SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) released a timeline today providing additional information on the agency’s response to the homicide of Ryan Outlaw that occurred in the fall of 2020.
As of recently, there has been controversy regarding the department’s management of this incident. SLCPD says that there were four 9-1-1 calls made related to this case.
Below, a timeline of the events from the evening of November 13, 2020 follows:
The first 9-1-1 call was made to SLCPD with reports of yelling between a man and a woman on the seventh floor of the Covey Apartments in downtown Salt Lake City. SLCPD says that the caller did not know if the incident involved any physical fighting. Documents state, “the caller advised that they could not see any weapons and that the two involved people, a man and a woman, later identified to be Mr. Outlaw and Ms. Fernanda Tobar, were going back and forth between an apartment unit and a hallway.”
According to police records, while on the line with SLC911, the caller “advised everything had gone quiet,” but the department said that they would still dispatch officers to the scene and asked the caller to call back if things changed or if more information surfaced.
Official documents state that the call was coded as a “Domestic – Just Occurred” based on the information provided by the first caller, and was given a Priority 2 classification, meaning “it was not ‘in-progress’ and there was no known active emergency requiring police to expedite their response with lights and sirens nor the need to pull an officer off a call to respond.”
SLCPD notes that at the time of the first call, there was no officer available to respond to the incident, and that there was no evidence provided by the caller that suggested Mr. Outlaw had been stabbed.
Records state that SLC911 dispatched the call to the first available officer, who went en route immediately.
The second 9-1-1 call was made to SLCPD from the first caller with reports of a woman screaming for help. The caller provided a possible apartment number on the seventh floor of the complex to where the disturbance originated.
SLCPD arrived on scene. Simultaneously, the third 9-1-1 call was made to SLCPD from an apartment resident with reports of a verbal and physical argument that she witnessed between two of her neighbors. “While on the phone with SLC911, the caller advised that someone may have been stabbed, based on what she heard and saw from her apartment,” police records note.
One minute after this call began, at 6:24, SLCPD says that the caller asked if she should go out and get help. “The SLC911 dispatcher told the caller to stay inside for safety.”
The fourth 9-1-1 call was made to SLCPD from another apartment resident with reports of a domestic disturbance. Police advised the caller that officers were on scene.
SLCPD records state that an officer notified dispatch to call for emergency medical services for Mr. Outlaw who appeared to have a stab wound to the chest as that the scene was declared safe for paramedics.
While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, records state that “the officers maintained continuous awareness of Mr. Outlaws condition, urged him to get into the ‘recovery position,’ attempted to ask Ms. Tobar what happened to Mr. Outlaw and had to prevent Ms. Tobar from leaving the scene.”
It’s important to note that police records state nothing about attempts to provide aid to Mr. Outlaw during the time officers were waiting on medical personnel to arrive.
The Department provided a condition update of Mr. Outlaw for responding medical units.
SLCPD arranged for Mr. Outlaw to be transported to the hospital by Gold Cross in critical condition. Hopkins Medicine lists critical condition as the most extreme patient condition before death, noting that when a patient is in critical condition, “vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.”
Doctors officially declared Mr. Outlaw deceased.
A statement from SLCPD regarding their response to this incident reads in part:
“On certain calls, such as ‘Shooting-Just Occurred’ and ‘Stabbing-Just Occurred,’ SLC911 will preemptively dispatch emergency medical services. In this case, since there was no information about an injury prior to 6:23 p.m., medical was not staged earlier.” The Department adds, “The Salt Lake City Police Department stands by its two police officers who initially responded to this call for service. They are outstanding police officers who have repeatedly dedicated themselves to protecting and serving our community.”