County Attorney clears Sheriff Sergeant of shooting Hyrum man

LOGAN — The Cache County Attorney’s office has concluded their review of the deputy involved shooting of 30-year-old Hyrum man Jeremy Ray Swenson. In a letter to Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen, Attorney James Swink said his office had determined that Sgt. Greg Johnson’s actions on the afternoon of September 19 were justified.

Deputies responded to Right Hand Fork Canyon after receiving a call that Swenson was there, making suicidal threats. Sgt. Johnson was the first to arrive on the scene and reported seeing him pointing a weapon at a woman.

From a distance, the weapon appeared to be a gun. As Johnson got closer, he realized it was a machete. He fired a single shot at Swenson, wounding him.

Swenson was transported by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Swink’s letter stated that Johnson’s presence at the scene was lawful in an effort to ensure public safety. It went onto explain that his use of deadly force was reasonable and justified to prevent death or serious bodily injury to others.

Sheriff Jensen said, this brings some closure to the incident that has impacted everyone in his office.

“The actions that Sgt. Johnson took that day were right, they were legal and his actions saved the life of somebody else,” said Jensen. “I think there is some peace in that.”

In addition to the investigation done by the Attorney’s Office, the sheriff’s office also conducted two internal investigations into the use of force, and the office’s internal policies and issues.

Jensen said Sgt. Johnson has been on paid administrative leave since the incident occurred. He returned to work this week.

“That is something nobody looks forward to having to do but I think the investigation and all three investigations really, bring some closure to him. He did what he had to do at the time and it was the right thing to do. He can move forward with his life and career.”

Swink expressed appreciation for the more than 750 hours of investigation time, done by the Critical Incident Investigative Team. It’s made up of multiple law enforcement agencies from Cache, Rich and Box Elder Counties, and the State Attorney General’s Office.

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