Local Law Enforcement Mourns Loss of Hero Officer Jon Richey
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) Unified Police Officer Jon Richey, 52, a hero police officer who was shot in the line of duty during a foot pursuit with a convicted felon in January 2016, has died. Salt Lake City Police sent out a tweet that Officer Jon Richey was found deceased sometime on Saturday, no foul play is expected and the medical examiner will have to determine a cause of death. Richey is nationally known and recognized as a hero after a shooting on January 17. The shooting left Richey injured, and killed his colleague Officer Doug Barney. The suspect was also killed during the incident.
No further details on his death are known at this time. Richey joined the Police Explorers at age 14 and was hired as a bank security guard at 17. Two years later, he became the youngest police officer in Utah when he joined the West Jordan PD at 19 years old. In 1988 he joined the Salt Lake City Police Department where he worked for nearly 20 years as a Detective Sergeant and K9 Trainer, developing the SLC Police Dogs into one of the top K9 units in the country and winning several competitions.
In August of 2002, he encountered Brian David Mitchell and kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart at the Salt Lake City Library but Smart”s face was covered by a veil and she did not alert him that anything was wrong. After 7 more months of captivity and sexual assaults Smart was found in March of 2003. Officer Richey testified at Mitchell”s trial. He retired from the SLCPD in 2007 to go to work for the Salt Lake Unified Police Department as a K9 trainer and bloodhound handler, tracking down suspects with his partner Molly. He was working a patrol shift on Sunday January 17, when he was wounded in the shootout with Corey Lee Henderson.
ABC4 will provide an update as soon as more information becomes available. We wish to express our condolences to the Richey family as well as officer with the Unified Police Department and the Salt Lake City Police Department.