OREM — Police said that a man arrested for investigation of attempted murder told investigators he was just trying to scare people when he brandished a firearm, aimed it and pulled the trigger.

The man, who said he was protecting his sister from gang members, was arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of three counts of attempted murder and one count of carrying a concealed firearm, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.

No one was injured in the Thursday incident.

The police affidavit says that police were called to 800 S. Main Thursday afternoon. Police had received a report of multiple shots fired.

Witnesses told police they saw a man fire a handgun at a Toyota Celica before fleeing in a Pontiac Grand Am, according to the affidavit.

After the shots were fired, the Celica — the car that was the target of the shooter — continued on Main Street, witnesses said.

Those in the car at the time of the shooting — an 18-year-old man, a 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl — returned to the scene when Orem detectives arrived. Both girls told police they would be able to identify the shooter, according to the affidavit.

Responding officers found seven spent 9 mm shell casings at the scene but found no evidence of the shots hitting anything, Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards said.

Witnesses at the scene provided officers with a Utah license plate number and description of the white Pontiac. Police traced the car to an Orem residence.

Officers dispatched to that address found a white car matching the description given by witnesses. A man, 27, was in the car.

Also in the car were the man's 26-year-old sister and a young child, the affidavit said.

The man and the woman were taken to police headquarters for questioning. The girls who were in the Celica at the time of the shooting identified the man as the shooter, according to the affidavit.

Once in custody, the shooting suspect agreed to speak with police and told them he exited his car and shot at the other occupied car — but only with the intent to scare the people in the car, police said. He reportedly told police that he was protecting his sister, who had been harassed and threatened earlier by the occupants of the other car.

He said the people in the Celica were gang members, according to the affidavit.

Police later recovered a firearm at the residence of a friend of the shooting suspect. The gun still had a round in the chamber, the affidavit said.


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