Police: Man shot in Hurricane altercation was 'primary aggressor' in domestic dispute

Police: Man shot in Hurricane altercation was 'primary aggressor' in domestic dispute

(Washington County Sheriff's Office)

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HURRICANE — Police arrested a man who they say was the “primary aggressor” in a shooting that took place April 27 in Washington County — even though he was the person who was shot.

Raul Rivera, 43, was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and booked into the Washington County Jail, according to a news release from the Hurricane Police Department.

He was charged in Fifth District Court in Washington County with two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of threatening violence, possession or use of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.

Rivera, of Dickinson, North Dakota, was shot in the abdomen near 3700 W. 165 North in Hurricane a week ago Saturday following a domestic dispute, according to police.

Rivera’s brother and brother-in-law came to that address to get a gas can so they could cut some concrete, according to an arrest report. Rivera was there when they arrived, and the pair parked directly behind his vehicle, the report states.

Rivera then got out of his vehicle and began making verbal threats to both of the other two men, according to the report. As he was standing by the vehicle, he said he had a handgun in the car and threatened to shoot the other two men, the report states.

Rivera’s brother-in-law saw Rivera reach into the car, grab something that was "black in color" and then start moving toward the other two men, according to the report.

The brother-in-law feared for Rivera’s brother’s life and his own, so he “pulled a revolver out of his pocket from his jeans and fired one round that struck (Rivera) in the lower abdomen,” the arrest report states.

Rivera then fell to the ground near the driver’s-side door of his car, according to the report. He was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George later that night, police said.

A child custody issue also played a factor in the altercation, Hurricane police officer Ken Thompson said Friday. He was not sure why Rivera was in Hurricane at the time of the shooting.

Investigators later executed a search warrant on Rivera’s car, in which they found some marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police spoke to all known witnesses of the altercation, including all those involved, according to the news release. The investigation is ongoing, and further charges are possible, Thompson said.

Rivera's initial court appearance is set for Monday.


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