The Salt Lake City Police Department released body camera footage Tuesday that shows officers shooting and critically wounding a man on Nov. 8 after a mental health outreach team responded to a man who requested police assistance.
According to the footage, George Gulla, 37, who was wounded in the shooting, was living in a detached garage of a Sugar House home near 1700 South and 900 East, where the shooting took place.
According to the probable cause statements in the charge documents, two of Gullah Family members had planned an intervention for him, and they requested that a mobile crisis outreach team be set up with the Huntsman Institute of Mental Health as well because of Gullah’s “recent aggressive behavior and prior history with guns”. Police were also present.
At approximately 11:32 p.m., a mobile crisis outreach team from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute contacted the Gullah requesting police help them. within.
Two officers responded to the residence To provide additional assistance, the police said. According to a news release Tuesday from Salt Lake City police, once they arrived at about 11:40 p.m., a member of the crisis outreach team met with one of them to discuss Gullah’s recent drug use, prior police interactions and team history. Talked about security concerns.
Inside the garage were two Salt Lake officers, two members of the crisis team, and a family member; In the first video, everyone’s faces have been blurred except for the officers and the Gulla.
For about eight minutes, Gulla spoke with a family member as he sat on a bed in the corner of the cluttered space. The release states that dialogue in the footage has been muted, in an effort to “balance the public interest in a significant incident involving the officer with the interests of privacy.”
The audio begins approximately seven minutes and 52 seconds into the video. About 33 seconds later, the gull makes a sudden movement toward the end of the bed. In response, a social worker standing at the foot of the bed hisses to get out of the way, stumbles upon a cardboard box, which makes a popping sound.
Then both officers suddenly opened fire, with one officer firing about 15 times toward the bed, as can be seen in the footage. According to a police news release, the two officers fired multiple rounds, killing Gulla.
After being shot, Gulla fell on the ground. The two officers repeatedly yell for him to put his hands on the bed, but Gullah replies, “Dead, dead, dead,” and, “Can’t move.”
As Gullah moans and calls for help, an officer says, “You see the gun? Where’s the gun?”
The other replies, “I don’t see the gun. I do see his hands though.”
“Show us your hands and put your hands on the bed,” an officer says, and the Gullah responds again, “I can’t move.”
About 11 minutes into the video, officers drag Gulla out of his sleeping position. They quickly search him as they continue to look for the gun, then handcuff him. Blood can be seen on Gulla’s upper back.
In the second video, the officers can be heard asking Gulla where the gun is after he is shot. He replies, “It’s not a gun.”
But at about 11 minutes and 16 seconds into the video, an officer appears to have a firearm near the spot where Gullah fell to the floor. It is unclear whether the apparent weapon was ever fired.
Later, Gulla told police that the weapon was a pellet gun, according to charging documents, and that he reached for it because “he was not thinking clearly, and felt scared and surrounded.”
According to police, Gulla is at a local hospital, and is expected to survive. He was charged in Third District Court with two felony counts of assault on a peace officer with the use of a deadly weapon, and three felony counts of aggravated assault, court records show.
“This incident is a reflection of how a situation can turn dangerous without warning,” Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “Our Police Department’s collaboration with our own social workers and mental health professionals, as well as mental health service providers in our community, is critical to fully addressing Salt Lake City’s needs, and I am proud of the work that “
“I await the conclusion of the external, independent investigation into this matter,” Brown’s statement concluded.
According to the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, when a call comes in to the Utah Crisis Line that could result in the deployment of a mobile outreach team, a “thorough” risk assessment is performed on the phone to determine whether it is a team call. Will it be safe or not. response, Rachel Lucinski, the institute’s director of community crisis services, said earlier.
“When law enforcement support and backup is requested, it’s an outlier, but it happens,” Lucinski told The Salt Lake Tribune.
This is the 16th police shooting in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by the Salt Lake Tribune.
Improvement • November 22nd, 6PM: The story has been updated to provide more details about the events before and after police were shot and to correct the location where the man’s apparent weapon was found.