GUN VIOLENCE

Salt Lake police to increase presence in Market Street area following violent weekend

Jun 5, 2023, 6:27 PM | Updated: 6:27 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City’s top law enforcer says the gun violence that happened in the downtown area over the weekend “is not acceptable.”

“We will not allow gun violence to escalate and plague our city,” Chief Mike Brown said during a press conference on Monday.

Between Saturday morning and early Monday, officers responded to four incidents of gun violence, resulting in one man being killed, a second man being injured, and bullets flying over the heads of officers. At least two of the shootings appear to be related, according to police. All of the incidents were in the same general area.

About 3:30 a.m. Saturday, officers on bike patrol were in a parking lot near 60 W. Market Street when a “volley of gunshots” was fired.

“Several of the bullets flew over the officers. At least one of those bullets hit a sign just above them,” Brown said. “The reckless disregard of someone who openly shoots into a crowded space not only endangers innocent lives but also poses an immediate threat to our police officers.”

According to a police booking affidavit, “There were multiple casings found, as well as multiple bullet impacts in the area of Market Street and West Temple.” One round struck the nearby federal courthouse. No injuries were reported.

Amhednasir Abdi, 19, who police believe was involved, was arrested for investigation of fleeing from officers.

Police searching for suspect after one hurt in SLC shooting

Then on Sunday, about 4 a.m., police responded again to the area near 60 W. Market Street where a 22-year-old man was shot and killed. No arrests had been made as of Monday as Brown says homicide detectives are having trouble finding witnesses who are willing to talk.

“They’re getting little cooperation from the people who witnessed this shooting,” he said. “There are people who know who the shooter is, and they are not coming forward, either because they are scared or because they are intentionally trying to hinder this case.”

Brown said those who are purposely trying to block detectives from investigating the case will be arrested for obstruction. He also said that police won’t let fear or intimidation prevent witnesses from coming forward.

Later that night, about 11:30 p.m., officers patrolling the same area heard gunshots and saw a car leaving a parking lot near 60 W. Market Street. The car was pulled over, and a shotgun and two spent casings were found inside, Brown said. Also in the car were some of the family members of the man killed earlier that day, he said. As of Monday, potential charges were still being considered.

1 killed in SLC shooting Sunday morning, 2 arrested in chaotic aftermath

Then just after midnight on Monday, a 27-year-old man was shot in the hand near 300 S. Main. Police are looking for “two suspects” seen leaving the area in a car.

The weekend incidents come on the heels of a 16-year-old boy being arrested in April for firing several rounds that damaged two SUVs in the area of 60 W. Market Street.

“We are doing everything we can to try and ensure the safety of those who live, work and visit around No. 60 West Market Street and throughout the downtown area,” Brown said Monday.

The chief said he will once again be increasing the number of officers patrolling that area as well as have them work later into the evening and early morning hours. Brown says he does not know specifically what is driving the violent episodes in the Market Street area, but noted that a “deadly recipe of tempers, alcohol, drugs and guns” seems to take over some people, preventing them from simply walking away from a confrontation.

Brown says police are also working with business owners, event organizers and property owners on strategies for reducing crime while noting that the weekend violence does not define the downtown area.

“Everyone has a stake in this,” he said.

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Salt Lake police to increase presence in Market Street area following violent weekend