Jaron Dansie was inside a Salt Lake City shopping mall when 18-year old Sulejmen Talovic entered the building, pulled a gun and started shooting people at random. As he took shelter inside one of the shops on the first floor, Dansie pulled out his video camera.
“What the… What the hell's going on?” Dansie can be heard saying on the video, in between a barrage of loud gunshots. Dansie, a wedding videographer, said that turning his video camera on was not the first thing on his mind. But his actions led to an intense visual record of the tragic events that happened inside the downtown Trolley Square mall during some of its worst moments.
“I heard [a victim] yelling, ‘Stop, stop, please don't shoot… don't shoot.’ And then heard more shots,” he said. Dansie actually made his way out into the hallway before he started recording, but when he heard gunshots in a shop next door, he ran back.
“When I finally walked past the camera and saw it… I thought, ‘I gotta start filming this,” Dansie said. Startled and panicked, Dansie loaded a tape into his camcorder and got into position – partly hunkered down in the store. Moments later, he says a uniformed Salt Lake City Police officer walked in with his gun drawn. Then, an off-duty police officer, Kenneth Hammond, can be heard identifying himself outside. Dansie, however, wasn't going anywhere.
Seconds later on the tape, Hammond joins the officers to search for the gunman. Then, as both officers see Talovic, Hammond turned and ran for cover. For the next several seconds, shotgun blasts and gunfire from police officers can be heard outside -- followed by silence. Talovic, the gunman, was dead – shot by officers.
In all, the tragedy lasted just six minutes.