Former Salt Lake City School Board member arrested for firing gun at driver who crashed into him

Jon Michael Clara. Photo: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 26, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A community activist and former Salt Lake City School Board member was arrested Saturday after he allegedly fired a handgun at another vehicle that had struck his car.

Jon Michael Clara, 55, was booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Salt Lake County’s 3rd District Court, Clara was driving north on 900 West from 200 South when his vehicle “was struck multiple times by another vehicle,” causing Clara’s car to get turned around.

The document, filed by a Salt Lake City Police officer, doesn’t indicate what type of vehicle hit Clara’s car, but it reportedly was a stolen snowplow.

According to the statement, Clara had a concealed weapon, got out of his vehicle, drew his firearm and fired multiple rounds toward the vehicle that hit him. That vehicle, which was several feet away, then left the scene.

One of the rounds that was fired hit a different vehicle that was in the area. The bullet pierced the back window and went out through the windshield, nearly hitting the driver and his young child inside the car.

According to Utah Criminal Code, “an individual who discharges a firearm is guilty of a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than three years nor more than five years if:

(a) the actor discharges a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals, knowing or having reason to believe that any individual may be endangered by the discharge of the firearm;

(b) the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another or with intent to damage a habitable structure as defined in Section 76-6-101, discharges a firearm in the direction of any individual or habitable structure; or

(c) the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another, discharges a firearm in the direction of any vehicle.

This section doesn’t apply, however, if the person “is in lawful defense of self or others.”


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