Officer who shot woman at Parowan truck stop not justified in using deadly force, county attorney says

CEDAR CITY — The policeman who shot a woman in the knee during a confrontation at a Parowan truck stop in June was not justified in using deadly force, according to the Iron County Attorney’s Office. However, the officer who fired the shots, Enoch City Police Cpl. Jeremy Dunn, won’t face criminal charges.

“While the suspect was armed with a screwdriver and being non-compliant by failing to follow officer’s commands, including multiple commands to drop the screwdriver, it cannot objectively be stated that the officers or anyone else were in danger of death or serious bodily injury at the exact moment that lethal force was used,” Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett wrote in a letter relating his office’s findings to Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames.

The six-page document, dated Aug. 6, was released by Iron County Sheriff’s Department Monday evening, along with video footage of the incident obtained from the body camera that Dunn was wearing. The nearly eight-minute video may be viewed in the player above. Note: video contains graphic content; viewer discretion is advised.

The county attorney’s office said it used the video footage, along with interviews and evidence collected by the independent Critical Incident Task Force, to arrive at its findings.

“From the video and Sergeant Berg’s testimony, it appears that the situation was manageable at the time Corporal Dunn arrived and it would have seemed reasonable for officers to continue de-escalation tactics until the situation could be more fully contained. Corporal Dunn was only on scene for three minutes before firing shots,” the letter states.

The incident occurred shortly before noon on June 28 at the TA travel center located at 1130 North, 100 West, at the north end of Parowan. Officers had been called to the truck stop on a report that a man and a woman were burglarizing multiple vehicles in the parking lot.

Read more: UPDATED: Woman shot by officer at Parowan truck stop was wielding screwdriver, police say

Video footage shows Dunn driving up to the scene, where Parowan City Police Sgt. Mike Berg is already holding two suspects at gunpoint in a parking lot at the northwest portion of the property. Approximately three minutes later, after deploying his Taser twice on the female suspect to no effect, Dunn fires his service pistol three times, hitting the woman in the leg, the video shows. The report indicates that two bullets struck the woman in the right knee, while a third shot missed.

Ivonne Casimiro, of Las Vegas, bookings photo posted June 30, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News/Cedar City News

The woman, identified as Ivonne Casimiro, 29, of Las Vegas, was later transported to the hospital for treatment for her injuries, after which she was booked into the Iron County Jail, where she remains in custody awaiting formal charges.

According to court documents, Casimiro faces charges of assault on a peace officer, interfering with an arrest, vehicle burglary and possessing or receiving a stolen vehicle. A preliminary hearing for Casimiro, originally scheduled for July 11, was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Two men believed to have also participated in the vehicle burglaries, including one who was standing near Casimiro when she was shot, also face charges related to burglary and stolen vehicle possession in connection with the incident. They have been identified as Jose Martin Flores, 34, and Michael Salvador Torres, 24, both of Las Vegas.

The video shows an apparently agitated and defiant Casimiro repeatedly yelling at the two responding officers. She does not drop the screwdriver she is holding, despite repeated commands to do so.

Nevertheless, the county attorney’s letter states that Casimiro “does not advance on the officers, nor does she make any movement toward anybody else. Furthermore, while being non-compliant, she does not ever make a verbal threat of harm to the officers or another.”

Citing an inability to prove criminal intent, the county attorney’s office said no criminal charges would be pursued against Dunn.

“Even though the shooting was not legally justified, the State would not be able to prove the requisite criminal intent for a criminal charge,” the statement said.

“The conclusion might very well be different if Casimiro had advanced toward or rushed at officers with the screwdriver or had she been armed with a gun,” the letter concluded. “But under the circumstances that existed in this case, it was not objectively reasonable for Corporal Dunn to use deadly force to prevent death or serious bodily injury to an officer or another person.”

Click here to read the entire letter from the Iron County Attorney’s Office.

Tuesday afternoon, Enoch City officials issued a press release saying Dunn’s actions did not violate police department policy. The release states, “After a thorough investigation upon the evidence and facts reviewed, the Enoch City Use of Force Review Board unanimously concludes that Corporal Jeremy Dunn’s actions were within department policy. He is currently on administrative leave until a determination can be made in compliance with and by all relevant agencies.” Click here to read Enoch City’s press release in its entirety.

Updated Aug. 7, 5 p.m. to include information regarding Enoch City’s Use of Force Review Board’s findings, and the fact that Cpl. Dunn has been placed on administrative leave.

Updated Oct. 3, 3 p.m. Casimiro, who turned 30 in August, pleaded guilty in 5th District Court on Sept. 11 to two counts: assault against a peace officer, a second-degree felony, and attempted vehicle theft, a third-degree felony. The charges carry a possible punishment of up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Her sentencing date has been scheduled for Oct. 23.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • comments August 7, 2018 at 11:58 am

    You know, I get that these were a pack of vegas lowlifes, but that is one trigger happy …*. He should never work in any sort of LE or gov’t job again and should be doing time. “No criminal intent” is a total load of …*. What that says is that LE has immunity no matter what they do. Judging from the video evidence there this guy should be going down for a felony and doing time. Remind me of one of these ex-military psychos that thinks he’s a real hot shot. We used to deal with a few of those. They actually go into LE jobs because they are psychos that like to control people.

