Helper man facing attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting passing motorists

HELPER, Utah, Sept. 30, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Helper man is facing three charges of attempted murder, a second-degree felony, after he allegedly shot at passing motorists, including a family with a young child.

A probable cause statement from the 7th District Court of Price said Brandon Joseph Hugh Sanchez, 39, is also facing six charges of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; two charges of reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; interfering with an officer, a class B misdemeanor; and discharge of firearms, a class B misdemeanor.

The arresting officer wrote that on Wednesday, he was dispatched to a subject threatening State Route 6 motorists with a shotgun.

“I spoke with the victim witnesses who informed me the subject was pointing a shotgun from the window of his moving vehicle,” the statement said.

“One witness stated he observed the suspect rack the slide of the pump action shotgun. Another victim witness stated the suspect did the same thing to a work truck with four occupants. This vehicle continued without making a report.”

Two people that the weapon was pointed at and one who witnessed the incident gave a description of the suspect. They also stated that they first observed him driving in the median of SR-6, turning his vehicle around and chasing them down with the gun just east of Helper City limits, the statement said.

The suspect, later identified as Sanchez, continued to follow the witnesses until, approximately, the west Price exit, then the suspect turned his vehicle around on the highway, heading back toward Helper.

“There was an additional caller who was providing the whereabouts of the suspect, who entered Helper City limits,” the statement said. “During the search for the suspect, his neighbors called and advised the suspect arrived home, crashing into a flower planter.

“The vehicle the suspect was operating eventually lost the front right tire and was driven to his residence on the steel rim. He exited his vehicle with a shotgun and drove away in a Can-Am side-by-side ATV.”

While officers were responding to Helper, a 911 call was placed by subjects claiming to have been shot at on Kenilworth Road by a man in a side-by-side, the statement said. The caller said he was driving his truck down from the Kenilworth area with his wife and their 7-year-old son. He observed the side-by-side driving toward them in his lane.

The man was was forced to slam on his brakes and swerve to the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision, he told officers. He stated the driver of the side-by-side exited his vehicle with a shotgun and fired a shot in his direction. The driver stated he was watching this in his rear view mirror as he was speeding up to escape the man with the gun. The shot struck the rear of the pickup truck.

“The driver stated he heard the impact of the projectiles strike his vehicle,” the statement said. “He also stated he observed the suspect chamber another round and fire a second time. He believes he was far enough away at this time that the shot was unable to reach his truck.”

Officers responding to the area eventually located the suspect when he returned to his residence, still carrying the shotgun, the statement said. Officers were able to take the suspect into custody after negotiations. While officers were placing the suspect in handcuffs, he began to fight them, the statement said. The suspect was eventually cuffed and arrested.

A jail interview of the suspect “revealed statements sympathizing with mass shooters,” the statement said. “He also told me on scene that his is still going to kill someone. During the fingerprinting process he told the jailer that he (the suspect) was going to kill his attorney.”

Sanchez has access to multiple firearms and “has demonstrated a wanton disregard for the public with his indiscriminate actions,” the statement said. His bail has been set at $250,000.


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