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Fight over chips leads to library shooting

A 10-year-old boy, an innocent bystander, was shot with a BB gun while walking out of a Salt Lake City library Tuesday by a 15-year-old boy trying to shoot another boy.

The motive for the incident: The teen shooter wanted a bag of chips.

"I think it's sad and it's aggravating. When you have children committing acts of violence against other children for no reason whatsoever, it strikes us on a lot of different levels," said Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Bedard. "I have no idea where he got the notion this type of behavior is acceptable in society."

Just before 3 p.m., a 15-year-old boy approached another 15-year-old outside the Chapman Library, 577 S. 900 West, showed the boy the handle of a handgun tucked inside his waistband and demanded he give him his chips or he would shoot him, Bedard said.

The boy with the chips ran toward the library entrance as the other started firing. Just as he entered, a 10-year-old boy was exiting. The 10-year-old was shot just below the eye by a BB.

Bedard said it was a horrible situation that could have become a tragedy.

"It could have been a real gun ... the boy could have lost an eye," he said.

The teen gunman ran across the street. Police eventually located him at his mother's house and booked him into juvenile detention.

The boy who was shot said he felt a sharp pain under his eye when he was hit, but was otherwise OK.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com