A 4-year-old child fired a gun after his father ordered him to during a contentious arrest at a fast food restaurant in Utah, authorities say.
The disturbing incident unfolded at around 1:30 p.m. on Monday in Midvale, a city in Salt Lake County.
Unified Police Department officers were called to a McDonald’s after employees say a man became aggressive and pulled a firearm at the drive-thru when his order was mishandled, KUTV reports.
“Knowing that he might be armed, they pulled him out of the vehicle as quickly as they could,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, noting that the suspect was non-compliant.
While officers were apprehending the suspect, who was later identified as 27-year-old Sadaat Johnson, he reportedly told a child in the backseat of the vehicle to shoot at police.
“One of the officers noticed a firearm coming out of the vehicle, and he was able to deflect it, but the firearm did go off and went into the awning here at the McDonald’s,” Sheriff Rivera explained. “The person that pulled that trigger was 4 years old.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 28 years in law enforcement.”
The child’s 3-year-old sibling was also in the rear of the vehicle.
“This is a sad day for law enforcement and our community,” Rivera said. “To have an adult think it is okay to encourage a 4-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten.”
Johnson now faces charges of felony child abuse and threatening the use of a dangerous weapon.
His children have reportedly been placed in the care of family and the Division of Child and Family Services has launched an investigation.
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