Police: Father told 4-year-old to fire weapon in McDonald’s shooting

Feb 21, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2022, 3:00 pm
mcdonald's shooting...
A McDonald's was taped off after a shooting outside on Feb. 21, 2022. (Meghan Thackrey/KSL TV)
(Meghan Thackrey/KSL TV)

MIDVALE, Utah — Police say a father facing arrest told his 4-year-old child to fire a weapon in a shooting at a McDonald’s in Midvale. 

Drive-thru mistake leads to McDonald’s shooting

Police say it began with an order at the drive-thru. 

“The order wasn’t correct so the driver of that vehicle was upset,” Unified Police Department Sheriff Rosie Rivera said. 

At some point, restaurant workers said the driver brandished a weapon, so they called police for help. 

When they responded, they arrested the man, but a child inside the car fired a weapon belonging to the driver. Officers did not see the two children in the backseat. Rivera said clutter and clothing obscured the children from view. 

“You know, this is a sad day for us because the person who pulled that trigger was 4-years-old,” Rivera said, visibly upset. “Just think. The gravity of that. A 4-year-old was told, we believe by the father, to pull the trigger and shoot a police officer.” 

Police: Father told child to open fire

Rivera told reporters police believe the man they arrested instructed his 4-year-old to shoot his gun.  

According to Rivera, the officer saw the weapon and was able to deflect it, resulting in a minor injury to the officer and damage to the McDonald’s awning, but no other injuries or damage from the shooting.  

Rivera believes the officer’s actions saved lives. 

“I’m just so grateful that his actions were so quick, that he reacted in that fashion,” Rivera said. 

Police did not immediately name the suspect. They continue to investigate and referred the case to Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services to make sure the children remain safe. 

On Monday evening, Unified Police identified the man as 27-year-old Sadaat Johnson of Salt Lake City. He was booked on suspicion of felony child abuse and threatening the use of a dangerous weapon. Police also say both children in the car, including the one with the gun, are in DCFS custody.

This story will be updated.

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Police: Father told 4-year-old to fire weapon in McDonald’s shooting