MOUNT PLEASANT, Utah — A 10-year-old was shot in the shoulder Saturday after police say target shooters were shooting toward a highway in Sanpete County.
“What we are dealing with are a couple of individuals that were recklessly, negligently shooting towards a roadway and they were shooting high powered weapons and we believe that weapon, due to their recklessness and negligence ended up discharging into the arm of a juvenile young man,” Kevin Daniels, Sanpete County Attorney, said.
According to the Sanpete Sheriff's Office, the boy was in a vehicle traveling on U.S. Highway 89 just before 1:30 p.m. just north of Mount Pleasant when a bullet went through the windshield and hit his shoulder. He was transported to the Utah Valley Hospital where the bullet was removed. His wound was deemed non-life-threatening.
"The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently being investigated and appear to involve a family negligently target shooting in the direction of the highway," the sheriff's office wrote.
The boy’s family told FOX 13 News he is doing okay.
“The family that was affected by this is in a state of shock a little bit," Daniels said. "That’s to be expected when you are driving along and you’re in Sanpete County, Utah, not South Central, Los Angeles — you don’t expect to be hit by a stray bullet."
As of Sunday night, no one had been arrested but a search warrant had been served, Daniels said. Investigators are looking at more than one suspect, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said. This is an active investigation. Daniels said he does believe crimes have been committed
14-year-old Zackary Kempke died from a similar accident in September 2018 in Rich County. Kayleen Richins pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. Part of her sentence included speaking to youth about the importance of safe shooting and always having a backstop.
“It just makes me sick. It makes me heartbroken for both families involved. Makes me sick that stuff like this is continuing to happen,” she said about the boy shot in Sanpete County.
There’s not a day that goes by that Richins doesn’t think about that horrible day.
“It’s hard to hear that other people are going through the same situation or similar situations. And every time you hear stories like that, it makes me sick — it makes me sick for the families of the victims,” she said.
Now, Richins works to get her message out about safe target shooting.
“Our only goal is to get our message out: No backstop, no shot. To do anything we can to prevent more tragedies from happening,” she said.