WEST VALLEY CITY — A juvenile male was transported to the hospital in critical condition early Saturday morning after police say he was shot outside a West Valley City house party in what may have been a gang-related incident.

The shooting occurred just after 1:30 a.m. near 3800 South and Hawkeye Drive, according to West Valley Police Lt. Bill Merritt. He said dispatchers received about 10 different calls about the shooting and that some officers at a nearby car accident heard the shots as well.

When police arrived on scene, Merritt said, they “found a trail of spent shell casings that went down Hawkeye Drive for about the length of a full city block.”

“So we had quite the crime scene down Hawkeye Drive,” he said.

Police learned that a home in a cul-de-sac off Hawkeye had hosted a large party in its backyard that night. “There were some unwanted guests who showed up,” Merritt said, “and were turned away from the party.”

As the group walked out of the cul-de-sac and back onto Hawkeye, they “got into an altercation” with a juvenile male. Merritt said police aren’t exactly sure what the altercation was about. “But the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the victim as the victim sat inside of a vehicle,” he said.

The juvenile who was shot was transported by friends to the Jordan Valley West hospital, and later transported to Intermountain Medical Center. He is in critical condition, Merritt said, but has stabilized and doctors are now “confident” that he will survive.

Merritt said police believe they have a suspect identified; if they’re right about his identity, the shooter was also a juvenile male.

Merritt asked anyone with information on the shooting to contact West Valley police at 801-840-4000. He said some neighbors have already provided surveillance camera footage to the department, which has been “very helpful.”

Graham Dudley

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