University of Utah police arrested two alleged gang members Saturday after an armed confrontation between their group and members of a fraternity.
The incident - which occurred shortly after the Utah-Idaho football game finished - sent students and visitors scrambling and caused quite a disturbance for a while, said University Police Chief Wayne Shepherd.The confrontation occurred shortly after 11 p.m. when a student in the Sigma Nu fraternity house on the northeast side of campus spotted a group that appeared to be lurking around his parked vehicle. He solicited the help of fraternity brothers, who suspected the group was trying to break into their cars.
The fraternity members confronted the group of four to eight suspects, described as gang members. Two of the suspects pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and a handgun and asked, "Would you guys like some of this?" Shepherd explained.
No shots were fired during the confrontation, but the fraternity members fled from the armed suspects. "We had people going every place with all the parties at the sororities and fraternities going on and the game just getting out," Shepherd said. "It was really hectic."
A nearby officer was on the scene as the two groups fled, and he chased one of the suspects into a fraternity house, where he was arrested. Both weapons were recovered. One had been tossed into some bushes, and the other was found near a campus building.
One of the alleged gang members was arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen firearm. Investigators believe the handgun that was brandished may have been used in a drive-by shooting last month.
The second suspect was arrested for investigation of carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm. Both were 17 or 18 years old but were not students at the university.