SALT LAKE CITY — A 15-year-old boy was shot Sunday night during what Salt Lake police believe was an illegal street race.
It’s the second such incident in two weeks, according to police, who say they are now working on a strategy to deal with future races that have also turned into high-stakes gambling opportunities and are attracting people with gang ties.
Just after 10 p.m. Sunday, a 15-year-old was shot near 3150 W. 900 South, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Keith Horrocks. However 911 was not called. The boy “self-transported,” either by driving himself or being dropped off by friends, to a local hospital, Horrocks said. He was in critical condition when he arrived and was transferred to another hospital where at last word he was “stable,” according to Horrocks.
Investigators believe the boy may have been attending an illegal street race. Horrocks said it's a similar scenario to what happened a week ago. On Aug. 2, two people were shot near 3455 W. Ninigret Drive. Both victims were “stable,” police stated. The shootings happened during another racing event.
Horrocks said investigators believe not only are drugs involved at the street racing, but betting has also become part of it. Detectives have received information that some people bet thousands of dollars on races, he said. Because of that, the street racing is attracting hundreds of people, some with gang ties, Horrocks said.
The races typically happen in the industrial section on Salt Lake’s west side, and sometimes in West Valley City, he said.
But as was the case with the Aug. 2 shooting, Horrocks said no one who was present during Sunday’s incident is cooperating with police.
Horrocks said the police department is now working on a game plan to deal with the street racing. One of the issues the department has to overcome is that the motor officers who would typically be patrolling and investigating the racing cases are being used to protect protesters in Salt Lake City from being injured by other vehicles as they march in the street, he said.
Police are now working on a plan to reallocate resources so both the protests and street racing can be covered, Horrocks said. Police hoped to have their plan finalized in a week.