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4-year-old had handled gun before, father tells police

McDonald's Shooting
Posted at 9:54 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 11:54:49-05

MIDVALE, Utah — The 4-year-old boy who fired a gun as his father was taken into custody outside a Midvale McDonald's had previously handled the weapon, his father told police.

Police had taken Sadaat Johnson into custody Monday after he allegedly brandished the gun at restaurant employees after accusing them of giving him an incorrect order. While officers were dealing with Johnson, another officer noticed the boy inside the car pointing the gun at the group. The officer was able to swat the gun away before it fired into an overhead awning.

Johnson allegedly told his son to fire the weapon at officers.

According to the police report, Johnson said he had "blacked out" and "did not remember brandishing the gun or racking a round at the McDonald's employee."

Johnson added that it was not the first time his son had "gotten a hold of his gun."

Unified Police Department Sheriff Rosie Rivera called the officer who noticed the gun "a hero" for his actions.

“Every officer that’s here today just can’t believe it. We’re beyond belief that something like this could happen,” said Rivera.

Johnson was taken into custody and faces charges of felony child abuse and threatening the use of a dangerous weapon.