SOUTH JORDAN (ABC4 News) – A Friendsgiving dinner turned violent overnight Thursday after one of the guests pulled out a gun and shot three people.
South Jordan Police said the shooter is on the run and may be leaving the area. One of the victims is fighting for his life in the hospital while the other two are recovering from their injuries.
One of the witnesses spoke exclusively to ABC4 News on the phone and said everyone who was at the event is part of a close-knit group of friends. She said none of them could have predicted that the night would have ended this way.
“It’s just something we never saw coming. He [the shooter] was someone we called family, that we saw as a big enough part of our friend group that he was invited to our Friendsgiving,” she said. “Towards the end of the night, a couple of us were getting ready to leave, saying our goodbyes, and getting ready for bed. That’s when I heard the first gunshots go off.”
Officers said they responded to the call of shots fired around 2:30 a.m. near 4600 W. South Jordan Parkway.
“There was a dispute between our shooter and our main victim, who we’re hearing was shot between eight to 12 times. The other two victims were near the shooting and received collateral damage. We’re still trying to figure out what the dispute was over that led to the shooting,” said Lt. Matt Pennington with the South Jordan Police Department.
The witness said she doesn’t recall a dispute between anyone at the event, but said she remembers the shooter exhibiting irregular behavior. She said there was alcohol being served at the party, but was unsure if he had consumed any.
“He was acting a little weird when he got to the Friendsgiving, which kind of made a couple of our friends leave in the first place because they thought something was off. He’s never acted like that before,” she said.
Investigators said they’re looking into the possibility that the shooting was gang-related, but the witness said that’s not the case.
“That’s not accurate information. A lot of us have been friends for a really long time. None of us have any gang affiliation whatsoever and if any of us had past or prior gang affiliation on the record, that was something we were unaware of,” she said.
All the victims, who are male and in their mid-20s, are currently being treated for their injuries at the hospital with two waiting for surgery. The witness said the main victim is still in critical condition.
“He [the shooter] didn’t just shoot three people. He just traumatized a dozen of us for probably a really long time,” she said. “A lot of us don’t have family here, so we fall back on our group of friends. That’s why we’re so close. For a couple of them, this is the only Thanksgiving dinner that we’re going to get this year. The way this ended for us is going to affect Thanksgiving for the next couple of years.”
Police said they believe they know who the shooter is, but will not release his identity at this time. They said it’s possible that he may have left the area.
“The shooter isn’t expected to be in this area, but you never know. So until we find him, just be vigilant. Make sure if someone’s hiding in your yard or doesn’t seem like they should be there, let us know. Our shooter is an adult male, 26 years old, dark hair, some tattoo on his arms, but we’re not sure on a clothing description,” said Lt. Pennington.
“I hope he goes down for every single thing that happened. I hope he goes down for owning a firearm when he wasn’t supposed to. He just attempted murder on three of my friends, so I honestly hope he gets hit hard and I hope he pays for what he just did,” said the witness.
The investigation is on-going. Stay with ABC4 News for the latest information.
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