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SALT LAKE CITY — A 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder in juvenile court for allegedly shooting another juvenile during a low-level marijuana deal.
Now prosecutors are deciding whether to attempt to have the West Valley boy certified as an adult.
The incident happened June 5 in a church parking lot near 4400 South and 1500 East. The teen had arranged to meet others in the parking lot to buy marijuana, charges filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court state.
When the drug sellers arrived, the teen approached the car, pointed a gun at one of the occupants and then hit him in the face with the gun after that person said he didn't have any marijuana, the charges state.
The passenger who was being beaten told the driver to go. But as they drove away, the teen fired a shot, police say. The bullet went through the passenger's chest and into his hand.
The teen is a documented gang member, according to the charges. KSL has chosen not to name the boy at this time.
The Unified Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit went to the teen's West Valley house the next day to look for him but did not find him.
On June 13, an arrest warrant charging the teen with attempted murder and other crimes was issued.
On June 21, the U.S. Marshals Service located the 15-year-old at a relative's home in Blackfoot, Idaho. Family members told police they sent the boy to Idaho "because of the bad influence of the gang lifestyle he had been around in Utah," the warrant states. The boy's father is currently in the Idaho State Prison, according to police.
Based on the teen's prior criminal history, investigators say he may be a candidate for adult certification.
The teen was also charged with car theft in 2016 and burglary in 2015, according to juvenile court records.