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Utah man tried to cheer up friend by shooting at ex-girlfriend’s house, charges say

SHARE Utah man tried to cheer up friend by shooting at ex-girlfriend’s house, charges say

A Unified police vehicle is pictured in Kearns on March 9, 2021. A Murray man was charged Thursday with trying to cheer up his friend who had broken up with his girlfriend by going to the ex-girlfriend’s house in Kearns and shooting it.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

KEARNS — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against a Murray man who police say was involved in a drive-by shooting targeting his friend’s ex-girlfriend.

Bradon Alex Quilter Watson, 20, is charged in 3rd District Court with possession of an explosive device, obstruction of justice and shooting resulting in injury, all second-degree felonies; three counts of illegal shooting, a third-degree felony; plus criminal mischief and trespassing, class B misdemeanors.

On March 16, Unified police officers at the Kearns precinct heard gunshots and squealing tires about 1:40 a.m. They quickly found a house near 5600 South and 4200 West that had a bullet hole in the front window and four shell casings on the ground outside, according to charging documents.

A vehicle was also in the driveway with its tires slashed and part of a blade sticking out of one of them.

The homeowner told police he and others were in the living room when they heard several shotgun blasts that hit the vehicle in the driveway and their window. One woman received a minor injury when pieces of glass from the window cut her foot. The homeowner grabbed his gun, went outside and shot at an SUV before it sped away, the charges state.

Using surveillance video from a doorbell camera, police learned that a Toyota Camry had first driven by the house and the occupants fired four shots, according to the charges. An SUV followed the Camry and sped off after the homeowner shot at it.

Police said they spotted the SUV as it was fleeing and pulled it over. From there, they learned the occupants of the Camry were Watson and a 15-year-old boy, according to the charges. Investigators learned the group had been at a friend’s house “partying” and trying to cheer up a friend who had just broken up with his girlfriend.

At one point in the evening, Watson and the teen left to slash the tires of the vehicle they believed belonged to the new boyfriend of their friend’s ex-girlfriend, according to the charges. They are also accused of going back to the party to brag about it, then taking a shotgun the group had been passing around that evening and going back to the house to do a drive-by shooting.

After Watson was arrested, police went to his residence in Murray to serve a search warrant. There, they found what appeared to be a homemade explosive device, the charges state. The bomb squad was called and “confirmed that it was an explosive or incendiary device.”

A shotgun, rifle and ammunition were also seized.

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