Man shot in head during drug deal in Salt Lake City not seriously injured

Posted at 3:01 PM, Oct 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-29 17:01:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was shot in the head or face by a suspect he’d arranged to meet for a drug deal in Salt Lake City Sunday, but police say his injuries are not serious.

Lt. Russ Amott of the Salt Lake City Police Department said the incident occurred in the parking garage beneath Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City. Fox 13 News first heard report of the incident shortly before 1 p.m.

“We had a gentleman pull into the parking garage here, said he was going to meet somebody to buy some medical marijuana,” Amott said. “The suspect ended up robbing him, he pulled out a gun. A shot was fired, hitting him in the head or the face, [but the injury was] not serious. He’s being treated for his injuries right now.”

Amott said he didn’t have specific details about the victim’s injuries—like whether he was struck by a ricochet, grazed, or struck directly—just that the wound was not serious.

While the victim told police he was there to buy “medical marijuana”, Amott said that would not be a legal transaction in Utah and is still considered a drug deal.

Amott said the suspect, so far only described as a black male, also stole the victim’s vehicle, a silver Infiniti. Detectives will speak with the victim after he is treated for his injuries to get more specific information about the suspect and the stolen vehicle.

Police initially believed the suspect might have remained in the parking garage after the crime, so they set up a containment in the area and blocked of the entrances and exits to the garage. However, they later determined the man had fled shortly after the shooting, so police lifted the containment later Sunday.

Amott said the incident occurred away from passersby.

“If people had been down in the area there could have been a danger to others, fortunately they chose an area that was isolated so there was nobody around,” he said.

Police plan to review surveillance footage from the area. Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.