4 officers who fired on suspect in Cedar City identified; other details released by officials

The scene of an officer involved shooting that occurred on the evening of Feb. 14, Cedar City, Utah, photo taken Feb. 15, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Additional details, including the names of the officers involved, have been released regarding the officer-involved shooting that left a Cedar City man injured on the evening of Valentine’s Day.

Tire marks on the roadway at the scene of an officer involved shooting of a suspect involved in a vehicle pursuit, near 400 West and 2400 North, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

According to a news release sent out Tuesday morning by Lt. Del Schlosser with the Iron/Beaver/Garfield County Critical Incident Task Force, the four officers who fired their weapons during the incident were Cpl. Zac Adams and officers Heather Daynes, Tyrell Crofts and Orlas DeMasters.

Adams has been with the Cedar City Police Department eight years, while DeMasters and Crofts each have four years of service and Daynes has three, the news release states.

All four were placed on paid administrative leave, as is routine procedure in such incidents, while the task force investigates.

Schlosser told Cedar City News the investigation is expected to take at least another week to complete, after which the findings will be turned over to the Garfield County Attorney’s Office, which will make ultimately make the determination as to whether the use of force was justified. The Iron County Attorney’s Office has reportedly been excused from handling the case due to a familial relationship with one of the officers.

As previously reported in Cedar City News, the incident in question occurred around 8 p.m. on Feb. 14 when police responded to a 911 call stating a man had been assaulted by another man with a knife.

When officers arrived, the suspect, identified as Larry Joseph Lee Tessier, 36, had already fled the scene in a 2000 Ford Expedition. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in the northern part of town and were initially able to get Tessier to pull over and stop.

However, as police were talking with Tessier, he drove away again, leading officers on a chase wherein he allegedly “drove recklessly on the roadways, swerving into oncoming traffic and driving on the sidewalk at times.”

Iron County Sheriff’s Office and Enoch City Police Department also responded to assist with the pursuit. During the chase, the tires on Tessier’s vehicle were spiked, but he continued to flee.  Additionally, officers attempted pursuit intervention technique – or PIT – maneuvers on two different occasions to get the vehicle to stop but were not successful.

After Tessier had been finally forced off the roadway, he allegedly attempted to flee once again. According to the news release, Tessier rammed one law enforcement vehicle with his car before backing up and starting to drive aggressively toward another law enforcement vehicle.

At that point, the four officers discharged their service weapons, striking Tessier multiple times. The officers on scene then began performing life-saving measures on Tessier.

Iron County Jail booking photo of Larry Tessier, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

The location where the chase ended and the shots were fired was a short distance from the intersection of 400 West and 2400 North. 

After being initially transported to Cedar City Hospital, Tessier was later flown to St. George Regional Hospital, where he remains hospitalized. Tessier reportedly sustained injuries to his face, body, arms and leg, according to Tuesday’s news release.

“Tessier is expected to survive his injuries and will be facing criminal charges related to these incidents,” the release stated. 

Updated Feb. 27, 2 p.m. According to a news release issued Friday, Tessier was released from the hospital and booked into Iron County Jail that same day. He faces two counts of aggravated assault and one count of failure to stop at the command of a peace officer. All three charges are third-degree felonies. Additional charges may be forthcoming, the statement added.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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