Sheriff's detectives are looking into the possibility that the same youths suspected of shooting two people during a drive-by shooting Monday may have also beaten and drenched a Kearns High School student with gasoline minutes before.
A witness phoned the Salt Lake County sheriff's office late Monday after he noticed what he thought was an unconscious youth in a church parking lot at 3350 W. 5135 South. As he pulled into the parking lot, he said he saw four Tongan males running from the scene, a sheriff's report stated.The man, who did not know the victim, managed to get the youth into his car and take him home. The 17-year-old student had been beaten and was soaked with gasoline. Not only was his clothing soaked in gasoline, but also his hair, the report said.
The victim told investigators he is not a member of the Bloods gang, but he was wearing a red jacket (the gang's color) when the assault occurred. Deputies said the assault is likely connected to Monday night's drive-by shooting at 4620 W. Caplan St. (5295 South).
"Nobody's saying much, so it's hard to know," said Detective Richard Judd. Many victims and witnesses fear retribution, making it difficult to gather information, he said.
Monday night, a man, 18, and a 15-year-old Kearns High student both suffered gunshot wounds to their legs and arms after a carload of possible gang members opened fire on them as they were walking home from a 7-Eleven store. Both were treated at a local hospital and later released. Two others who were walking with them were not hit during the shooting.
A Kearns man, 18-year-old David Lavell Mills, was later booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of attempted criminal homicide in connection with the shooting, according to jail records. Three others were questioned the night of the shooting, but they were subsequently released. Deputies recovered several weapons in the suspect's vehicle.
On Sunday, at least six shots that were fired from a moving vehicle hit the residence at 4651 Caplan, just up the street from Monday's shooting.