Unified police officer Douglas Scott Barney, 44, had been on the force 18 years when police say he encountered Cory Lee Henderson, 31, Sunday morning in a residential area near a church in the suburb of Holladay, about 8 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.
Barney found Henderson nearby and the officer was shot in the head. Barney died hours later at a hospital.
The fatal police shooting is among the first on-duty officer deaths in the country for 2016 and the first ever for the Unified Police Department since it formed in 2010 to serve communities in the Salt Lake City area.
Barney, a married father of three teenagers, had volunteered to work overtime Sunday to help pay for his medical treatments after surviving bladder cancer, the Deseret News reported.
Bell, who was Barney’s partner in the 2000s after both graduated from the police academy, told the Deseret News that Barney was a “Boisterous, funny, caring, big old teddy bear of a man.” He became a police officer after working at the Salt Lake County Jail because Barney wanted to help people and loved children.
Students in 2010 organized a dodgeball tournament to raise money for his treatment, which they called “Battle for Barney.”
“I’ve always known these kids were great kids,” Barney said in a KSL-TV story about the fundraiser.