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Rock climbers recount being shot at in Little Cottonwood Canyon

FILE - Climbers ascend Satan's Crack in the Dihedrals Area of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 1, 2017.
FILE - Climbers ascend Satan's Crack in the Dihedrals Area of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 1, 2017.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — Rock climbing comes with its own set of inherent risks, but Brandon Wilde faced something extra on Monday night.

"There are some definite risks involved," Wilde said. "But I mean being shot at is never on your mind."

Wilde and his friend Nate Lamb were about 250 feet up a pitch when they heard gunshots in the distance about 6 p.m. Moments later, the gunshots were much closer to them.

"I saw a rock fall and come down from above where Nate was climbing where the bullets had hit," Wilde said.

"We heard bullets whizzing by us," Lamb added. "I mean bullets were to the left, to the right of me, below me, above me."

Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke says moments before, another group of climbers were shot at, just east of where Lamb and Wilde were climbing. Investigators later found bullet casings at 5267 E. Little Cottonwood Road — "almost directly across the canyon from where one group was climbing," he said.

"It was kind of surreal, you know?" Lamb said. "I was kind of in denial that it was even happening."

Wilde says he got a look down below, just in time to see the possible shooters leaving the area.

"I just saw two or three people hop into a green sedan and speed off," Wilde said. "They were already facing the road, so they were just ready to bail."

While he and Lamb are still alarmed by what happened, both said Tuesday it won't keep them from coming back.

"Climbing is something we're very passionate about," Wilde said.

"I'd go today," Lamb added. "I mean, you can't let that stop you from having fun, right?"

Anyone who may have any information is asked to call Unified police at 801-743-7000.