Video shows Utah child, 4, shoot at police outside McDonald's drive-thru
Utah police have released body-camera footage showing a Feb. 12 incident in which a 4-year-old shot at police officers at a McDonald's drive-thru in Midvale.
Officers with the Unified Police Department were responding to reports that a male suspect allegedly brandished a firearm at McDonald's employees due to an incorrect order around 1:30 p.m. local time, and, once officers arrived and began to detain 27-year-old Sadaat Johnson, a child in the backseat of his vehicle fired a gun at the responders.
In the body-camera footage from the Unified Police Department released to FOX 13 Salt Lake City, officers can be heard telling two distraught children, ages 3 and 4, in the backseat of Johnson's vehicle, "It's okay," after one of the children fired a single shot.
Police initially detained Johnson after they asked him to exit his vehicle and he refused to cooperate, according to a press release from the police department. Footage shows officers forcibly removing the suspect from the driver's seat and handcuffing him on the ground.
During that time, an officer noticed a gun pointing from a rear window of Johnson's vehicle, at which point he alerted other officers to the gun and pushed it "to the side as a round was fired," the press release states. He also alerted other officers that it was a "kid" who fired the weapon.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the 27-year-old instructed his child to shoot at officers, police said.
Court records obtained by FOX 13 revealed that the child shot at officers because "he wanted his daddy back."
"To have an adult think it is okay to encourage a -year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten," Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a February statement after the incident. "This needs to stop and we need to come together as a community to find solutions to the challenges we face in our neighborhoods. Officers are here to protect and serve and we are beyond belief that something like [this] could happen."
Utah authorities charged Johnson with child abuse, aggravated assault and interference with an arresting officer after the incident, according to FOX 13.