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1 hospitalized, 1 arrested in Cedar City shooting

A man was arrested Wednesday in Cedar City and is accused of shooting another man near a motel.

A man was arrested Wednesday in Cedar City and is accused of shooting another man near a motel. (Shutterstock)



CEDAR CITY — One man was shot and another arrested in Cedar City Wednesday.

About 12:45 a.m., Cedar City police responded to a report of a shooting at 1620 W. 200 North and found a man who had been shot lying on a street corner near a Motel 6. According to a police booking affidavit, the victim had "a gunshot wound to the back and an exit wound in the abdomen."

The man, whose name and age have not yet been released, was eventually taken to St. George Regional Hospital. Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock said at last word, the man was expected to survive.

The victim's brother was the person who called 911 and identified Jaxton Saroff, 19, of Vernal, as the alleged shooter, the affidavit states. Police located Saroff at a different motel.

"Officers negotiated with Mr. Saroff on the phone and Mr. Saroff exited the motel room and surrendered peacefully. Officers obtained a search warrant for the motel room and located the firearm used, suspected marijuana wax, suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia," according to a statement from the police department.

As detectives began to sort out what had happened, they learned Saroff had previously threatened the victim and that the two were co-workers until Saroff was fired from his job, according to the affidavit.

"The victim and his brother were working on the Wal-Mart remodel and had worked with Saroff but Saroff had been terminated a month earlier," the affidavit states.

The victim's brother had arranged to meet up with Saroff that night, but the victim did not want his brother going alone because "Saroff had threatened to shoot him and his brother the week before," according to the affidavit.

Saroff got a ride to the designated meeting location. The driver of the car later claimed to police that when they arrived, the victim and the brother started hitting her car and Saroff and the brothers began swearing at each other, the affidavit states.

The victim, who was later interviewed by police, admitted to investigators that they had an argument with Saroff. But then he saw Saroff reaching toward his waistband.

"Knowing Saroff had a handgun and believing Saroff was reaching for his handgun, the victim said he punched Saroff to distract him and yelled at his brother to run. The victim said he turned to run and heard the gunshot and felt the impact in his back," according to the affidavit.

After the shooting, Saroff went back to the apartment where he was staying, but his friend told him he had to leave, the affidavit states.

"The friend said Saroff grabbed him by the throat and began to squeeze but quickly let go and then told the friend that he was going to drive Saroff to the America's Best Value Inn or Saroff was going to shoot the friend and then shoot himself," according to the affidavit.

Saroff claimed the shooting was in self-defense. Police, however, noted in the affidavit that, "Saroff has threatened the victim and the brother in the past and took action on those threats today. Saroff also threatened and assaulted others when they did not agree with him or did not do as he wanted.

"The manager of the Motel 6 stated Saroff has threatened several of Saroff's former coworkers and would cause problems with those that were staying at the Motel 6. Saroff had also threatened and harassed Motel 6 staff," the affidavit states.

Saroff was arrested for investigation of attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A motive for the shooting was not known Wednesday.

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