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Utah man arrested after seeking revenge for friend’s breakup, police say

Officers seize guns, explosive device

The Salt Lake County Jail in South Salt Lake is pictured on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. A man was booked into jail Tuesday after police say he sought revenge against a woman who broke up with his friend.
The Salt Lake County Jail in South Salt Lake is pictured on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. A man was booked into jail Tuesday after police say he sought revenge against a woman who broke up with his friend.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

KEARNS — Police say a drive-by shooting committed by friends of a man upset that a woman had broken up with him led to the discovery of a homemade explosive device.

Bradon Alex Quilter-Watson, 20, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Tuesday for investigation of aggravated assault, four counts of illegal shooting, two counts of theft of a firearm, possession of an explosive device, obstruction of justice, criminal mischief and trespassing.

A 15-year-old boy was also taken into custody, according to Unified police.

Watson and the teen went to a home near 5600 South and 4200 West about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday “to get revenge” on a woman who had broken up with their friend, according to a police affidavit.

Prior to the shooting, the two had been with their friend “comforting him and consuming alcohol with him” when they decided to act on his behalf, according to police. The ex-boyfriend “was extremely despondent and inebriated” and did not go with his friends.

The two slashed the tires on a truck they believed belonged to the woman's new boyfriend, though police later stated it did not, and then fired four rounds at the truck and at the house, the affidavit states.

“The victim sustained a non-life-threatening injury when birdshot from the shotgun shattered the window in the living room where she was sitting. The broken glass cut the victim’s leg and foot,” according to the affidavit.

The woman’s brother went outside after the shots were fired and returned fire at Watson’s car, according to police. Officers later stopped the fleeing vehicle.

Watson was questioned and a search warrant was later served at the residence where he was staying. Police found drug paraphernalia and drug residue in a backpack as well as a suspected explosive device, the affidavit says.

“Upon arrival of the bomb squad, they inspected the incendiary device and found it to be a soda can wrapped in tape with a wick. Inside the can were matchstick tips and a material with an unknown accelerant on it,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Police also reported that they seized a shotgun, rifle, ammunition and magazines.

After he was arrested, Watson told police that he “felt he shouldn’t be held responsible for his actions because he was drunk,” the affidavit says.