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Teen girl shot after confronting man about broken bike, police say

A 13-year-old girl was shot by a man with a BB gun after confronting him about breaking her friend's bike, according to police.

A 13-year-old girl was shot by a man with a BB gun after confronting him about breaking her friend's bike, according to police. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

LEHI — A 13-year-old girl was shot by a man with a BB gun after confronting him about breaking her friend's bike, according to police.

James Matthew Paul Davis, 50, was charged Tuesday in 4th District Court with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony. Court documents also indicate that the gun had been altered to look like a real handgun.

On March 31, a boy told the 13-year-old girl that a man had broken his bike. Other children pointed to the apartment where the man, Davis, lived and the girl went there to talk to him about her friend's bicycle, according to charging documents.

A woman answered the door and stated she did not believe her boyfriend would do such a thing. Moments later, however, "Davis came to the door holding what looked like a gun, pointed it at (the girl) and stated, 'I'm gonna shoot you,'" according to the charges. "(The girl) began to run down the hall in a zig-zag motion to avoid being hit and heard two shots as she ran, but stated they did not sound like gunshots. When (she) got home she felt pain in the back of her leg and noticed a small, circular contusion consistent with having been hit by a BB."

Police were called and found the girl crying. When officers questioned Davis, he denied shooting the girl and said he had been watching TV all day, the charges state. He further said he was on probation and not allowed to possess a weapon. The girlfriend also denied having a weapon in the apartment.

Police then obtained a search warrant for the apartment, at which time the woman changed her story and said there was a BB gun in the residence, the charges state. She led officers to a closet where they "located a black BB gun that appeared to be a real gun."

"The tip of the muzzle had been melted to reveal a silver tip and the area around the muzzle appeared to be gray," according to the charges.

Davis was convicted in February of being a restricted person in possession of a gun and DUI and was sentenced to two days in jail, 30-days home confinement and placed on three years probation, according to court records.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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