South Salt Lake shop owner traumatized after recent shooting rampage, police chase

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — A business owner still has nightmares after getting caught in the crossfire of a shooting rampage along State Street last month.

The shooting destroyed his shop, Princess Alterations and Leatherwork at 3339 S. State. And he is a "changed man," according to his wife.

Thaer Hassan Mahdi no longer even wants to step inside the shop because of his memories of almost getting killed from the hail of bullets that flew through his windows and walls.

The building will soon be repaired after the destruction, but the family hasn't decided if they want to reopen their business there.

Mahdi was in the back area when suddenly a pickup truck smashed through the window on April 8.

Police had been chasing the driver, Harold Vincent Robinson, 37, of West Valley City, during the rampage through Salt Lake City streets. After Robinson crashed his truck into the business, gunfire erupted — sending bullets everywhere.

Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene and 15 officers remain on administrative leave while the investigation into the incident continues.

One bullet hit an area Mahdi had just walked away from seconds before the crash. "If he was here, (the bullets) coming here (would) kill him," said Mahdi's wife Saadiyah Hassan, as she pointed to a bullet hole in the wall and showed where her husband was standing.

As a result of that trauma, her husband isn't the same, Hassan said.

"He’s sad all the time. He’s not like before. He was funny guy (who liked) to joke. He's just sad," Hassan explained. "I don’t know what happened to him."

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Hassan spoke with KSL at the family's business as she met with the owner of the building and the contractors who will repair it.

The owner of the building said he’s looking forward to the repairs.

"I never imagined what happened to my place," said Chao Zheng, the landlord. He said he is "ready to fix (the) door, window, stucco and also inside. Everything is going to be new."

Contractors said repairs will take two months before the building looks new again. The damage is estimated at $40,000.

Hassan said the family is still trying to decide if they want to move back in when the work is done or reopen in a new location.

However, "If I move now, I maybe lose my customers. I don’t want to lose my customers," Hassan said.


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Dan Rascon


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