An 18-year-old man suffered a shotgun blast to his upper leg Monday night after a carload of possible gang members opened fire in a residential neighborhood.
It was the second drive-by shooting in that Kearns neighborhood and the third in the general area to occur in the past week.Deputy sheriffs later arrested a Kearns man, also 18, and booked him into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of attempted homicide.
The victim, whose identity was not released, was walking with a companion at 4620 W. Caplan St. (5295 South) about 8:45 p.m. when the drive-by shooting occurred. Deputy sheriffs located the victim sitting on the front porch of a nearby residence. He had numerous small puncture wounds in his leg.
The victim was taken to Pioneer Valley Hospital, where he was in good condition Tuesday, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Ben Forbes.
Deputies originally thought a second victim had been shot in the head, but he was later found uninjured, Forbes said.
One of the shots fired Monday night hit the wall of a nearby residence. Investigators recovered two shotgun casings and several .22-caliber casings in the area.
Early Sunday morning, residents reported that six shots were fired from an automobile into a residence at 4651 Caplan St. - just a few houses away from where Monday's shooting occurred.
The front room window was shot out and glass was all over the room, where a young child had been asleep on a couch, a sheriff's report said.
Another slug passed through the wall about one foot above the top of a mattress in a bedroom where a 41-year-old woman was sleeping. Deputies discovered several bullets - including one that was lying next to the pillow where she had been sleeping.
One of the woman's sons told deputies that was the fourth drive-by shooting that had occurred there, the report said.
All indications are that rival gangs were responsible for the weekend shootings, but sheriff's officials said that was not certain.
"There have been several motives put to us for this," Forbes said. "It's hard to pinpoint anything down as to who they might be and what they belong to."
Sheriff Pete Hayward said those involved in Monday's shooting were not self-admitted members of any gang, but he said blue and red bandannas were found in the suspect's vehicle, indicating that Bloods and Crips gangs are likely involved.
"We can't help but feel there's some wanna-be gang affiliations with it," the sheriff said. "We're concerned about it."
Thursday afternoon, West Valley police investigated a drive-by shooting at 3500 S. 3740 West that involved self-proclaimed gang members. Officers said gang signs were flashed, which resulted in three shots being fired. No one was injured during that incident.
Sheriff's officials said they are trying to determine if that incident is related to the shootings Sunday and Monday.
Hayward said he has deployed additional deputies to patrol the Kearns area and is working on other tactics to try to control the gang problems.
"As far as them (residents in area) being targets, no, I don't think they need be concerned," Forbes said.
Four suspects were picked up late Monday and questioned by detectives. Only one was booked into jail. Hayward said two shotguns, a .22-caliber rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and another gun were recovered from the suspect's vehicle. He said detectives were looking into the possibility that the weapons had been taken during a recent burglary.