Body-cam did not record fatal Salt Lake shooting, police say - KMOV.com

Body-cam did not record fatal Salt Lake shooting, police say

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By Adam McDonald By Adam McDonald

Salt Lake City, UT (KSL) -- The Salt Lake police officer who shot and killed a shovel-wielding man Thursday was wearing an active body camera, but the actual shooting was not recorded, police said.

The body camera recorded the initial confrontation between the officer and James Dudley Barker, 42, but it stopped recording after it was damaged during the confrontation, said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan.

Police released few new details Friday of the deadly shooting that took place just before 4 p.m. Thursday near Second Avenue and I Street.

Barker had allegedly been going door-to-door offering to shovel walkways for residents for money. There was also a report at the same time of a suspicious man looking into the windows of parked vehicles, according to police.

When an officer approached Barker to question him, he was immediately attacked with a shovel, according to police. The officer was hit by the shovel "several" times, police said, and suffered fractured bones in an arm and foot.

On Friday, a woman at the Avenues house where Barker was reportedly living declined comment. Other neighbors, however, said they were shocked by what happened.

"I don't know everything, but I do know James," said Ron Lee, a neighbor who lives a few doors away.

Lee said he and Barker had lunch at the Avenues Bistro on Third Avenue earlier in the week.

"He looked as good as I've ever seen him," he said.

Lee said Barker lived in his home on Third Avenue and I Street for 10 years and was outside regularly. He described him as a "kind" and "normal guy" who had shown "absolutely no aggressiveness" during the years he had known him.

Lee recalled a time when two trees were cut down in Barker's yard, and Barker was hesitant for the stump to be removed because he wanted to create something from it.

"Instead of just … cutting it down, (he said), 'Can't we make something beautiful?'" Lee said, describing his friend's attitude.

Lee said he was surprised someone called the police on Barker because he had not known him to ever be suspicious.

"I just can't understand how a man would be shot," he said. "As soon as you figure it out, send me a letter."

Court records show Barker's criminal history in Utah was relatively minor. He was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail in December 2013 for disturbing the peace and failing to give police his identity, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

In that incident, police say Barker walked into an area of a chocolate store on Main Street where customers weren't allowed and "was acting strangely" and "severely disrupting operations," according to a jail report. Barker also had a warrant out of Salt Lake City at that time for theft of services, according to the jail report.

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