ACLU attorney charged after firing shots at car with ex-wife, kids inside

Dec 22, 2020, 5:28 PM
aclu attorney utah charged in 3rd district court...
The 3rd District Court is pictured in West Jordan on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Photo: Yukai Peng, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A brand-new attorney hired by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU) was charged Tuesday on accusations of shooting at a car his ex-wife was driving with his children inside.

Aaron Kinikini was arrested Friday — just one day after the ACLU announced it had hired him as an attorney. 

Former ACLU attorney charged with domestic violence

Kinikini was charged in 3rd District Court with three counts of domestic violence in the presence of children and two counts of discharge of a firearm and aggravated kidnapping.

ACLU issued a short response Tuesday, simply stating: “Aaron Kinikini is no longer employed by the ACLU of Utah.”

The charges come four days after Salt Lake City Police responded to a domestic violence call outside Kinikini’s home. According to charging documents, Kinikini’s ex-wife arrived at his home Friday to pick up his three children. 

However, Kinikini did not want his ex-wife to take them, the charges state. Shortly after, a nearby officer reported he heard shots fired.

A tense scene

As the ex-wife attempted to drive away, the charges allege Kinikini blocked the driveway prohibiting her from leaving. According to documents, his ex-wife was able to back up just enough to turn her car around and drive away. 

“She stated that (Kinikini) then pulled a gun out of a holster under his shirt and pointed it at the car and fired a round into the front tire,” the charges state. “She kept driving and he fired another round into the back tire.” 

The ex-wife reportedly kept trying to drive away, but her tires were flat — forcing her to pull over. 

After police arrived on-scene, they say he admitted to blocking the car for roughly five minutes when he  “pretended to be hurt by saying that she ran over his foot,” according to the charges. He also admitted to officers he “knew it was a mistake.” 

Today’s Top Stories


The Salt Lake City Police Department announced its response times for the month of November improve...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City Police announce response times for November

The Salt Lake City Police Department announced its response times for the month of November improved by 12 minutes and 15 seconds compared to November 2021. 
1 day ago
Photo of a SLCPD cruiser...
Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD arrest suspect following “highly coordinated” pursuit

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Following a highly coordinated and long search, the Salt Lake City Police Department safely arrested a 22-year-old suspect. According to a press release, Bhode Smith was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of Failure to Respond to an Officer’s Signal to Stop, Failure to Stop at […]
3 days ago
Image of the crash that killed two people in West Valley City on 12/3/22 (Photo courtesy of Doris S...
Chandler Holt

2 dead after crash into parked box truck

Two people died following a crash into a parked box truck in West Valley City on Saturday. 
3 days ago
Flowers and stuffed animals are lined up outside a sign along Pullman Road in Moscow, Idaho, to pay...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Eric Levenson, CNN

‘Sketched out’ University of Idaho students return to campus from break with still no arrest in quadruple killings

More than two weeks since the deaths of 4 students near University of Idaho. With no suspect or arrest, "people are kind of sketched out" as they return from Thanksgiving break
3 days ago
false lockdown...
Devin Oldroyd

Lehi building placed on false lockdown after report of unconcealed gun

A Lehi building was placed on a false lockdown following a report of a man with an unconcealed firearm. There was determined to be no threat at the scene.
4 days ago
Holiday Police Pay-it-Forward event....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake City Police Department hosts holiday Pay-it-Forward event

Salt Lake City Police Department along with SLC School District paired 50 children with a police officer for a holiday shopping experience.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
ACLU attorney charged after firing shots at car with ex-wife, kids inside