4-year-old in drive-thru fires gun at police: ‘We were very fortunate,’ says sheriff

Feb 22, 2022, 4:45 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm
children at work Utah...
FILE: Photo credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A father in the McDonald’s drive-thru Monday in Midvale becomes enraged at workers who apparently got his order wrong. Sadaat Johnson, 27, allegedly flashes a gun at them. They call the police. While yanking dad out of the car to arrest him, a 4-year-old boy fires a handgun at officers from the backseat, but an observant cop — at the last second — swats the gun away. The round penetrates the restaurant awning but no one is killed.

Johnson was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of felony child abuse and threatening the use of a dangerous weapon. The 3- and 4-year-olds were placed in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services.

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

“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,” Unified Police Department Sheriff Rosie Rivera told KSL reporters Monday.

Split-second act saves lives

Rivera joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic of Dave & Dujanovic to talk about his scary, unbelievable, miraculous event.

“How fortunate that none of the officers or any of the customers or the workers at McDonald’s got shot,” Debbie said.

“Yeah, we were very fortunate yesterday. The officer did receive some burns from when that round went off. That’s how close he was to that firearm. . . . the officers recognized that it was a child in the car and didn’t shoot back,” Rivera said.

Rivera said the officer who deflected the firearm was a “split-second” away from assisting the cops on the ground arresting Johnson.

“I truly believe that firearm would have taken a life yesterday had the officer not been able to do that [swat the weapon] so quickly,” she said.

Father ‘taught’ son how to fire gun, says sheriff

Debbie pointed out that the father told police this was not the first time the child “had gotten a hold of” his handgun.

“What are your thoughts on that, Sheriff Rivera?”

“Oh, you know, just frustration. We have talked to our communities over and over on gun safety, especially with children. But what I can tell you is the fact that a 4-year-old boy knew how to pick up a firearm, shoot it and point it at people. This tells me that the father has taught him that because kids just don’t know those kinds of things unless they’re taught,” she said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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4-year-old in drive-thru fires gun at police: ‘We were very fortunate,’ says sheriff