ST. GEORGE, Utah, May 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — An 18-year-old man is facing five felony charges after police say he shot a friend while they were fighting at a park in St. George.
Ryan Allen Pringle faces charges of:
- Felony discharge of a firearm, a first-degree felony
- Aggravated assault, a second-degree felony
- Three counts of felony discharge of a firearm classified as a third-degree felony
A probable cause statement filed in Pringle’s case says officers with the St. George Police Department reported to Mathis Park on May 16 after being alerted to a possible weapons offense.
“When the officers arrived on scene they met with witnesses and learned that there were several people in the park that appeared to have been fighting,” the statement says. “The witnesses heard several gunshots come from the direction of where the people were fighting, and they all fled the area before officers arrived.
“Officers canvassed the area and discovered the area inside the park where the shooting took place. This was based on spent bullet casings and bloodstain evidence located in the park.”
Investigating officers were then contacted by a duty officer, who said a vehicle had pulled into the emergency room driveway.
“The vehicle had three young adult males inside who were assisting a fourth into the ER. This fourth male had a gunshot wound to the small of his back,” the statement says.
The shooting victim was in a lot of pain, and said he wanted to talk to investigators once he felt better. The young man’s father spoke to his son with investigators present, the statement says. The victim told his father he was shot by “Ryan.”
A family member told officers her brother used to hang out with Ryan Pringle, but said her brother had “learned that Ryan Pringle was involved with using and dealing drugs, so he cut ties with Ryan which resulted in some animosity between them,” the police statement says.
A witness who helped transport the shooting victim to the hospital told detectives the victim was going to fight someone at the park, and the witness went as “backup.” He told officers there were 10 people at the fight, the statement says.
“There was arguing going on and then the fighting started. (The witness) stated that the (suspect) stepped back and fired several gunshots.”
The witness saw the victim, his friend, fall to the ground, and helped him into the van to drive him to the emergency room, the statement says.
Two other witnesses also confirmed that the victim “had a verbal altercation which then turned physical with a male. The witnesses indicated that at one point a male pulled out a gun and began to fire it at (the victim) and them as they immediately began to flee. (The victim) was struck by a bullet which caused him to fall to the ground. The witnesses all indicated that as they were fleeing, they also perceived that they were being shot at as they had heard multiple gunshots.”
Doctors confirmed the victim’s liver and intestines had been penetrated by bullets. The victim also confirmed the name of the shooter, saying he had known Ryan for a couple years.
Pringle was taken into custody three days later after a traffic stop.
“He acknowledged all of the details surrounding how he and his friends met up with (the victim) at the park. He said they had been arguing and at one point he had a physical altercation with (the victim), who he accused of having stabbed him in his arm and bit him.
“Ryan acknowledged that one of the males who was with him at that time was the person who had pulled out a handgun and fired several shots. Ryan said he and his friends had fled from the park at that point.”
The officer’s statement says Pringle gave “numerous conflicting statements and we confronted him about his several lies and inconsistencies. Ryan denied he had the gun or had shot but acknowledged to us how it looked in that he had not contacted the authorities in the last several days to report this or to seek his own medical treatment. Ryan was not able to provide any direct or actual contact information for who he claimed was the person who shot.”
Pringle was transported to the hospital for medical treatment. He has been in custody since May 20.