Ballpark residents “deserve to feel safe,” the SLC police chief said after Sunday’s shooting

A man was taken to a hospital and shell casings were found covering “several blocks” after an early morning altercation.

(Salt Lake City Police Department) The hole in a car’s windshield is believed to have come from a bullet fired during an altercation near Major Street in Salt Lake City and left a man in critical condition Sunday, July 3, 2022, hospitalized.

A 20-year-old man was shot dead in Salt Lake City’s Ballpark neighborhood early Sunday morning, prompting Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown to reassure residents that local authorities are making protecting the area a priority to have.

“The people who live in the Ballpark neighborhood were shaken out of their beds during a shooting that probably seemed like forever to them,” he said. “I want to address the safety concerns in this neighborhood. The Salt Lake City Police Department is committed to doing everything in its power to keep the Ballpark neighborhood safe.”

(Salt Lake City Police Department) Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department closed down a portion of Main Street on Sunday, July 3, 2022 after responding to a shooting near Major Street that involved a man in critical condition was taken to the hospital.

Police closed Main Street for some time Sunday after responding to multiple gunfire near 485 S. Major St. at about 5:28 a.m. A person with gunshot wounds was found hiding behind a car and was taken to hospital in critical condition by ambulance. After he underwent surgery, doctors declared him stable, SLCPD spokesman Brent Weisberg said.

“I want to thank our officers,” Brown said. “They were responding to a chaotic scene and when they arrived they could hear the gunshots.”

Officers located multiple crime scenes. Bullet casings and other evidence were found over “several blocks,” Brown said. On which blocks shell casings were found, he did not want to say. However, the window was shot from an empty store on the corner of Kensington Avenue and Major Street, about a mile from where the victim was found.

In addition to at least one building hit by bullets, at least one car was also hit.

Initial investigations, Brown said, indicated a fight broke out during a party that led to the shooting. He said the motive was unknown.

Several people at the party who may have been involved in the shooting were leaving when officers arrived, Brown said. He asked that anyone with information about the shooting contact the SLCPD at 801-799-3000.

“The people who live, work and visit this neighborhood deserve to feel safe,” Brown said. “No one in our community should ever have to explain to their child that the sound, the loud cracking, that woke them up was the sound of gunshots. I know there are people living in the Ballpark area who are concerned about their safety. And I want you to know that I hear your concerns.”

According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, crime in the area declined slightly in 2021 compared to the previous three years, but violent crime had risen over the past year. Between 2016 and 2020, an average of three murders per year were committed in the neighborhood. Salt Lake City Police reported seven in 2020 and five in 2021.

Brown outlined several initiatives the SLCPD has taken to reduce crime in the area. Regular patrols have increased and the Liberty Bike Squad “spends most of their patrol time there,” he said. A county church liaison officer is in frequent contact with the Ballpark Parish Council, and officers are directed to patrol the area between calls.

“What happened this morning doesn’t reflect this neighborhood or the people who live there,” Brown said. “This neighborhood is one of the liveliest places in the city to live, work and visit. This shooting is unacceptable.” Ballpark residents “deserve to feel safe,” the SLC police chief said after Sunday’s shooting

Joel McCord

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