GUN VIOLENCE

Tooele man shot and killed by 9-year-old family member

Feb 20, 2024, 10:38 AM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 6:12 am

TOOELE — A 9-year-old is in police custody for the shooting death of a 32-year-old family member.

Cpl. Colbey Bentley with the Tooele Police Department said officers were called to the home on Millcreek Way on Friday around 7:25 p.m. on a report of a man unconscious and bleeding from the head. Officers arrived at the home and found the man with an extremely serious injury.

“Officer arrived on scene and observed a 32-year-old male had a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to a Salt Lake area hospital in extremely critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries,” Bentley said.

Bentley said the 9-year-old child was taken into custody and is accused of the shooting. Police would not elaborate on the relationship between the child and the victim; however, neighbors tell KSL the child is the man’s son, and the two had been renting a room in the home and had not lived there long.

“(We’re) seeing if there a specific breaking point or misunderstanding that lead up to this point,” Bentley said.

He said the investigations department was busy Tuesday interviewing different family members and neighbors. He said the homicide, involving such a young child as the suspect, is a first of its kind for the community and, potentially, the state.

“The impact felt not just by the family but the community in general, this is something that is just such an outlier, we haven’t dealt with before, and I know many in the state of Utah and the nation haven’t dealt with before, were trying to figure out how to cope with it and properly investigate it,” Bentley said. “In my eight-year career, I’ve never seen a situation like this.”

Calls to the Tooele County Attorney about possible charges being screened against the child were not immediately returned Tuesday. The name of the adult victim has also not yet been released.

“A situation like this where you have one family member potentially being killed by another, you don’t lose just one family member but two family members,” Bentley said.


Contributing: Karah Brackin and Shara Park, KSL TV

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Tooele man shot and killed by 9-year-old family member