8-year-old boy nearly shot while man was practicing dry firing

Jun 30, 2022, 10:53 AM | Updated: 4:46 pm

One of the damaged walls inside an apartment at 30 N. Orange Street in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake C...

One of the damaged walls inside an apartment at 30 N. Orange Street in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

(Salt Lake City Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department are reminding the public about gun safety after a 26-year-old man nearly shot an 8-year-old boy while practicing dry firing with a handgun.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities were notified about a bullet that came through a living room wall at 30 N. Orange Street.

Police said the 26-year-old originally told officers that someone broke into his apartment, got his gun and fired it into the wall. But later, the man told officers he accidentally discharged his firearm inside his apartment.

“He told officers he believed the gun was unloaded and that he was practicing ‘dry firing,'” which is when “the trigger of a gun is pulled when there is no ammunition in the firearm’s chamber,” a press release from SLCPD stated Thursday morning.

When the gun fired, police said the bullet went through a wall into the neighboring apartment, where an 8-year-old boy was sitting on the couch. It then went through a second wall and into a bedroom.

“The boy’s father found the bullet on a bed inside his apartment. The bullet also damaged a mirror inside the neighboring apartment during its flight,” the release stated.

Police said the shooting did not injure the 8-year-old.

Chase Wright has since been arrested and transported to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail.

“Detectives will work with prosecutors to determine the appropriate charges in this case.”

The SLCPD concluded their press release Thursday morning by sharing these basic gun safety rules:

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Always assume that a gun is loaded, even if you believe the gun is unloaded.
  • Keep guns pointed in the safest possible direction when handling. Only point a gun at an object you intend to shoot.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Know your target, its surroundings and what’s behind your target.  Understand that if a bullet misses or passes through the target, it could strike a person or object.
  • Know how to safely operate your firearm.
  • Always safely store your firearm and prevent unauthorized use. Firearms should be locked and rendered safe using a trigger lock. Ammunition should be stored in a different location than the firearm.

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8-year-old boy nearly shot while man was practicing dry firing