KEARNS — A drive-by shooting and related crash left two people dead and injured two more Tuesday, police said, part of a string of gang-related gun violence in the suburb just southwest of Salt Lake City.
Investigators believe someone fired a gun from a blue Ford truck, striking and wounding one person near 5200 West and 5400 South in Kearns about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Unified Police Department. As the truck sped away, it crashed into a white car, killing the car's driver and passenger.
The truck rolled and one person inside was seriously injured. Officers believe another person inside managed to run away. They were searching nearby neighborhoods for the suspect they believe is wearing a red hoodie.
"This is definitely gang-related," said Lt. Brian Lohrke, spokesman for Unified Police Department. "We've had different types of shootings the last couple weeks, and it's safe to say they're all connected."
Crews rushed the gunshot victim to the hospital. The people in the white car were pronounced dead at the scene. Lohrke declined to release names of suspects or their suspected gang affiliations. He said it wasn't clear if the crash was an accident or not.
Lohrke noted a 17-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot in the legs in Kearns Sunday, another incident where gang affiliations are believed to have played a part based on what the suspects were reported wearing and saying.
"This is getting absolutely ridiculous. I know the citizens in Kearns are absolutely fed up with it. We're fed up with it. We're going to be ramping up our efforts on the gang end. We're absolutely furious about this," he said.
Lohrke said the spate of violence was taking a toll on Unified resources and was weighing emotionally on officers.
"We need more help from the community. We need more resources. We need help from lawmakers to give us the tools we need to fight this battle," Lohrke said.