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Cottonwood Heights police say men's shooting story is full of holes

Published May 6, 2012 6:49 pm

Violence • Man kicks in door, breaks roommate's nose.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Two Cottonwood Heights roommates found out Sunday that their complicated plan to cover up an apparent accidental shooting wasn't as foolproof as they thought.

Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Scott Peck said one of the men was in an apartment near 2100 E. Bengal Blvd. early Sunday morning when his roommate came home and found the door bolted shut.

Furious, he began to pound on the door while the roommate inside grabbed a gun and walked up to the peephole to see who was making all the noise.

As he peered out, Peck said, the locked-out roommate kicked in the door, breaking the other roommate's nose and apparently causing the gun to discharge.

But instead of simply admitting the gun had accidentally fired into the ceiling, Peck said the men came up with a plan.

The two allegedly told police the door's impact had knocked the gun out of the first man's hand and the second man threw it into the street where it accidentally discharged, leaving a spent cartridge behind, Peck said.

An officer on patrol found the gun about 1:35 a.m. lying abandoned in the middle of the street with a spent cartridge next to it, Peck said. Officers traced the gun back to the roommates, questioned them and released them pending possible charges.

However, at about noon Sunday, Peck said, two women who live above the roommates called police to report they had a bullet hole in their floor.

Peck said officers believe that after the gun accidentally discharged and made the bullet hole in the upstairs apartment, the men invented the story to cover up the incident, picked up the shell casing and placed it and the gun in the middle of the street.

No one was injured other than the roommate who broke his nose; Peck said the District Attorney's Office will screen the case for possible charges.

Peck said officers believe that alcohol was a factor in the incident.

jstecklein@sltrib.comTwitter @sltribjanelle