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Police arrest man in connection with shooting of 9-year-old boy

(Salt Lake County Jail)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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KEARNS — A 19-year-old Layton man was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting of a 9-year-old boy in Kearns Wednesday.

Oscar Bermejo-Zarazoga was arrested for his alleged part in the shooting near 4985 S. Stockton Ave. around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The child was in the middle back seat of a parked SUV when he was shot, according to police. He was hit in the head and eventually taken by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in critical condition.

"We're very hopeful that the 9-year-old recovers," though he remained in critical condition Thursday, Unified police detective Ken Hansen said.

At least one other person is believed to be involved. Unified police have described him as young, Hispanic and wearing a Chicago Bulls hat and a lot of red clothing. His name is unknown.

Hansen didn't have details about whether or not investigators believe Bermejo-Zarazoga fired the shot that hit the boy. It also wasn't clear whether he was driving the vehicle, the detective said.

The shooting was not a drive-by because the car stopped and the shooter got out before opening fire, according to Hansen. The vehicle involved was later found in Salt Lake City.

Hansen said the target of the shooting was someone who lived at the home and that the incident is believed to be gang-related. The boy's parents were getting him and two other children into the SUV when shots were fired.

Bermejo-Zarazoga was arrested after Unified police worked overnight with Ogden police to track him down, Hansen said. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of three counts of aggravated assault, the detective said.

Court records show Bermejo-Zarazoga was charged Sept. 13 in 2nd District Court with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault in a home invasion in Ogden. He was scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing in that case Thursday.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Unified police at 801-742-7000.

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Ben Lockhart

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