Drunk man shooting at peach trees sends bullets flying into a public bus near orchard, police say

A dozen bus passengers narrowly escaped a spray of gunfire Monday when a man got drunk and tried shooting at peach trees in an orchard near a bus stop in Fruit Heights, police say.

The bus was loading passengers at the park-and-ride lot at 300 N. Country Way about 5:15 a.m., when gunfire broke out. The bus was struck about eight times, with one of the bullets passing through a passenger window.

“Nobody was hurt. That’s the good news,” said Utah Transit Authority spokesman Carl Arky.

A semitrailer truck hauling products for Geneva Rock also was hit by the gunfire, apparently from the east side of U.S. Highway 89, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office reported. The driver did not realize the truck had been shot until later, deputies said.

During the investigation, a man “interjected himself while he was rather inebriated,” said chief deputy Ty Berger. The man was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and disorderly conduct after he disrupted the investigation, Berger said. He later told investigators that he enjoyed shooting at peach trees from his back door, Berger said.

“We don’t believe it was intended to go toward anything but what they were shooting at,” Berger said. “You can’t see Highway 89 [from the man’s house]; the orchard is very dense. … This was somebody negligently discharging a firearm when it was in city limits.”

The bus was en route from Ogden to the University of Utah.

“It was absolutely fortunate that we didn’t have somebody hurt,” Berger said.

Berger noted that “alcohol and weapons are not a good combination” and urged residents not to shoot at peach trees within a city or in other high-traffic areas.

“There’s a proper place to do it and that is not it,” Berger said.