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Man opens fire in neighborhood, allegedly in sister's defense

Man opens fire in neighborhood, allegedly in sister's defense


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Randall Jeppesen and Gene Kennedy reportingAn Orem man is in jail after opening fire in a neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon. That man was supposedly defending his sister against gang members who were harassing her, but what he did and where he did it is disturbing to residents and police alike.

Main Street in Orem is a slice of Utah County suburbia, a strictly a residential area, where children play on the sidewalks every afternoon. Yesterday was no different in that regard, but for Jennifer Kitchen's children that peace was suddenly disturbed. "My boys said it sounded like fireworks, but I told them, ‘It was probably gunshots you heard,'" Kitchen said. She was right.

A 26-year-old woman was with her kids in a car yesterday afternoon, when she noticed a car with two men inside following her.

A little while later, she saw the same car drive past her apartment, so she got her brother, and they tried to follow the car. Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards says, "I assume he was looking out for his sister, he thought."

Police say Freddie Gutierrez jumped into his white Pontiac and chased two gang members. The car stopped at 700 S. Main St., and police say Gutierrez jumped out of the car and started firing a 9 millimeter pistol.

Sgt. Bill Young, with the Orem Police Department, said, "It's broad daylight. Everyone is out and about. I think the risk is substantial when you have multiple shots from a firearm."

When Gutierrez and his sister returned home, police were waiting for them. After interviewing them, a 9mm handgun was found near the scene of the shooting.

"This turned out the best it possibly could have. No one was hurt, no one got hit by gunfire and the shooter is in jail," says Edwards.

Kitchen says, "It's a little unnerving to know. And that my kids can be outside and caught in the middle of it somehow."

Police found bullet casings at the scene from the seven shots Gutierrez allegedly fired. Luckily he didn't hit anything.

The vehicle Gutierrez shot at allegedly sped away, but Orem police were able to track down the gang members in the car because witnesses got the license plate. However, police did not arrest them because they felt there was not enough evidence of a crime.

Instead, they arrested Gutierrez. Tonight, he's in the Utah County jail. Gutierrez was booked on suspicion of attempted murder. Orem Police say they've dealt with him before, that he has a history of arrests in Utah County for assault and domestic violence.

gkennedy@ksl.com
E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com

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