Motive unclear after vehicle struck by gunfire in Salt Lake City

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-07 17:04:59-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who turned around while driving in Salt Lake City Saturday morning found his path blocked by another vehicle, and a short time later shots were fired.

Lt. James Tracy of the Salt Lake City Police Department said a man was heading to work around 6:30 a.m. when he realized he had forgotten his tools, so he turned around at Main Street and Paxton Avenue.

“When he completed his U-turn, a white sports type vehicle, which we believe was a Ford Mustang, pulled on to the street, partially blocking his car,” Tracy said.

A passenger exited the vehicle and began walking toward the victim, who decided to turn his vehicle around and leave.

“The suspect chased him down on foot and began to fire gunshots at him, which at least a couple of those hit our victim’s vehicle… no injury to him,” Tracy said. “We did find four shell casings here on the street and were able to retrieve video from businesses around here that kind of show the incident taking place.”

Tracy said detectives will analyze that video for details. So far they have limited descriptions of the two suspects.

“They were male, black, adults—but that’s about all we know right now,” he said.

The victim did not know the suspects, and Tracy said it appears the man was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

“We don’t know of anything leading up to it, but our initial feeling right now is that these guys just saw what they thought was an opportunity and tried to take advantage of that opportunity, and luckily our victim was able to not participate in that,” he said.

Tracy said at this point it is unclear what the suspects’ motive may have been, but he said they are considering possibilities like a robbery or carjacking or perhaps a case of mistaken identity.