Rise in shootings in Sandy, police working with community to address issue

Local News

SANDY, Utah (ABC4) — Wednesday’s shooting in Sandy is just one of four in the last three months. Sandy police said shootings are on the rise but are not sure why.

Sgt. Clay Swensen with Sandy PD said they are stepping up their involvement in the community. He said it’s about having proactive policing and face-to-face conversations with the residents in Sandy.

The typically quiet community has been hit with more shootings this summer than in year’s past.

Historic Sandy has been one of the hot spots for crime and even more so for shootings. The last 4 shootings happened in that area.

Swensen said Sandy is well protected.

“Sandy is a really safe city but we noticed an uptick obviously in shooting, particularly in the last few months,” said Swensen.

In the last few months, a mother of 4, 53-year old Masako Kenley was shot dead, two teenagers and a 20-year-old a part of a drive-by shooting were shot, another teen was shot in a drive by in August and on Wednesday a police officer and suspect were shot.

Before these shootings, Sandy PD only had two from January to the beginning of July.

“These are not necessarily crimes we can predict or deter and we deal with these problems as they come to us,” said Swensen.

Swensen said the department is working on having proactive policing and keeping their staffing numbers high.

Swensen added involving the community and being more transparent is a big goal so they have hosted a few community meetings this summer.

He confirmed the trend there is a certain age group they need to be worried about as they have been involved in a majority of shootings this year and the last few months.

“From what we have seen these are younger kids possibly involved in gang activity and that is what we are looking at,” said Swensen. “That is the focus of our attention is to try to solve that problem. We believe that is where most of this is coming from.” 

Swensen added they typically see an uptick of violent crimes like shootings in the summer but said this is unusual for Sandy as it is usually a peaceful community. 

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