Police release two juveniles, say suspect still at-large after shots fired in Magna

Posted at 3:49 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 00:21:55-05

MAGNA,Utah -- Police are still looking for suspects in a Wednesday afternoon drive-by shooting in Magna, that prompted two nearby schools to briefly shelter in place.

Lt. Brian Lohrke with the Unified Police Department said several shots were fired around 3:15 p.m. at the Wendy's near 3500 South 8000 West.

Makayla Mclelland and Maya Cruz said they heard a 'popping' sound as they sat inside the Wendy's. They saw a bullet hole in one of the windows and realized they were hearing gunshots.

"My boyfriend grabbed me by my arm and he was like, ‘Get down on the ground! There's a gun.’" Mclelland recounted. "I looked behind me and I saw this gold-ish looking car, and a guy put his arm out the window he had a black gun, and started shooting."

The two teens-- who are both pregnant-- dropped to the floor to avoid the gunfire. The bullets shattered one of the windows.

"I was crying and I was holding my belly and saying, ‘My baby! My baby!’" Mclelland said.

"Everyone was just crying and screaming," Cruz said, of the scene inside the fast food restaurant.

She said a male who had been acting strange in the Wendy's minutes before the shooting, threw a gun on the floor once shots were fired, picked it back up, then sat down next to her before trying to take off.

"I was like, ‘He has a gun! He has a gun!’ And the kid just ran," Cruz said.

A bystander tried to chase him down, she explained.

"I told some guy that came inside, I was like, ‘That kid has a gun!’ And he runs out, the kid runs, and then the guy chases him," she said.

Police arrived and began looking for the suspects and person inside the Wendy's who ran. Police tracked down a gold Mazda 6i believed to be connected to the shooting in a neighborhood near the Wendy's, and took two juveniles into custody.

Lt. Lohrke said they later released the juveniles after questioning, and that they were no longer suspects.

As of Wednesday night, the shooters and apparent target of the shooting who was inside the Wendy's still hadn't been found.

Granite School District said that Lakeridge Elementary School and Pleasant Green Elementary School sheltered in place as police responded to the shooting, and they lifted the restrictions less than an hour later.

They noted that other nearby schools, Matheson Jr. High and Copper hills Elementary, were already released for the day when the incident began.

Lt. Lohrke said the fact that school had gotten out meant the area was busy with kids walking home.

"This is very scary when you have bullets flying in a residential neighborhood, people sitting down to eat inside Wendy's," Lohrke said. "It could have been a lot worse."

No one reported injuries, he said. The shooting left property damage to Wendy's, including shattered and cracked windows.