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Salina shooting may have been over cellphone

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16 2013 8:04 p.m. MDT

SALINA, Sevier County — A Salina man has been charged with shooting another man twice — perhaps over a cellphone.

Michael F. Hernandez, 35, was charged Tuesday in Richfield's 6th District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

On Oct. 10, Justin Gibson, 23, called 911 while walking toward the Salina Police Department. He had been shot and managed to take away the weapon Hernandez used on him, according to court documents.

Gibson was able to talk and communicate with the first arriving officer. He was later taken to a hospital where doctors performed surgery to remove either a bullet or bullet fragment lodged in his scalp, an arrest warrant states. Another shot had gone though the skin of his neck.

Police learned that Gibson was at Hernandez's Salina residence, 375 E. Main, when another man, Ryan Morris, arrived. Morris had exchanged several text messages with Hernandez prior to arriving, including one from Hernandez that said, "Let's do this," investigators wrote.

When Morris arrived, he found Hernandez and Gibson arguing in a bedroom and a shot was fired. "Ryan said that Mike and Justin then started wrestling for the gun and that he tried getting between the two but the gun went off for a second time," the warrant states.

Gibson was able to wrest the weapon away from Hernandez and ran out the door and contacted police. Morris told police he also ran off, but Hernandez followed.

"One of the (paramedics) asked (Gibson) why he had been shot, to which he responded that it was over a cellphone," according to court records.

Morris was questioned and released. Hernandez was arrested by backup officers at his house without further incident. He made his first court appearance Tuesday and bail was set at $250,000.

In March, Hernandez was found guilty of misdemeanor reckless endangerment. In 1998, Hernandez spent six months in jail for threat or use of a deadly weapon in a fight. He was also found guilty of simple assault in 1997. The charge was amended from a felony to a misdemeanor as part of the plea bargain, according to court records.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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