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Magna shooting stemmed from sexual assault allegation

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Dec 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-21 16:17:21-05

MAGNA — A physical altercation that began when one man believed the other had sexually assaulted the suspect’s male partner escalated into a shooting Friday night, and the victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Police received a call at 11:57 p.m. from Gerald Spanton, 44, who allegedly told dispatchers he shot someone.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said Spanton confronted a 41-year-old man near 8900 W. 3100 South because he believed the man had sexually assaulted his male partner.

According to a document from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the victim and the suspect both lived at the residence. Spanton told police he fired the gun during the physical altercation because he was in fear for his life.

Spanton reportedly called police after the victim fled the scene. Hoyal said the victim was taken to Intermountain Medical Center. The victim could not be interviewed Saturday due to his condition and he was in surgery, according to the document.

Unified Police investigated the sexual assault allegations and found that Spanton’s partner had not been sexually assaulted, Hoyal said.

Spanton was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on an attempted aggravated homicide charge.

Hoyal said it’s important to report crimes to police and not try to take “matters into your own hands.”