SANDY — Police are asking for the public's help to find a gunman who robbed a teen and nearly shot him.
The incident began around 2:30 a.m. Friday near 7700 South and 700 East when a juvenile male leaving his apartment complex was asked for a ride to a nearby convenience store, Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold said. The teenager said he allowed the man, who he described as blond, around 6 feet tall and thin, into his car.
"The passenger directed the juvenile to drive up Cedar Terrace Drive (7985 South) and as they were driving up Cedar Terrace, the passenger produced a handgun," Arnold said. "He directed the juvenile where to pull the vehicle over and as he pulled the vehicle over ... the suspect demanded various items from the juvenile."
The teen turned over his keys and cellphone, but as the gunman went to exit the vehicle, the juvenile reached for the gun. A scuffle ensued and, at some point, the gun went off.
"A round was discharged, narrowly missing the victim," Arnold said. "It actually went through the shorts of the victim, but didn't hit him at all. It went into the driver's seat of the vehicle."
The suspect then fled to a waiting vehicle, described as a dark-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee. The juvenile went to a neighbor's home to call 911.
Police are asking the public to call 801-840-4000 with any information about the vehicle or the two individuals involved.
Arnold called the victim "extremely lucky." Generally, he said, it's safest to comply with the demands of someone who is armed.
"We would recommend and tell anyone that any time there's a weapon involved, just do as a person is asking," Arnold said. "It's too dangerous to be arguing ... (if the) weapon accidentally goes off, purposely goes off, it's not worth the danger that it causes."
He also said it's best not to allow people you don't know into your vehicle.
"If you're going to pick up somebody in your vehicle, it should be somebody you know and are aware of," Arnold said. "Sometimes we think we're trying to do the right things, but you always need to be careful and be aware of your surroundings."