Boy, 9, shot in head in Utah drive-by shooting

Police confer with each other after a drive-by shooting in Kearns, Utah, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Utah police say a 9-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was shot in the head during the drive-by shooting. (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A 9-year-old Utah boy was hospitalized Wednesday evening after he was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting, police said.

Unified Police Detective Ken Hansen said police the boy was shot Wednesday afternoon while sitting with several other children in the backseat of a car in suburban Salt Lake City.

Hansen said the car was parked in front of a house in Kearns where the boy or family members lived, not far from an intersection. Someone in a black BMW sedan on a cross street fired at least one shot as the car passed. The bullet went through the SUV’s windshield, hitting the 9-year-old in the head. Hansen said at least two men were in the BMW.

The boy was airlifted in critical condition to a Salt Lake City hospital about 15 miles away, where he was expected to be in surgery until late Wednesday night, Hansen said.

Police believe the shooting may be gang-related and someone else was the target. Hansen did not have further details, including whether the target was someone related to the boy.

The BMW was found abandoned on a Salt Lake City street several hours after the shooting.

Police were interviewing witnesses and searching for suspects.

Hansen did not have details about the ages of the other children in the car with the boy. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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