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Kearns man charged with shooting teen passenger while playing with gun

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Mar. 2, 2020 at 6:17 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Criminal charges were filed Friday against a man accused of accidentally shooting a 14-year-old boy in the lower back while driving with a group of people in a car.

Sergio Manuel Manuel-Ventura, 18, of Kearns, is charged in 3rd District Court with illegal discharge of a firearm causing injury, a second-degree felony, and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

On Feb. 4, Salt Lake police were called to Primary Children’s Hospital on a report of a teenager who had been shot.

The investigation led detectives to Manuel-Ventura, who said the group was “driving around smoking a blunt when he heard a pop” and he realized the boy sitting in front of him had been shot, according to charging documents.

He later admitted he was “playing with a handgun and pulled the trigger” and afterward threw the gun down a storm drain, the charges state. Police say Manuel-Ventura later showed them where the gun was discarded.

The teen’s injuries were not life-threatening, police say.

Pat Reavy

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