Almost seven months after Jeremy Sorensen was shot and killed outside his apartment in Provo, his birth parents living in Texas wish they had more answers to what happened.
“I don’t get it,” said his father Broderick Mitchell. “I want to know why you killed my son. I want to know what was your purpose? What was your reason?”
On June 3, investigators reported Sorensen was physically fighting an 18-year-old woman in the driveway of his apartment near 500 N. 200 East.
He was reportedly “stomping” on the woman’s head and hitting her when a 22-year-old neighbor drove up and attempted to stop the fight, according to police reports.
The neighbor pulled out a handgun and the woman ran behind him. Police determined Sorensen advanced toward them and ignored several verbal warnings until the neighbor shot him twice.
First responders administered first aid but Sorensen, 26, was pronounced dead after being transported to the Utah Valley Hospital.
In December, after reviewing the evidence, reports, and interviews surrounding the death, the Utah County Attorney’s Office decided not to file criminal charges against the neighbor who fired the shots.
“We do not believe that the facts and relevant law support filing any criminal charges in this matter,” said Utah County Attorney David Leavitt in a press release.
The Daily Herald has elected to not to identify the neighbor as charges were not filed.
Sorensen’s mother, Latisha Fontenot Proctor, said she was brokenhearted when she read about the decision online.
“It’s messed up,” she said during an emotional phone call. “I don’t know all that happened, just someone got out and shot my child.”
Celebrating the holidays has been difficult after losing her son, Proctor added. Although Sorensen spent time in foster care and was adopted by a Utah County family as a child, he had a positive relationship with his birth parents.
“Everything was good,” Mitchell said. “He came to the house, he came to chill with me and we were OK.”
He added he had a lot of questions when he heard about the shooting since he always knew Sorensen as a chill, passive person who was not easily provoked.
He also continues to wonder what would have happened if the neighbor had simply shot into the air or if the situation had been a black person shooting a white person.
“I’m not at peace with it. I don’t feel like that was right. He didn’t have the right to determine Jeremy’s life,” Mitchell said. “To me, I didn’t feel it was a legitimate decision.”
Utah’s self-defense laws justify the use of deadly force if a person “reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the individual or another individual against the imminent use of unlawful force.”
A police warrant stated the woman met with Sorensen to purchase marijuana and had obtained marijuana from him in the past. She reportedly suffered a concussion and other substantial injuries from the fight.