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Stray bullet comes within inches of child lying in bed in West Valley City

Published April 25, 2014 4:02 pm

• A 19-year-old man was shot Thursday after a verbal confrontation.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tiffney Jensen's world came within inches of being turned upside down.

Thursday evening, a stray bullet whizzed through her 7-year-old daughter's window in their West Valley City apartment, coming within inches of striking the child lying in her bed.

"It was very scary," Jensen said Friday. "It could have been someone's life. It could have changed my whole world."

Jensen said she was in her apartment, near 1950 West on 3800 South, with her two daughters when she heard five or six gunshots at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday.

She called 911 to report the incident, but didn't realize until she went into her daughter's room that a bullet had gone through her daughter's window, through the girl's closet, and through her pink bike helmet before becoming lodged in a wall.

West Valley City police Lt. Dalan Taylor said Friday morning that a 19-year-old man was shot in the leg during the confrontation Thursday evening.

He said the victim was walking with a friend when they encountered two other men.

"They started to exchange words," Taylor said. "They got into an argument and the suspect fired several rounds."

The victim was struck in the leg, and was taken to a local hospital. He is expected to survive.

Police on Friday were looking for the two assailants. They have been described only very generally as "two male Hispanics in their 20s," Taylor said.

"It doesn't look like [the victim and his friend] were overly cooperative," Taylor said. "Initially, they told [police] it was a drive-by shooting."

While police were hesitant to classify the shooting as a gang crime, Jensen said she thought the shooting likely was gang-related.

"The gangs are just going to keep fighting," she said. "The reality is these gangs are going to keep doing this and innocent people are affected."

Though Jensen's daughter wasn't injured in the shooting, she said the girl is traumatized. She worries that she'll have to move from her apartment, where she has lived for two years, so her daughter will be able to sleep in her own room again.

"This is something that will affect her for the rest of her life," she said.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller