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4 are shot outside Fun Dome in Murray

MURRAY — Four people — including a 4-year-old boy — were injured Saturday when 17 shots were fired toward the entrance of the Utah Fun Dome amusement center.

Police were questioning a teenage boy late Saturday, said Murray Police Sgt. Rob Hall. But it wasn't known whether he was involved in the shooting.

The shooting, which occurred around 9:30 p.m., is believed to be gang-related, he said. Police believe a teenage boy fired into a group of people standing in front of the entrance of the Fun Dome, 4998 S. Galleria Drive (360 West).

The 4-year-old boy, who was hit in the lower abdomen, was critically injured and airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital, Hall said. Also injured were an 18-year-old woman, who was shot in the foot, and two boys, both believed to be 15 or 16 years old. One of them was shot in the hand, and the arm of the other was grazed by a bullet, Hall said.

Those three were transported to area hospitals.

Hall said police believe the shooting occurred after a verbal confrontation between two groups of people inside the Fun Dome. One group was coming outside when the shots were fired.

Police did not know whether any of the teens injured in the shooting were involved in the earlier confrontation. The 4-year-old was an innocent bystander, Hall said.

They were standing on the sidewalk in front of the Fun Dome, about 20 feet from the door. Hall said police believe the teenager who fired the shots was standing outside the center and then jumped into a fleeing car.

Police were looking for a black or dark-colored Honda Accord, about a 1990 model. Witnesses told police they saw two Hondas speeding away from the dome after the shooting.

The entrance to the Fun Dome was surrounded by police tape and police cars Saturday night, and small yellow tags marked bullet casings.

Hall said one of the shots hit the gas cap on a Murray police vehicle parked in front of the building. Off-duty Murray police officers are employed as private security officers when the center is open, said Greg Irvine, Fun Dome manager.

The dome, which houses a laser tag area, miniature golf, arcade and fun house, is open until 1 a.m. but closed early at 10:45 p.m. Saturday at the request of police, Irvine said. Usually, about 200 people pack the center on weekend nights.

"Obviously it's a tragic situation. I really haven't got a lot of information. All I know is some people were injured," Irvine said.

Jane Kestner, 30, Orem, was playing laser tag with friends at a birthday party when the game was shut down and an announcement was made saying there had been a shooting and asking all children to return to their parents.

Patrons were diverted to side entrances, she said.

Hall said gang-related incidents have been reported at the center in the past.

"I wouldn't say it is common, but occasionally we do have problems," he said.


E-mail: jdobner@desnews.com