PAGE -- Page Police Officer Shawn Wilson was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed Page business owner William Foust on June 19 outside Foust's B&T Marine, according to results of an investigation ended Friday.
Wilson fired twice on Foust after Foust tried to back his vehicle into the officer and later charged Wilson and tried to wrest his Taser from him, according to the document where the Coconino County Attorney's office declined to press possible charges against Wilson.
The lead investigator was Chris Deloria of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.
Page Police Chief Charlie Dennis said Monday he had yet to read the report but had been notified by Coconino County Attorney Dave Rozema of the findings.
"We just received a copy of the 13-page decline (report), but have not had time to completely read and digest all the information," said Dennis, chief since 2008. "This County Attorney's decision is good news for the Page Police Department and Officer Wilson as we have awaited the findings on the case.
"I believe it was important to have an outside, independent investigation into this incident to show transparency of the events that occurred that day."
Wilson, a five-year veteran with Page Police, had been summoned to Foust's business on a domestic violence call. Page police records showed 32 contacts made since 1996 with the 50-year-old Foust and his wife, the report noted.
The incident was captured largely on video, from a camera affixed to Wilson's uniform, according to the report. Several eyewitnesses were interviewed. Also used in the investigation were recordings of the 911 calls and PPD dispatch communications; physical evidence found at the scene of the altercation and shooting; photographs of the altercation and shooting; an autopsy report generated by the county medical examiner's office; and a toxicology report.
Eyewitness testimony corroborated Wilson's account that Foust had backed his vehicle abruptly in Wilson's direction, narrowing missing him, when Wilson approached the vehicle in an attempt to get Foust's side of the story of dispute with his wife.
Eyewitnesses and the video recording also corroborated Wilson's account that after the vehicle was stopped, Foust charged Wilson and tried to gain control of Wilson's Taser, the report said.
Wilson discharged two probes from the Taser at Foust during the scuffle but both missed the mark, the report said.
"The video recording and photographs of the scene corroborate Officer Wilson's account that he had lost possession of the Taser, which, although discharged by the officer, could still be used by Mr. Foust to deliver an electrical shock by pressing it directly against the officer's body. Officer Wilson feared that Foust would use the Taser to incapacitate him and then possibly use his duty weapon against him," the report stated.
As Foust charged Wilson with an outstretched arm, the officer stepped back and discharged his .40-caliber Glock duty weapon, the report said. The first of the two shots struck Foust in the lower left chest. The second shot struck Foust in the right forehead and appeared to exit through his neck and then re-embed itself near his clavicle, the report stated. The shots were fired in rapid succession.
On Wilson's video camera, Wilson was calling for EMS at 6:16 p.m., and a second officer called out seconds later, "Shots fired! Shots fired! Get an ambulance over here now!" Foust was rushed to the emergency room at Page Hospital, where he was declared dead at 6:52 p.m.
The autopsy report indicated that Foust died of multiple gunshot wounds and that the manner was homicide, or non-accidental and caused by another person.
The report also showed no drugs or alcohol in Foust's system.
The incident was the first of three officer-involved shootings in the Page area in a six-day period. Two others occurred on the nearby Navajo Nation. Navajo Police Sgt. Darrell Curley was shot to death June 25 while responding to a domestic violence call in Kaibeto, and a 24-year-old man was shot in the forearm near LeChee June 22. The shooting of Foust was the first officer-involved shooting in Page's 54-year history.
Foust had gained some notoriety by filing for sovereign citizenship status in response to a traffic case in adjacent Kane County, Utah. He refused to acknowledge the authority of the courtroom in a case dating to last winter.
Foust also was well-known in the community of about 7,200 people.