    * Ed. ellipsis added.

    • comments August 7, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Cops often have real crap jobs. But some idiot cop from parowan deals with nothing compared to what vegas cops deal with everyday. This clown was just trying to be a hotshot. This is why a lot of people hate cops. It would be a crime to not prosecute this clown.

      • comments August 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm

        Ok, Enoch City Police, not parowan. Same sort of small town joke of a cop. Trying to be a hotshot.

    • RVer August 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      As a firearms instructor with some experience in the field, it’s clear that this person internalized “Have a plan to kill everyone you meet” (the idea being that if you have thought through the scenario, you will be better prepared to REACT when the other person ACTS) and neglected to internalize the principles of de-escalation. He had the plan from the beginning, it’s very clear.

      He came on-scene and immediately took charge of the interaction without knowing the entire picture. He tried the tazer, then went right to his firearm even though it was him that approached her, not the other way around. She seemed quite content to keep her distance at that point. He didn’t attempt any other less-than-lethal options such as OC.

      He also kept taking about additional “weapons” in her pockets, even though he never tried to go through them. He might have seen the screwdriver, but did he really see any other weapons?

      He was doing everything he could to escalate it once the tazer failed – and I can’t say that he even made a good-faith effort to really employ it usefully. Badge-i-tude, however, comes through loud and clear. This IS a perfect example of why people do not, and can not, trust that the cop they meet is a good guy. He should have been policed out himself by his brothers before this happened.

      • comments August 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm

        Exactly. That is a textbook definition of excessive force, and I’d say criminally so, and a perfect reason to never trust cops. “I’m gonna smoke ya! I’m gonna smoke ya!”–who even talks like that? the cop needs to do felony time for this one. I’m sure he’s the Enoch police chief’s nephew or some sort of typical small town UT bs. The state needs to prosecute this one. Nazis….

  • Kilroywashere August 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Glad I am not a police officer. We need to go from tazers to phasers that can be set to stun. This is a complex issue, but commonsense is you don’t threaten an officer with a screwdriver, but then again the officer may be facing someone with mental illness. We need that star trek phaser technology. I’m sure it exists. It would save lives as well as reduce costly litigation.

  • uprightandmovingforward August 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    If an offender is completely non-compliant and yielding a weapon with threats to harm to people around them and/or police officers, a police officer is within their rights to use force to contain the situation in the least amount of time. Plus where is the deadly force in this situation, last time I checked a shot to the lower leg isn’t going to kill you, just keep you from harming others and the police. Police put their lives on the line everyday and offenders, who are persistently non-compliant to officer’s requests, lose their right to be dealt with in a passive manner. Police Lives Matter.

    • comments August 7, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      You would’ve been a good Hitler youth. Fact is he didn’t even attempt to de-escalate the situation and did the ol’ ‘shoot first, ask questions later’. And I guarantee you these hokey small town wannabe hotshot enoch cops rarely if ever “put their lives on the line.” You don’t have a clue.

      • uprightandmovingforward August 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm

        says the man that has never put his life on the line for anything.

        • comments August 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

          and you have, right? Tell me how these small town redneck wannabe hotshot cops are “putting their lives on the line”. They got it real easy in these tiny podunk towns. Not all cops are good cops, Mr Upright. LOL

  • uprightandmovingforward August 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I didn’t count how many times she was asked to put down the screwdriver, but she sure did put it down after the use of force. Society needs to quit protecting criminals who give up their rights to be treated civilly when they repeatedly are non-compliant to police and threaten the lives of others.

    • AnnieMated August 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      Agreed. We need to stop protecting these scumbags.

  • comments August 7, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    And that ghetto vegas punk lady was probably drugged out of her mind on meth or something. Like, what’s the deal with the thick winter clothing? This did happen this summer right? Real city cops deal with this kind of thing constantly. It’s clear that cop just wanted to be a hotshot and shoot someone. He’s watched too many action movies. smh

  • Badshitzoo August 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    I totally support this Officers’ actions; however, a baseball bat would have been sufficient to get her and her “broken screwdriver arm” in cuffs, w/o another word from her pie hole. People need to understand; “On the street,” the police have to win. The are know exceptions for smart assed tweakers, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s, Mel Gibson or you & me! We pay LE to Win every time on the streets; just like we pay our military to do the same thing. You fight LE in the courts if you want to win; cause you are never going to win on the street.

    • uprightandmovingforward August 7, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      I agreed. From the cops standpoint though, she could have had other weapons on her like a gun, she had a pretty bulky jacket on. If he charged with a baseball bat, she could have pulled and shot him. Cops deal the the unknown all the time then after the fact all the liberals come out of the woodwork and in hindsight say what the cop should have done. Like the black kid in a dark hoodie in a dark alley at 2am with his hands in is pockets that won’t comply with an officer’s request to put his hands up. There is no xray vision to see there is no gun. If the officer waits too long and there is a gun, he’s dead. The NAACP doesn’t apologize for that.

