SALT LAKE CITY — A 17-year-old was recovering Monday after being shot Sunday night during an illegal street racing event.
It’s the second time in a little more than a week that a teen was shot during a similar car race, and police are trying to put a stop to it.
During weekdays, the area around 3150 West and 900 South is a busy industrial part of town, but during weekend nights, it’s desolate and a popular place to race.
In the most recent event, the teen was shot in the chest but drove himself to a hospital in West Valley City. He was admitted in serious condition, but later upgraded to stable.
Officers then realized the shooting happened in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake officers said it was eerily similar to an incident that happened on Aug. 2 in almost the same location.
“Again, the juvenile was involved in a shooting of some sort, police weren’t called until after the fact and of course we did find evidence at the scene as well as the one last night,” Sgt. Keith Horrocks said.
The races themselves are illegal and dangerous enough on their own, but when you add other elements, it makes for a very combustible situation.
“We have found that there’s some high-stakes gambling going on out there, we’re also aware that drugs are being exchanged out there and people are coming out with guns,” Horrocks said. “There might be some gang ties that we’re looking at, so this is a bigger plan that we have in place to try to address this.”
Horrocks said the department is stretched very thin this summer due to the nightly protests downtown, but command staff met Monday to focus on the racing issue.
“We’re looking at reallocating some resources so that we can address the protests that are going on but also look at this street racing because it is becoming a bigger problem.”
Horrocks said the two young men shot in the separate incidents claim they have no idea who shot them and are not cooperating with investigators.
If you have any information, you’re asked to call Salt Lake Police at 801-799-3000.