They sounded like fireworks.

A few pops followed by children screaming — this close to the Fourth of July — some neighbors didn't walk away from their grills until they heard the sirens.

On the corner of Fremont Avenue (1100 South) and 800 West, a 7-year-old girl lay dead Sunday evening. She had been caught in a drive-by shooting at 6:30 p.m. and hit in the chest as she played on the sidewalk in front of her house, said Salt Lake Police Lt. Isaac Atencio.

Police were searching for four men who were last seen driving a black sport utility vehicle with brown stripes northbound on 800 West, away from the corner where the little girl died.

Atencio said police know at least one of the men's names. They are known gang members with whom police are "familiar," he said, though he would not release any names or provide details about their criminal histories.

The men had been at the girl's home earlier, and police were called after threats were made against someone living inside the house, Atencio said. Investigators do not believe the girl was the intended target in the shooting, but Atencio would not give further details about the threats made Sunday.

Neighbors who had been enjoying backyard parties lined the streets, watching officers work the latest crime scene in their Glendale community.

In late April, three men were hit in a drive-by shooting near 1300 W. California Ave. And in March, Wally Knapton, who managed a Family Dollar at 1145 S. Glendale Drive, was killed by robbers.

"I try not to hear the things that happen," neighbor Cathy Shaffer said. "But I've heard the shootings in the middle of the night. It's getting so close."

As investigators worked into the night, the screams of friends and family continued outside. Neighbors had mistaken the commotion for fireworks earlier, but now there would be no doubt what had happened.


E-mail: [email protected]