Police are investigating one gang-related drive-by shooting and two gang-related fights that happened Thursday.
The shooting occurred at 3500 S. 3740 West, at 2:45 p.m. West Valley police officer Grant Elsby said three self-proclaimed members of the Crips gang and six or seven people who apparently were of the Bloods gang flashed gang signs at each other.The three alleged Crips said the signs were a challenge to fight, but gunfire resulted instead.
Elsby said the alleged Bloods members drove a brown Buick, and their victims were on foot. As the car drove past the three alleged Crips, a rear-seat passenger apparently leaned out and fired three shots.
"We thought they were going to stop. We were just walking and next thing we know they pulled out a gun and we ducked," said one of the victims.
The suspects escaped before authorities arrived. Witnesses said they heard the shots, but police didn't find any evidence of property damage or injury.
"It's not like Los Angeles yet, but gang activity is increasing," Elsby said.
West Valley police officials said although gang violence is on the rise, gangs have targeted only other gangs and no innocent bystanders have been shot yet.
West Valley City is raising taxes to hire 12 new officers to keep up with the gang violence.
The second incident involved "gang-member wannabes," said South Salt Lake police officer Tracy Tingey.
A total of 10 juveniles riding in a white Chevrolet Blazer near 2220 S. 500 East stopped and fought with two teenagers who were walking at 4:50 p.m.
Tingey said the two teenagers received facial injuries.
The group escaped before police arrived. Tingey said one was wearing a red bandanna, a typical piece of clothing among members of the Bloods."
"We're not ruling out that this may be gang-related," Tingey said.
The third incident occurred approximately at 9 p.m. at 1780 S. 400 East. Officers said about 10 to 12 gang members began fighting with knives after a verbal confrontation. No one was injured. Police questioned several people after the incident.
Sgt. Scott Folsom said the fight began in the middle of the street.