Police arrested a man they say fired multiple rounds at a pizza restaurant Sunday after an employee told him and another man that their order hadn’t been filled.
The 32-year-old man was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of felony discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault.
On Sunday around 7 p.m., the two men arrived at Papa John’s restaurant in Draper, one reportedly riding a small blue and white dirt bike and the other riding a balance board, which is a type of skateboard with one large wheel in the middle. They told the employee behind the front desk that they were there to pick up an order they’d called in over the phone, according to court documents. The employee told the men that the store’s system was down, meaning call-in orders weren’t going through, so the pizza they’d wanted hadn’t been made.
When the employee said the men could place an order in the store, they “became very agitated,” documents state, and began swearing at the worker, who said he’d call the police if they didn’t leave. While the employee called police dispatch, the two men left the store.
About two hours later, while the employee who’d talked to the disgruntled men was outside on a break, he heard several gunshots, documents state, then ran inside to call 911. Two other workers inside also reported hearing gunshots and glass shattering toward the front of the store, and one of them said shards of glass hit him in the face as he tried to crawl toward the restroom.
Once officers arrived at Papa John’s, one of the employees told them he’d seen a man wearing a blue reflective jacket ride away on a blue and white dirt bike after the shots were fired, documents state.
While checking the area around Papa John’s, the officers spotted two men standing next to a dirt bike matching that description inside a detached garage less than a mile away. The muffler on the bike was hot, police found.
After taking the two men into custody, officers identified them as the two angry customers who had been in Papa John’s earlier that night by viewing the store’s video surveillance. Police arrested one of the men after his hands tested positive for gunshot residue, documents state. At the property where officers found the two men, police also found a reflective blue jacket, ammunition and a handgun, whose caliber matched the four shells that had been found inside Papa John’s.
Other than the employee whose face was lacerated by broken glass, no one else was injured, according to Lt. Dustin Willie with the Draper Police Department.
“I am so sorry to see this violence in our community,” said Tasha Lowery, with Draper City Council, in a statement on Facebook. “We are already facing a tremendous worker shortage, and the people working in fast food are usually our own teenagers. Mistakes happen, orders don’t come through. People and systems are imperfect. We are all living in trying times with ever increasing anxiety levels and stress factors, but we are for sure better than this.”
A man who identified himself as a store manager said over the phone Monday afternoon that the Papa John’s in Draper was currently closed. When a Salt Lake Tribune reporter asked for comment on the shooting, he hung up.