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'Broad daylight' shootout in Salt Lake City

Published May 16, 2013 8:50 pm

Investigation • Two men who exchanged shots are at large, police said.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A shootout between two men on 500 West at about 300 South left Salt Lake City police scrambling for clues after the suspects managed to escape the crime scene.

The apparent gun battle happened about 2:15 p.m., when the two men fired at least 12-15 shots at each other, according to Salt Lake City Sgt. Gil Arenaz.

"It looks like there was a shootout in broad daylight," he added.

The men apparently were standing about 170 feet away from each other and fired north and south. They were standing on a center median running down the middle of 500 West.

After the gun fight ended, one suspect jumped into a van, which had been parked nearby, and drove off.

The other man apparently fled on foot.

Neither man was apparently wounded in the shootout.

There was police tape up around a planter area on the west side of the old Rio Grande train depot just after the shooting, and police had located at least seven shell casings, Arenaz said. Officers were initially combing the lawn after the shooting, looking for additional casings.

Mark Stewart, of Salt Lake City, said he was sitting in a small motor home that was parked on 500 West when the shooting started.

"I heard some pops, and the next thing I knew, I felt air pressure on my head," Stewart said.

He pointed to where a bullet had come through a wall, through a small bathroom, and then passed within a few feet of his head, before striking another wall and falling to the floor.

He said he recovered the bullet, which he identified as a 9mm.

Stewart said he had previously seen the escape van in the area. According to Stewart, the van was a focal point of suspicious activity, including people arriving frequently, chatting briefly and exchanging a backpack.

The Tribune will update this story as more information becomes available.

jdalrymple@sltrib.com