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Price man accused of shooting bystander during fight, charges state

Price Police Department vehicle is pictured in Price on Oct. 6, 2021. A Price man was charged Wednesday with shooting another man, narrowly missing his head, while claiming he actually intended to shoot a third person, according to charging documents.

Price Police Department vehicle is pictured in Price on Oct. 6, 2021. A Price man was charged Wednesday with shooting another man, narrowly missing his head, while claiming he actually intended to shoot a third person, according to charging documents. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PRICE — A Price man accused of shooting at another man and hitting a second man who was an innocent bystander — putting a hole in his ear and narrowly missing his head — has been criminally charged.

Colton Jack Clarke, 21, was charged Wednesday in 7th District Court with illegal discharge of a firearm, a first-degree felony; aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, a second-degree felony; possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

On Saturday, Price police responded to a report of a shooting near 600 East and 500 South. When officers arrived, Clarke began to approach them with his hands in the air, according to a police booking affidavit.

"I'm the one that popped the shot," he told the officer, the affidavit states.

Multiple people then began walking outside from the basement of the residence, including a man who had blood on his left ear and the side of his neck, police noted.

"It was discovered that (the victim) was struck one time on his left ear, narrowly missing his head. I looked at the wound and observed a hole near the middle of his ear that was still bleeding," according to the affidavit.

The victim told detectives that Clarke and another man had gotten into a fight inside the residence and that the victim tried to keep them separated. When all the parties went outside, Clarke attempted to shoot the man he had a disagreement with, who was standing at the other end of the driveway, the affidavit states.

"(The victim) stated that Colton was attempting to shoot (the other man) and had missed and shot him instead. (He) told me that he had tried to get out of the way just before the shot was taken by Colton," according to the affidavit.

Clarke, who told officers he had four beers and three shots, claimed that he believed he was about to be jumped and he shot his gun in self-defense but did not intend to injure the man who was hit, the affidavit states. Police, however, determined that as Clarke was getting into a car to leave, he "had ample time to get into a vehicle and leave the situation instead of drawing his firearm and shooting."

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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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