A man has been charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder after he allegedly sparked a shootout on the street of a Payson neighborhood last week.
The 48-year-old Payson man first encountered the alleged victim about 10:15 p.m. Jan. 22 on a residential road, 4th District Court documents say.
The alleged victim, 31, had exited his home and begun driving his pickup truck down the road, but realized he’d left his phone at home, so he stopped his truck and put it in reverse.
At this time, the driver noticed a pedestrian walking on the road who “threw his hands in the air as if he wanted to fight,” according to the documents. The driver rolled down his window and told the pedestrian not to “do that.”
The pedestrian reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife, documents say, and the driver told him “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” To that, the pedestrian allegedly responded, “Shoot me,” documents say.
The driver then continued backing his truck toward his home, and the pedestrian walked the other direction. The driver told police he ended up circling the block three or four times but didn’t see the pedestrian, so he returned home.
The pedestrian apparently went to a nearby house and told friends the driver had tried to “run me down,” the friends later told police. He seemed angry, friends told officers, and left the house to “take care of it.”
Meanwhile, the driver’s sister had arrived at his home and was talking with him as he sat in the driver’s seat of the car with the door open. The siblings were there when the pedestrian from the earlier encounter approached with a gun in his hand.
He reportedly reached over the open door, pointing the gun down at both of them, and said, “How does it feel? … How do you like it when the tables are turned?”
The driver reached out and grabbed the gun, attempting to control it, but lost his grip, documents say. The pedestrian began to leave, but “turned back, swinging the gun upward at [the driver], hitting him in the side [o]f the head with it.”
As the gun hit the driver on the side of his head, it went off. The driver was bleeding from being hit with the gun, but had not been shot, and he grabbed his own handgun from the truck to defend himself, documents say. The driver’s wife came out from his home, and he yelled at her to get back inside.
The driver heard another shot and looked back at the pedestrian to see him shooting while retreating. The driver’s wife was grazed by a bullet on her upper arm, documents say.
The driver shot back at the pedestrian “until he dropped,” documents say. While lying on his back on the ground, witnesses said, the pedestrian continued to shoot at the driver and the driver’s residence, aiming the gun from between his legs.
Witnesses reported hearing about two dozen gunshots from two different firearms, which sounded like fireworks, document say. Charges state that the pedestrian fired at the driver “multiple times” at “close range.”
When the pedestrian stopped shooting, the driver then dropped his handgun on the sidewalk, and the pedestrian got up and ran down the street out of sight.
The pedestrian arrived back at his friend’s house about 20 minutes after he’d left, his friends said, and told them he’d been shot. The friends tended to a wound on his back and called 911.
Documents allege that the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol during the incident, and preliminary tests at the hospital indicated that he had methamphetamine in his system.
The man is being held in the Utah County jail in lieu of $100,000 cash-only bail. In addition to the two first-degree felonies, he is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony. He appeared in court on Monday and is scheduled to appear for a scheduling hearing Feb. 7.