Salt Lake City man allegedly accidentally shoots friend while playing with gun

Sergio Manuel Ventura. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An 18-year-old Salt Lake City man allegedly shot his friend accidentally while playing with a gun in a car Tuesday.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Sergio Manuel Ventura is facing charges of:

  • Discharge of a firearm, a second-degree felony
  • Purchase, transfer, possession, use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance; marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor

The arresting officer was dispatched to Primary Children’s Hospital on a report of a victim with a gunshot wound, the statement said.

“The 14-year-old victim stated he was driving around with his brother and a friend,” the statement said. “The victim said he was riding in the front passenger seat when he heard a loud bang and felt he had been shot. During this investigation it was determined that the gunshot came from the backseat, inside the car.”

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The suspect had been sitting in the rear seat, the statement said.

“The A/P (accused person) stated they had been driving around smoking a blunt,” the statement said. “The A/P said he was messing with the gun in the back seat when it went off.”

The bullet went through the seat and struck the victim in the lower back, the statement said.

The vehicle was later searched. Inside the vehicle was an “obvious bullet hole in the seat” along with bullets and marijuana, the statement said. The firearm was located in a storm drain a short distance away.

Ventura was transported to the Salt Lake County Jail with his bail set at $10,000.

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