SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An off-duty Idaho Falls police officer was fatally shot Thursday night after he entered a Utah home uninvited and confronted a man who he believed was dating his ex-girlfriend, authorities said Friday.
Blaine Reed, 35, was shot several times by the homeowner during a fight, said Layton Police Lt. James Petre.
The homeowner, who police aren’t identifying, called 911 after the shooting and is cooperating with investigators. Petre said no arrests have been made. He said it appears the homeowner was within his legal bounds for self-defense.
Utah is considered a gun-friendly state and was one of the first to pass a “Stand Your Ground”-style law more than 20 years ago. Several people who have fatally shot intruders have been cleared by prosecutors.
Reed had been an officer with Idaho Falls Police since 2015 but was put on administrative leave in November after he was charged in a domestic violence incident, said Idaho Falls police spokeswoman Jessica Clements.
Reed was accused of attempted strangulation and assault, but further details weren’t available from online Idaho court records.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, said his attorney in that case, Joseph Filicetti. Reed said he was very drunk the night of the incident and woke up to an ex-girlfriend hitting him, Filicetti said. Reed grabbed his gun but then put it down when he realized it was the ex-girlfriend and had an argument, Filicetti said. The woman alleged Reed choked her and put his gun in her mouth, Filicetti said.
Filicetti said Reed called him Thursday night and told him he was angry and felt betrayed after finding out his best friend since grade school was in a relationship with an ex-girlfriend of two years who he still wanted to be with. Filicetti said he told Reed to get counseling and not do anything stupid. The ex-girlfriend was a different woman than the one who is the alleged victim in the domestic violence case, he said.
Filicetti said he later found out from Reed’s sister that he had been killed.
Layton Police aren’t revealing the identity of the homeowner.
“He wore his emotions on his sleeve and I think that’s what happened in this situation,” Filicetti said. “He felt totally betrayed.”
Reed had two young sons from a previous marriage and was a “solid guy” who was trying to find his way and navigate on-and-off relationships with the two women, Filicetti said.
Clements said in a statement that the department is “saddened by the news of his passing and the events surrounding this tragic situation.”
It’s unknown how Reed entered the Utah home or who else was in the house at the time of the shooting, Petre said.
Layton is a city of about 77,000 residents about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.