An officer-involved shooting is getting a little more clarity after footage was released in the aftermath.
The shooting, which took place last Friday, involved suspect Samantha Bencomo, her ex-wife, Julia Jones, and an Orem Police officer.
Bencomo had drawn police attention after she hit a Jeep Wrangler that was for sale in a vehicle lot, driving off without reporting the damage. The lot owner took pursuit in his own vehicle and notified police, who took over.
When police attempted to block Bencomo in, the suspect slammed the truck in reverse after being ordered to stop.
Suddenly, the unthinkable happened- Bencomo took aim at the officer with her vehicle and hit the gas, eventually hitting him.
“As the officer got out of his vehicle, he had his weapon drawn at that time and began putting his gun back in his holster. The driver accelerated and made what appears to be a deliberate attempt to turn sharply into the officer,” said OPD Chief Gary Giles. “The first time I saw that video, I had a little bit of a gasp seeing the vehicle come right at the officer. I’ll ask you a rhetorical question. Do you think you could’ve jumped out of the way? Someone who was a little slower probably wouldn’t have.”
The officer opened fire on the moving target, striking Jones, who was riding in the passenger seat at the time. Bencomo would continue to flee, but was eventually captured after the vehicle crashed further down the road.
Bencomo was booked on several charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to stop at the command of a police officer.
According to ABC 4, the video was released to show what had actually taken place, as news media narratives were allegedly only telling part of the story due to Jones’ injuries being left out of the probable cause statement.
“The reason why it wasn’t included was because the officer-involved shooting wasn’t a critical part of the charges Bencomo faces. But it appears in many, many reports. I haven’t read through all of them, but all of the officers’ reports will reflect that,” Giles said. “Was Orem police trying to downplay this? Absolutely not. We followed every bit of the protocol. If you’ve ever looked at a police report compared to a probable cause statement, the probable cause statement is very brief. It’s just basically presenting to a judge what the probable cause to hold them is. A police report documents everything.”
It is unknown if Jones will face charges upon her recovery, as the investigation is ongoing.
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