CRIME

Sandy man charged with shooting family member with BB gun, then killing his dog

Feb 22, 2024, 4:06 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

SANDY — A man in Sandy is accused of shooting his uncle with a BB gun and setting a room on fire, killing his uncle’s dog.

The incident happened on South Electra Street in Sandy.

Julian Heildo Gonzalez, 27, was arrested Tuesday and charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; and three counts of torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony.

Sandy Police said those charges have a domestic violence enhancement which carries additional penalties like stopping him from owning a firearm in the future.

South Electra Street in Sandy

A man in Sandy is accused of shooting his uncle with a BB gun and setting a room on fire, killing his uncle’s dog.

Tuesday evening, Gonzalez was “in a physical altercation with family members at their residence,” according to a police booking affidavit. Others tried to calm Gonzalez down. Instead, he retrieved a BB gun “and shot his uncle multiple times in the face and chest. The uncle received serious damage to his face and head,” police said.

Gonzalez then went to his uncle’s bedroom and started a fire, “knowing the uncle’s dog and two cats were locked in a kennel on the floor of the bedroom,” the affidavit states.

Sgt. Greg Moffitt with the Sandy Police Department said, “[Mr. Gonzalez] started a fire on top of a kennel that had a dog and two cats on it, there was some damage that was done to the home because of the fire, it sounds like it was all pretty much contained to one portion of the house but as a result, the dog did die and the two cats were injured.”

According to charging documents, the puppy was euthanized due to the injuries sustained from the fire and the plastic kennel melting onto the puppy. The two kittens were injured and provided oxygen due to smoke inhalation.

After he was arrested, Gonzalez allegedly told police “that he was sorry for starting the fire but that he had a good reason for doing it. He explained that he believed he was a victim of trafficking and that a cartel was after him,” the charges state.

Moffitt said, “When our officers arrived, my understanding is that he looked pretty bloody, it was a graphic scene.”

The uncle is expected to make a full recovery.

Prosecutors noted in their charges that Gonzalez “uses methamphetamine, resulting in delusions and dangerous behavior.”

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Sandy man charged with shooting family member with BB gun, then killing his dog