A male who authorities say was wielding a broomstick was shot and critically injured by Salt Lake City officers Saturday night, touching off several hours of unrest downtown as officers donned riot gear and blocked streets and bystanders threw rocks and bottles, the AP reports. The male shot by two Salt Lake City Police officers was in critical condition at a local hospital Sunday morning after being struck twice in the torso, according to Det. Ken Hansen with the Unified Police Department, which is investigating the shooting. Hansen did not have details about the male's identity or age, but said the shooting occurred when two Salt Lake City officers were called around 8pm to break up a fight near a downtown homeless shelter that sits next to a shopping mall and movie theater.
When the officers arrived, they found the male in the street, hitting another person with the broomstick, Hansen says. Officers tried to break up the fight, but the male with the broomstick tried to attack an officer and one or both of the police officers then shot the male, hitting him in the upper and lower torso, per Hansen. Selam Mohammad, 19, tells the Deseret News that he was with a 16-year-old friend from Kenya when fighting started and the friend grabbed a broomstick to break it up. Police "ran up with their guns pulled out" and told the friend to drop the stick, Mohammad says. "He barely even turned around, then boom, boom, boom—and he just dropped," he adds. "My friend didn’t do anything." Nearly 100 officers, some with riot shields, responded when rioting ensued, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. (Read more Salt Lake City stories.)