Sandy police were trying to unravel the details, but were sure of at least two things Friday: sometime after a man hitched a ride with a teenage boy a handgun went off, and the suspect was still at large.
Sandy police Sgt. John Arnold said the 17-year-old boy told investigators that the incident took place about 1:30 a.m., shortly after he pulled out of an apartment complex. That is when the suspect, described as a white male in his 20s, 6-foot, thin and blond, flagged him down as asked for a ride. The teen agreed.
However, as they approached the 1000 block of Cedar Terrace Drive (7900 South), the man purportedly pulled out the handgun, pointed down the street and told the boy to pull over. He then allegedly demanded the teen’s wallet, keys and cellphone; the boy did not have his wallet, but turned over the keys and cellphone.
But as the suspect crawled out of the car, the boy leaped for the handgun, and as the two purportedly struggled for the weapon, it went off.
"There was a tussle, the gun fires and the bullet goes through the hip area of the kid’s pants without hitting him. The bullet went through the car seat and stuck in the floor board. The kid let go of the gun and the suspect ran, jumped into a waiting gray Jeep Grand Cherokee, and sped away," Arnold said.
Investigation turned up a registered owner of a gray, 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee who was familiar to police, and when officers went to the owner’s home they found the youth’s cellphone inside the vehicle, Arnold said.
The owner, believed to have been the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident, told a different story about the encounter, however. Arnold was not at liberty to detail the differences, but said detectives were continuing to investigate the circumstances and events of the case.
"All we know for sure is that there’s no question of there having been a gun, and a gunshot. We trying to track down the [alleged] shooter. Both he and the gun are still outstanding," Arnold said.
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