TAYLORSVILLE — A Tooele man was shot by a Taylorsville man in what appears to be a case of self-defense, as police say he pointed a gun at the man and his neighbor following an argument outside a home hosting a children’s birthday party.
About 6:30 p.m., a black sedan dropped the Tooele man off in front of the home where a man was hosting a birthday party for his grandson in his backyard. Unified Police Sgt. Ken Hansen said the Tooele man was intoxicated and had a gun in his waistband, and he did not have a child at the party. The relationship between the two men is part of the ongoing investigation, he said.
“The host saw that he was intoxicated and that he had a gun in his waistband,” said Unified Police Sgt. Ken Hansen. “So they told him to leave.”
There was a “little bit of a confrontation there” and then the host of the party reached into the Tooele man’s waistband and ejected the magazine of the gun, Hansen said. After the man agreed to leave, the host of the party “handed him the magazine and he walked away.”
A neighbor across the street watched the confrontation occur, according to Hansen, and went into his house and retrieved a gun. He has a concealed carry permit, and he put his weapon into his waistband before returning to his yard.
“The host walked across the street to the neighbor’s house,” Hansen said. “The (Tooele man) came back with (the) gun loaded, he’d put the magazine back, he approached the two people who were there, and he pointed a gun, the gun at them.”
The neighbor who’d retrieved his gun then pulled out his own hand gun and shot the Tooele man. After that, police were called, and the Tooele man was taken to the hospital in serious condition, Hansen said.
Hansen said the neighbor who shot the Tooele man was not arrested, although both guns were taken into evidence and the investigation is ongoing. Hansen said it appears the Tooele man was in the wrong, but there are questions that remain, including who dropped the Tooele man off in the Taylorsville neighborhood, how the Tooele man had a gun even though he’s a restricted person, and the exact relationship between the Tooele man and the host of the party.
“The detectives have a lot of work to do,” Hansen said. The decision on what types of charges — and who will face legal ramifications — will be up to the District Attorney once the investigation is complete.
While police said the Taylorsville man was likely justified in the action he took, it may have been advisable to call police as soon as it was clear the Tooele man was armed.
“When an intoxicated man shows up and has a gun in his waistband, that would be a really good time to call 911,” Hansen said. “(The neighbor’s) concern was, here we have a guy who is intoxicated, with a gun, wandering the neighborhood.”