Reports of a “distraught” man repeatedly firing a rifle in Summit County’s Bald Mountain Trailhead area led to mobilization of a SWAT team before the shooter was peacefully taken into custody.
Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. John Lange said multiple 911 calls were received late Tuesday afternoon after the 18-year-old suspect was seen “waving and randomly firing a high-powered rifle” from the trailhead’s parking lot, 29 miles up the Mirror Lake Highway and east of Kamas.
“Prior to the responding deputies’ arrival, it was learned that the individual had hiked partially up the hill with the rifle. Due to the circumstances, the SWAT team was called to the scene,” Lange said. A Department of Public Safety helicopter also was dispatched to the area.
Lange said authorities became more concerned when a Boy Scout troop and other recreationists were spotted hiking toward the area where the armed suspect was seen.
Officers located the rifleman sitting on a hillside. Loudspeakers were used to warn the hikers away from the area.
“After some tense moments, deputies were able to make contact with the male who was cooperative in dropping his rifle,” Lange said.
The firearm turned out to be a bolt action .22-caliber rifle, not a high-powered rifle as initially reported to police.
“It turned out he was upset at his parents, he had a little drama at home with his father,” Lange said. “He told us he was hunting wood chucks, but he was seen yelling and screaming and waving the rifle around. ... He fired about 10 rounds.”
The teen was booked into Summit County Jail on suspicion of class A misdemeanor reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, a class B misdemeanor.