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Shop owner’s son surveys damage after South Salt Lake crash, fatal officer-involved shooting

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 10, 2019

SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The son of an alterations shop owner took a first full look inside his father's South Salt Lake store, two days after police opened fire on a gunman who crashed through the shop in a truck.

Bassam Hassan got access to Princess Alterations on State Street Wednesday afternoon. His father, Thaer Mahdi, was inside the shop when police said Harold V. Robinson drove a truck through the front.

Witnesses had said Robinson fired a rifle toward the public several different times as he drove through downtown Salt Lake City and into South Salt Lake down State Street Monday morning.

Police said Robinson robbed two convenience stores at gunpoint that morning as well.

"This is what's left of the place," Hassan said, after he opened the plywood front door and walked inside two days later. "Everything is just destroyed."

The former front door sat sideways, the glass shattered. Bricks and shards of glass littered the ground, making it hard to walk around. Bullet holes dotted the walls and pierced clothing hanging on racks.

"The damage is actually a lot. I'm just surprised by everything," Bassam Hassan said, looking around. "I just... I don't know what to say. Like my dad said... He told me he thought it was a gang war between the cops and like twenty shooters. He just didn't know what was going on."

Not only is his father dealing with the trauma of the shooting, Hassan indicated his Mahdi is also concerned about taking care of his customers and finishing orders in the shop.

Though, Hassan is not so sure they want to reopen the store in that location.

"We'll have to move somewhere else or move on from [the business], to be honest," he said.

As Hassan walked toward the back of the shop, he followed one bullet's trail through pieces of leather and into the side of hanging shelves. That's when he made a discovery.

"That's still a bullet," Hassan said, leaning in to pry a small, disfigured piece of metal out of a hole.

He looked at it closely, turning it over in his fingers.

"Yeah. That's a bullet," he confirmed. Not too far beyond that is where Hassan said Mahdi took cover during the shooting.

"I'm just glad it didn't go all the way back there where he was hiding," Hassan said. "It's just, I guess, luck? Thank God for that."