SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Prosecutors have declined to file charges against a man who shot two other men earlier this month at a Salt Lake City TRAX platform.
The shooting happened on July 2 at the 900 South 200 West TRAX station.
One of the men, Garrison Willie, 36, was killed. The second man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but has since been released, according to Utah Transit Authority police.
According to a declination letter by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, the shooting came after the man who fired the shot repeatedly asked Willie and the other man to leave him alone.
“The evidence clearly demonstrates that the suspect was approached on two separate occasions by one and later both individuals who were ultimately shot by the suspect. After the first encounter, one of the individuals clearly knew that the suspect was in possession of a firearm. Nonetheless, despite this knowledge, the evidence demonstrates both individuals approaching the suspect in an aggressive manner as he sat on a bench on the platform awaiting the train. As they approached the suspect, the suspect was pointing a firearm at them and repeatedly telling them to stop. The suspect backed up for several feet as they approached and fired a warning shot in an attempt to get the individuals to stop their aggressive approach towards him. Rather than deter the on-going approach towards the suspect, the video demonstrates the individuals increasing their speed of approach after the warning shot as the suspect is still walking backwards with an increased pace just before he shoots,” a Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office declination letter states.
The letter states there is video from multiple camera angles that show the events that led up to the shooting and the shooting itself.
“He backed off at least 30, 40 feet, if not more trying to dissuade them. You could see it was not unreasonable for him to fear for his life,” District Attorney Sim Gill said.
UTA police said their investigation of the second individual who was shot is still ongoing and he may face charges.
The identity of the man who fired the gun was not released.
This platform has been the scene of violent crimes in the past. In 2020, a woman who was buying a train ticket was stabbed approximately 16 times by a man she did not know.
Douglas Flagler of the Central 9th Community Council said he hopes additional safety measures will be implemented to protect residents in the area and people who use the UTA system.
“It’s disheartening to hear another incident in our neighborhood,” Flagler said. “That’s one of the reasons we moved into the central 9th area was access to public transit. TRAX has kind of become a conduit for criminals to get in and out of our neighborhood especially when it comes to drugs and theft.”