14-year-old shooting victim speaks

Posted at 7:13 PM, Dec 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-20 11:33:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY - A 14-year-old girl was injured in a drive-by shooting more than two weeks ago, with one of the bullets hitting her near her spinal cord.

14-year-old Jazmin Barton says the Dec. 4 incident started when two girls met at Jackson Park in Salt Lake City to fight, including a large Polynesian girl she's known for years.

"And we had two or three classes together at Horizonte School. We were cool," Jazmin said. "I don't know what happened."

Jazmin says the bigger girl easily won the fight and everyone involved believed the incident was over, but then the girl came back in a green sedan full of people and began circling the park.

She says that on the fourth time around, someone inside the vehicle opened fire. Jazmin was hit twice.

"And then the fourth time I seen the gun hanging out and they started shooting and it sounded like a BB gun and we all thought it was a BB gun and as soon as I felt it I instantly fell and I was screaming, 'I got shot, I got shot,'" Jazmin said.

Jazmin's mom rushed her to the hospital, where doctors say the weapon wasn't a BB gun; it was a much larger weapon, possibly a .22-caliber.

One of the two slugs was lodged dangerously close to Jazmin's spine, so she had to undergo emergency surgery. Jazmin is still recovering in the hospital, but she's expected to be released soon and will make a full recovery.

Psychologically, though, Jazmin says she doesn't know what the future holds.

"I don't know if I want to go back to that school, don't know if I want to go back to Rose Park. I liked Rose Park, that's where my family is and now I don't even know about it, I don't feel safe there no more," Jazmin said.

Salt Lake City police say the 14-year-old suspect was arrested and booked into youth detention, but detectives say there are several others they'd like to talk with about the incident.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Salt Lake City Police Dept. at 801-799-3000.