  • Carpe Diem August 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Cop shoots the leg for once and it’s a capital offense.

  • Leland August 7, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    That cop needs more training and should lose his job he didn’t care but to shoot some one when they didn’t charge give better training

  • fixitfairy August 8, 2018 at 1:43 am

    I think it’s probably pretty comfortable sitting in your living room judging how someone else responds to a situation who was actually there in real time, without the gift of hindsight.
    Three people get off a bus. They break business windows. They break into cars in a crowded parking lot and steal from them in the middle of the day. They are committing these crimes while wearing coats, hoods, baggy pants, and a glove (?) in the middle of summer. One of the individuals commiting these crimes is on the run in a neighborhood where kids are playing community league sports. Another one is cursing at, and refusing to listen to LE commands while pacing around holding a screw driver. The other offender is being asked to distance himself, also appearing to ignore directions. This is fragmented information I know from reading various articles. I’m sure there were even more contributing factors to the decisions that were made that day.

    Life lesson: If you do not want to be shot in the knee while wearing a lot of baggy clothes in the middle of summer that could easily conceal various weapons, put the screw driver down when asked to do so. Put your hands up, maybe get on the ground. After committing multiple crimes with many witnesses it is probably not a good idea to curse at LE and pace around as though you may be violent, intoxicated, unstable, and possibly a continued threat to the community- you may have an unpleasant and equally not at all lethal consequence.

    Life lesson number two: If you’ve never worked in an occupation urban or suburban, it may not be the best idea to throw generalities around about how inept individuals are, name call, and include ridiculous rhetoric of what is included in the job description that you’ve never worked in, or trained for, before. You may (you actually do) appear ignorant and jealous of those who actually do walk in the shoes that you probably doubt you could ever fill.

    Please, share your credentials in judging people after the fact for making decisions in real time. Please, enlighten us common folk about the expertise you don’t seem to have to critique the individuals who contribute to the community through their commitment and service in a sometimes thankless profession (thank goodness you seem to be an exception to the rule). Lord knows they aren’t working as public servants protecting our families because they’re getting rich. I wonder how many holidays, school events, meals… etc. they miss with their families to protect and serve? One day you may actually require the help of the people you are demeaning towards, and obviously ungrateful for.
    Maybe step away from the shallow, sad, and angry commentary and be of some sort of service to your community. Your gratitude and attitude may improve, and you may feel more fulfilled as a human.

    • comments August 8, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Omg, calm yourself. That cop stepped out of that car with an attitude to shoot someone from the get go. I’ll state it again, these cops from these little podunk UT towns don’t deal with anything compared to the things cops from places like vegas deal with daily. And being shot in the knee–absolutely horrible place to be shot. She’s prob gonna have a screwed up knee joint for the rest of her life. I don’t like this criminal vegas trash any more than anyone, but, judging by that video, that cop was way outta line.

  • sheepobserver August 8, 2018 at 5:13 am

    This is so borderline. My gut tells me the above comments are right, and that the cop is a hot shot a little to eager to pull the trigger since this is the second time he’s done it.
    Borderline because it’s probably within the law.

    The thing is, a better officer would have probably been able to de-escalate the situation. This cop just cost the tax payers how much money because he shot? I’m imagining it’s a mind boggling amount of money it’s going to cost to treat her, get her a lawyer (if that’s on the table), to pay for the cop’s paid leave while being investigated (and I’m assuming other cops will have to be on O.T. to cover the cop being investigated), the pay for the investigators looking into the legality of the situation……..and probably a whole lot more than that


    the regular paperwork involved with a typical domestic violence situation?

    again, I can’t really say he’s wrong, just that he’s one heck of an expensive guy to keep around unless you like to see your tax dollars wasted on a useless, low life, low profile, misfit. I’m guessing the country would go broke as a whole if most cops behaved this way on a regular basis.

  • Larry August 8, 2018 at 6:15 am

    “the Enoch City Use of Force Review Board unanimously concludes that Corporal Jeremy Dunn’s actions were within department policy.”
    In other words… “The Coyotes Unanimously Concluded that the Fox was Fully Justified in Raiding The Hen House”…

    Something is really wrong with what Law Enforcement has become.

    • comments August 8, 2018 at 11:39 am

      That is so true. You can’t depend on these good ol’ boys to investigate their comrade. These are likely a crew of guys that go to the same LDS ward. They are gonna look out for their own first and foremost. It’s how too many cops behave and erodes public trust in them. I’m not sure if it was already done, but this should be investigated at the state level at least.

  • Craig August 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Seems we have a lot of people fully capable of second guessing with self- affirmed perfection.

    I suspect it might not be quite that simple in the situation.

    I wonder if she was on something if a taser failed to drop her.

    I tend to side with the police officer if the person is refusing to do what the officer tells them to do.

    • comments August 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

      I think the taser wouldn’t penetrate all the thick winter clothing. The electrodes have to penetrate the skin for it to work.

  • uprightandmovingforward August 11, 2018 at 5:45 am

    This is a good example of why police should be given the benefit of the doubt when dealing with non-compliant suspects. 2 officers almost lost their lives when suspect unexpectedly pulled a gun.

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