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January 26, 2023
In body-camera footage released by the Unified Police Department, officers can be seen detaining a man at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Midvale, Utah. As they’re doing so, a 4-year-old in the backseat of the man’s car fires a gun at the officers.
In the body-camera footage from the Unified Police Department released to FOX 13 Salt Lake City, officers can be heard telling two distraught children, ages 3 and 4, in the backseat of Johnson’s vehicle, “It’s okay,” after one of the children fired a single shot at them.
The child who fired the gun can be seen crying and shaking in the video.
“I’m sorry,” the child says in the video. “I’m so sorry.”
Johnson was arrested and charged with felony discharge of a firearm, as well as several other charges. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
The officer who was shot in the leg is expected to recover.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident. The child’s mother has been cited for child endangerment.
“To have an adult think it is okay to encourage a -year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten,” Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a February statement after the incident. “This needs to stop and we need to come together as a community to find solutions to the challenges we face in our neighborhoods. Officers are here to protect and serve and we are beyond belief that something like [this] could happen.”
This isn’t the first time a child has accidentally fired a gun in Utah. Earlier this year, a 3-year-old boy shot and killed himself with a gun he found in his home. And in 2017, a 5-year-old girl shot and injured her 2-year-old brother with a gun she found in their grandparents’ car.