SLC officer praised as hero for saving 2 sisters from knife-wielding assailant

Ben Hone (Photo: SLCPD)

The Salt Lake County District Attorney is praising the efforts of a Salt Lake City Policeman, who shot and killed a criminal suspect.

Not only has the DA ruled the shooting justified, but he's calling officer Ben Hone a hero.

According to investigative documents from the DA's office, Hone responded to the area of 800 South and 300 East in Salt Lake City on the evening of Sept. 23. A wanted fugitive was prowling the area, breaking into homes.

Robert Berger, 48, had already broken into a home in the area, before arriving at the window of 27-year-old BreAnn Lasley.

"She had heard a noise outside the window, her window was open partially and she didn't think anything about it," said District Attorney Sim Gill.

Gill says Berger climbed through the window and told Lasley something like, "I'm going to get you."

A struggle followed, with BreAnn Lasley and her younger sister Kayli fighting for their lives as Berger began to assault them both. At one point, he pulled a knife and began to stab BreAnn in the stomach.

That's when Kayli escaped briefly to get help.

"It was very fortuitous that Officer Hone had been there and had positioned himself, because as that second incident unraveled, and Kayli came running out, it was to those cries that [Officer Hone] responded," said Gill.

The investigation found that Hone entered the sister's home and followed BreAnn's screams to the basement, where he found her with multiple stab wounds and with the suspect embracing her, wrapped around her, holding a knife.

"They were playing almost a peekaboo from behind BeAnn's head," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, who said it was from this position that Hone fired one fatal shot, hitting Berger in the head, killing him instantly. "Under the circumstances, the emotion, everything that was going on, I would say it was a very difficult shot."

Distritct Attorney Sim Gill says Hone acted as a model police officer.

"We're talking about the incredible actions of Officer Hone, but boy I'll tell you, when I read the reports and I looked at the stuff... these two sisters, these two sisters are incredible," said Gill.

Officer Hone was wearing a body-camera at the time of the incident, but apparently "double-punched" the record button prior to the altercation.

BreAnn Lasley was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but is now said to be doing much better.

Follow Chris Miller on Twitter @ChrisMillerKUTV for breaking news, updates and more.

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