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Fruit Heights man arrested, but police still gathering evidence in highway shootings

FRUIT HEIGHTS — A 58-year-old Fruit Heights man that investigators are calling a "person of interest" in connection with the shootings of a UTA bus and a semitrailer on U.S. 89 has been arrested.

But Michael Richard Hinckley was not booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of any charges related to the shooting. Still, Davis County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Ty Berger said Tuesday that Hinckley remains the only person of interest.

"That investigation is ongoing, and yes, that person is still a person of interest. We have not ruled him out," he said.

About 5:15 a.m. Monday, a bullet went through the window of a Utah Transit Authority bus carrying one driver and nine passengers, barely missing at least one of the occupants, according to the Davis County Sheriff's Office. Two more shots hit a semitrailer hauling cement powder. Investigators believe five to 10 shots were fired.

Tracking the trajectory of the shots, investigators were able to determine the "general area" where the bullets came from, Berger said. They believe the shots were fired from an orchard about 50 feet from a home. Because the highway is not visible from that area, detectives believe someone was firing a gun recklessly and not intentionally aiming at vehicles on the road.

While deputies were combing through the orchard looking for shell casings and discussing the case, Hinckley "approached several of us with the desire to speak," according to a Davis County Jail report.

Before that happened, investigators noted in the report that "information given made Michael Hinckley a person of interest."

Berger described Hinckley as very intoxicated when he approached deputies. When investigators began asking him questions, he became very upset.

"He began raising his voice, swearing, and became physically animated. He was informed that he was going to be detained for questioning. He continued getting upset and stepped out into the roadway with disregard for traffic and his own safety. He was at this time taken into custody," the report states.

A search warrant was served on Hinckley's basement apartment, located at the house about 50 feet away from where the shots were believed to have been fired. Berger said evidence was collected, but declined Tuesday to go into detail. The report states marijuana and drug paraphernalia were among the items seized.

Berger did not know how many people were at home in the upstairs portion of the house at the time, but all of them claimed they did not hear the shots fired. Emergency dispatchers did receive 911 calls from homes about 50 feet further up the road, Berger noted.

Hinckley was arrested for investigation of drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Berger said detectives have "reasonable suspicion" about who the gunman is, but were still looking for enough evidence to establish "probable cause."

Investigators are expected to interview Hinckley again on Tuesday.