August 23, 2019

After waiting two agonizing years, in July of 2021, Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gil found the shooting Justified. The officers involved ignored all the signs of extreme mental distress including Chads plea to be taken to a mental health facility, they left him crying on the floor for 11 minutes. Mr. Gil called the officers actions “reprehensible”. The ruling is heartbreaking and we are left shocked and angry. The Salt Lake Tribune published a front page article detailing Chads distress, the officers behavior and the shooting officers history of killings (here is a link to the story). Imagine my pain knowing that the entire world has access to the final moments of my son’s horrific death. Knowing the final words Chad heard when the shooting officer exclaimed, “You’re about to die, my friend.” – something an executioner from an action movie would say. Chad’s name was released to the public before I could contact my family (including Chase). I can’t say more about the circumstances of Chad’s death because of the ongoing investigation. You can view the interviews on the below links and all of the bodycam footage is available online.  We are not “cop haters”. We have many friends and family in law enforcement and military (Chase served four years in the Navy). We are supporters of good officers who hold true to their oath to serve and protect. Is change needed for all involved? For the benefit of officers and community? Most definitely.

I was on a business trip in Sweden the day Chad died. I had an early morning flight home and was just dozing off when I happened to roll over and see Chad was calling. We talked about me coming out that week to Salt Lake City and celebrating our birthdays together at Red Lobster (our favorite!) and me meeting “the girl he wanted to marry”. He mentioned some clinics he was trying to get into, and he asked me to pray for him. We said our “I love you’s”. We never ended a conversation without “I love you”.

Of all the messages we received this one has been on my mind the most. It was sent to Chad’s aunt shortly after his death. I feel for this person and how Chad’s death must have shocked and affected him/her. I do hope he/she continued his/her education in law enforcement. I hope he/she can make a difference from the inside and educate others that an officer can also be a therapist and that understanding what a person might be feeling in a particular moment could be the difference between life and death. I am keeping this person’s name anonymous, but I pray he/she has found some peace.