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More details released in West Valley officer shooting

Published November 17, 2012 6:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police released a few more details Friday about a police shooting that killed a 21-year-old woman in West Valley City earlier this month.

According to a news release from West Valley City Police Sgt. Mike Powell, Danielle Misha Willard was shot twice in the head by two West Valley City detectives while they were conducting a drug investigation in the area around the Lexington Park Apartments at 2293 W. Lexington Park Drive (3710 South).

Powell said the detectives had "made contact" with Willard, during which time they fired shots at her. One officer also was injured, but not by gunshots. Powell also acknowledged that Willard's car collided with a red Dodge Nitro in the Lexington Park parking lot. The Dodge had nothing to do with the investigation at hand, Powell said.

Witnesses who have agreed to talk with The Salt LakeTribune since the shooting reported the two detectives, who are on administrative leave, were not in uniform at the time of the shooting. Willard's mother, Melissa Kennedy, also said that investigators told her that her daughter wasn't armed. Police have not confirmed Kennedy's statement. The shooting was witnessed by a Lexington Park resident who called 911 from his apartment. He declined to speak on the record about what he saw when contacted by The Tribune.

A request for a recording of that 911 call was denied this week by West Valley City officials, citing an ongoing investigation into the shooting.

West Valley City detectives and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office are still investigating the shooting. Once the investigation is complete, the District Attorney's Office will decide whether the shooting was justified.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion