A Hispanic male shooter was arrested on Thursday, December 29, in connection with allegedly committing a drive-by shooting of a 9-year-old Kearns, Utah, boy in the head. Utah police arrested Oscar Bermejo-Zaragoza, 19, suspected of discharging a firearm toward a vehicle and aggravated assault. CDA News, reported that the boy was in the backseat of a parked SUV with other children when a passenger in a black BMW sedan on a cross street fired a shot towards the SUV. None of the other children were injured.
The bullet fired from the BMW pierced the windshield, striking the 9-year-old boy in his head. The boy was flown 15 miles to a hospital in Salt Lake City, where emergency surgery was performed. He is currently listed in critical condition.
Two suspects who were reportedly in the BMW, described as being Hispanic, in their late teens, and wearing Chicago Bulls hats, were wanted by the police in Utah. The police believed that the shooting might be gang-related. The BMW was later discovered on Wednesday, abandoned in Salt Lake City. As of last night, no arrests had been made.
WHIO reported that Utah police have arrested one of the two male Hispanic suspects in the drive-by shooting, Oscar Bermejo-Zaragoza, 19. The news came by way of a tweet on Thursday from the official account of the Unified Police. According to U.S. News & World Report, police did not reveal further details, though records from the Salt Lake City jail indicates on Thursday afternoon, Bermejo-Zaragoza was being held on suspicion of discharging a firearm and aggravated assault.
Court records show that the suspect also faces previous charges of assault, robbery, and aggravated burglary, stemming from an alleged Ogden, Utah home invasion that he was a part of in September. James Reallick, his attorney in that case, has not returned calls or messages from WHIO yet. It is unknown if he will represent Bermejo-Zaragoza in connection with the latest charges against him.
Bermejo-Zaragoza was not still in jail from the previous arrest because he was released on a $50,000 bond. He has not entered a plea in the case. On Thursday morning, Bermejo-Zaragoza was expected to make an appearance at a hearing on the charges from September. It is not clear if the suspect appeared at the court hearing before he was arrested later in the day.
While 19-year-old Oscar Bermejo-Zaragoza, was arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting that resulted in a boy getting struck in the head with a bullet, one other Hispanic suspect remains at large. Unified Police Detective Ken Hansen said it may not be until this weekend that doctors will know if the boy will recover. Hansen said that if the Utah drive-by shooting was gang-related, it is possible that somebody else had been targeted, and the boy was accidentally the victim of gang warfare.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Weber County