Saturday, November 07, 2015

Utah Gunfail

This blogger does a useful weekly roundup of the nation's gun accidents (a job that is properly a federal responsibility, but is prevented by the NRA from doing so).

This week, there are two stories from Utah. The South Salt Lake story caught my attention because of the lousy acting, plus it happened very close to where I once lived. The Logan story is just weird:
SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT, 10/18/15: A 24-year-old West Valley City man was in critical condition Monday after accidentally shooting himself in the pelvis — twice — during a botched South Salt Lake convenience store holdup. South Salt Lake police Sgt. Gary Keller said the suspect allegedly went into a Sinclair store at 3300 South and Main Street at 7:17 PM Sunday, approached the clerk and tried to pull a handgun out of his waistband, and that is when it all went wrong. "The gun discharged, twice, but the suspect was able to limp out of the store," Keller said. Police say the suspect's 34-year-old male accomplice, waiting outside, took the gun and attempted to hide it in nearby bushes, then tried to act like a curious bystander before leaving the scene. Witnesses saw through the act and told investigators what they saw. The suspect and his accomplice, also a West Valley City resident, went to their room at the nearby Intown Suites motel. Police and paramedics responded there after receiving a 911 call reporting a self-inflicted shooting incident. Neither of the men was cooperative, initially refusing to provide identities or answer questions. However, witness accounts, and discovery of the firearm in the bushes near the store, quickly cleared the narrative, Keller said. The suspect remained in the hospital on Monday, while his alleged accomplice was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of evidence tampering.

LOGAN, UT, 10/20/15: Several schools were put on lockdown Tuesday morning before police arrested a man who allegedly shot and wounded himself, officials said. Early Tuesday morning, a woman told police the man, Jose Almaguer, hadn't returned her car after he borrowed it Monday. The two had gotten into an argument early Tuesday morning, and he drove off in her car after she demanded it back, according to Captain Curtis Hooley with the Logan City Police Department. Police in the area searched for him, and an officer found the car on Main Street in Logan and made contact with Almaguer. Almaguer denied he had been told to return the car, but police escorted him back to the woman's residence near 290 West 1400 North. Police had no further information to detain him, so Almaguer left the area. Police searched the woman's car upon her request and found a bag of controlled substance. She told police Almaguer kept a .22 pistol in her garage, but it was missing and she believed he had it. Police tried to locate Almaguer again, but couldn't find him. Around 9 AM, the woman told police Almaguer came to her house and told her he shot himself in the arm. She said he was bleeding from his arm and head and he then allegedly fled east on 1400 North. Police set up a perimeter to try and locate the male. Police sent out a reverse 911 to residents with a description of Almaguer and the schools went on lockdown. Lockdowns were later lifted. About an hour into the search, an area resident told police a man who matched Almaguer's description had knocked on his door. Almaguer was believed to be in the man's backyard. Police then arrested him. Almaguer has a wound on his right wrist that is consistent with a small caliber gunshot wound. He was transported to Logan Regional Hospital for treatment, Logan police said. Hoodley said they are seeing more gun-type calls in Logan, but it doesn't happen very often and they "try to mitigate those circumstances and make sure our citizens are safe." "Well, when we have a gun call like this we certainly respond with a lot of officers just to try to get the situation taken care of as quickly as possible...that's one of the ways that we try to deal with it when we have a call such as this." This case is still under investigation. Police believe he did shoot himself, but he isn't being cooperative. Investigators are trying to determine how he was wounded, the connection with the drugs in the car, and if he was legally in possession of a firearm.

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