GRANTSVILLE, Utah — A Grantsville woman was critically injured by a stray bullet on Pioneer Day, and police announced on Tuesday they have arrested the man believed responsible for firing the shot.
Sam Aust Wingfield Jr., 71, was booked into the Tooele County Detention Center on Monday afternoon.
According to a news release, several witnesses who attended a fireworks display at Grantsville City Park reported seeing what they believed to be red tracer rounds coming from an area north of the park.
Another witness from Wingfield’s neighborhood also reported that she believed tracer rounds had been fired from either Wingfield’s backyard or the backyard of another neighbor, the news release said.
Officers canvassed Wingfield’s neighborhood and received several reports that Wingfield was responsible for firing the shots.
Police questioned Wingfield about the shooting and he confessed to shooting at least three tracer rounds from his backyard, saying that he was drunk and couldn’t remember everything, the news release said.
Officer Lydon Allred said Wingfield showed him the angle and direction of the shots fired, and that the direction, timing and circumstances make it probable that one of those shots is the one that struck and critically injured Linda Stroebel.
Stroebel, who was watching the fireworks display from a location about two miles south of Wingfield’s home, was struck by a bullet in the base of her neck. The bullet bruised her aorta and came to rest in one of her lungs, the news release said.
“If it would have just hit close to my heart, close to my heart, I would have been dead instantly: I’m lucky that I’m alive,” Stroebel said in an interview last week.
Wingfield faces charges of felony discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment, possession of a dangerous weapon while intoxicated and discharge of a firearm within city limits.