Cops Say Boy, 4, Shot at Them After Dad Told Him to

The Utah father faces multiple charges
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2022 1:35 AM CST
Cops Say Boy, 4, Shot at Them After Dad Told Him To
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / BullpenAl)

(Newser) – As police pulled a man from his car and arrested him outside a McDonald's in Utah on Monday afternoon, they saw a gun emerge from the backseat. An officer was able to push it away just as it went off. The alleged shooter? The man's 4-year-old son, whom police say was directed by his father to shoot at police, KSL reports. The incident began when the man went through the fast food franchise's drive-thru and became angry when his order wasn't correct. Police say he brandished a gun at employees, who told him to pull around the side of the restaurant so they could bring him the right food. Instead, they called police. Police say the man wouldn't get out of his car when they arrived on the scene, but they eventually pulled him out and then the gun appeared as they were taking him into custody.

The Salt Lake County sheriff says the officer who responded—who received a minor arm injury from the gun's "blast," but not from the bullet, which hit an awning—is a hero, especially because he quickly shouted "Kid! Kid! Kid!" so no officers would return fire. Witnesses say they heard the father instructing the boy to shoot, ABC 4 reports. The boy's 3-year-old sister was also in the backseat; they were released to relatives. The Division of Child and Family Services is investigating, KUTV reports. The father faces charges of felony child abuse and threatening the use of a dangerous weapon, Fox 13 reports. "This campaign against police officers, this needs to stop," the sheriff says. "We're here to protect and serve, and this is getting out of hand." (Read more Utah stories.)

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