Teen with autism shot with pellet gun while working at Smith's in Magna, police searching for suspects

Posted at 12:44 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:06:21-05

MAGNA, Utah — Police said they are searching for the people responsible after a teen boy with autism was shot with a bb gun or a pellet gun while working outside a Smith's grocery store in Magna on January 8.

"We need your help!!!" said the Unified Police Department in a social media post. "A 17 year-old, autistic boy was working at the Smith's in Magna, when around 10:30 PM he was collecting shopping carts when he was shot 3 times with a BB or Pellet gun in the back."

Police described the suspects as two males who were laughing as they drove away in a blue sedan.

"He is hit in the back, he feels it, it is quite painful and he says he heard them laughing, and I think that is one of the things that is most disturbing to us.," said Sergeant Melody Cutler with the Unified Police Department.

While the teenager does have some welts on his back from the incident, Sergeant Cutler said that in talking with the father, it's clear the mental toll is much worse.

"Those injuries are really minor in comparison to the trauma that this young boy has faced and really struggling with going back to work and seek therapy to get past what he experienced," Cutler said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Unified Police at 801-743-7000 reference case 22-2513.

Smith's released the following statement to FOX 13 regarding the incident:

“Smiths doesn’t stand for hate or violence of any kind," said Aubriana Martindale, Corporate Affairs Manager of Smith’s Food & Drug. "Two of our core values include safety and respect we are a place that welcomes everyone to enjoy shopping and working. We are working diligently with the local police department to hopefully find these two suspects."