Suspect charged with attempted murder in Sandy drive-by shooting that wounded 2 juveniles

Suspect Tyson Conner Rocco (inset) has been arrested a drive-by shooting that sent two juveniles to Primary Children's Hospital on Friday, April 16, 2021. Photos: Salt Lake County; Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SANDY, Utah, April 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have made an arrest in the case of the drive-by shooting of two boys in Sandy.

Investigators say the boys, ages 12 and 14, were walking on a sidewalk near a TRAX line on Friday at approximately 5:05 p.m. when a car pulled up and one or more occupants fired on them. Both boys were hit in extremities, and are expected to survive.

Charged in the case is Tyson Conner Rocco, 18. He faces charges of:

  • Two counts of murder (likely to be amended to attempted murder), a first-degree felony
  • Three counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony
Tyson Conner Rocco. Photo: Salt Lake County

A probable cause statement says the boys were walking east on 8800 south from the TRAX station, and were at 202 East when a white vehicle pulled up and stopped next to them.

Two juveniles were rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital after a shooting in Sandy on Friday, April 16, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

“The occupants of the vehicle asked where they were from,” the statement says. “At that point, (the boys) started running away from the vehicle. Occupants of the vehicle began shooting at them.”

The older boy was shot twice, in the left thigh and right ankle. The younger boy was shot once, in the right hand, the statement says.

The boys ran into a nearby daycare and called 911.

“Both were transported to Primary Children’s Medical┬áCenter for medical treatment,” the probable cause statement says. “There were no shell casings recovered from the scene.”

The boys told officers they had been going to the house of the older boy’s cousin, in the area of 500 East.

Two juveniles were rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital after a shooting in Sandy on Friday, April 16, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

“Just minutes before the shooting, Sandy Police received a call of a suspicious vehicle that was parked at 486 E. 8800 S. The vehicle was described as a cream colored Volkswagen Jetta with the Utah license plate of F793TV. The complainant on that call advised that three Caucasian males got out of that vehicle, one of which was a tall male who got out of the driver’s seat.

“The males were wearing gray and black hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up and had bandanas covering their faces. Two had black bandanas and one had a red bandana. The males walked past (the boy’s) cousin’s house and back to the vehicle, which then left, going westbound on 8800 South.”

A TRAX camera captured video of a light-colored or white Volkswagen Jetta speeding west past the station at a high rate of speed, which was around the same time the complainant described the suspicious vehicle leaving, the statement says.

Rocco is the registered owner of the vehicle, and is tall, at 6-feet 1-inch and 170 pounds, the probable cause notes. A person familiar with the family later confirmed to police that Rocco owns a black bandana like those worn by suspects in the video. His mother confirmed Rocco owns the vehicle, the statement says.

The next day, a person who knows Rocco told police Rocco was possibly involved in the case, the statement says. The person, whose name was not revealed, told police he talked to a family member of Rocco who had reportedly said “Tyson told them that he was in a lot of trouble and would be going to prison.,” the police statement says.

“When (the male who contacted police) talked to Tyson about it, he asked if Tyson was in trouble with “the ‘cops’ or someone else. Tyson replied, ‘Both.'”

The male said Rocco is the only person who drives the car in question, and added that the car was seen leaving Rocco’s residence at 4 p.m.

The probable cause statement included no information regarding a possible motive, or about any additional suspects.

Rocco was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Saturday, and is being held without bail.

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