethal method. Damn hard decision to make in that situation he or the other officer could have been shot with his decision."
"I am so proud of how these OPD officers handled this potentially deadly situation and simultaneously heartbroken watching the subject in the throes of a mental health crisis," agreed another. "These officers showed empathy, kept cool heads and skillfully managed a volatile situation. Thank you for all of your hard work, bravery, training, and commitment to better and non-lethal outcomes."
"The way this was handled is purely amazing, if only all officers could get on this same level," wrote a third.