SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A man has been arrested after he allegedly nearly shot an eight-year-old boy while practicing dry firing a handgun. 

According to the Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD), the investigation for this case began at 1:30 p.m. on June 28 when officers received a report from someone explaining that a bullet came through their living room wall at 30 North Orange Street. 

Police said that the suspect, later identified as Chase Wright, 26, initially told officers that someone broke into his apartment, took his gun, and fired it at the wall. As the investigation continued, Wright allegedly told officers that he accidentally fired his gun inside his apartment, telling officers he believed the gun was unloaded and was practicing “dry firing.” 

The SLCPD defines dry firing as “when the trigger of a gun is pulled when there is no ammunition in the firearm’s chamber.” 

Once the gun was fired, the bullet traveled through a wall into the neighboring apartment, nearly hitting an eight-year-old boy who was sitting on the couch before passing through a second wall into a bedroom. 

According to law enforcement, the boy’s father found the bullet on a bed inside the apartment. 

Though the bullet damaged a mirror in the neighboring apartment, no one was injured. 

Officers placed Wright under arrest and transported him to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail. At this time, detectives are working alongside prosecutors to determine the appropriate charges in this case. 

Following this event, the SLCPD reminds community members to take the following precautions when handling firearms:

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Always assume that a gun is loaded, even if you believe the gun is unloaded.
  • Keep guns pointed in the safest possible direction when handling. Only point a gun at an object you intend to shoot. 
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Know your target, its surroundings and what’s behind your target. Understand that if a bullet misses or passes through the target, it could strike a person or object. 
  • Know how to safely operate your firearm.
  • Always safely store your firearm and prevent unauthorized use. Firearms should be locked and rendered safe using a trigger lock. Ammunition should be stored in a different location than the firearm.