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Son, 4, fired a gun at cops from the backseat of a car on the instruction of his father


Utah father told son, FOUR, to fire a gun at cops after he was arrested for brandishing firearm at McDonald’s employees who had given him wrong order, cops say

  • Sadaat Johnson, 27, allegedly instructed his four-year-old boy to fire a gun at police officers who were arresting him on February 21
  • Johnson had brandished gun at staff at McDonald’ in Midvale, Salt Lake City
  • Police were removing him from the car when they saw a gun pointed at them  
  • An officer was able to swipe the gun to the side as the child opened fire at them
  • Johnson was inside the car with his son and three-year-old daughter, who were both taken into custody by state social workers 


A four-year-old boy fired a gun at police officers on the instruction of his father following a dispute over his order at a McDonald’s drive-through. 

Officers were called to the scene after Sadaat Johnson, 27 brandished a gun at the pick-up window of the fast food chain in Midvale, Salt Lake City, at around 1.30pm on February 21 and demanded that his order be corrected.

Johnson, of Salt Lake City, was asked to pull into a waiting area while staff corrected his order but he refused to co-operate.

He was issued ‘several verbal commands’ to exit the car before he was forcibly removed from the vehicle by officers as his son and three-year-old daughter sat in the back. 

The four-year-old boy fired a gun at police officers after his father brandished a gun at the pick-up window of the fast food chain in Midvale, Salt Lake City, on February 21. Pictured: GV of the McDonald’s in Midvale

As officers were taking the man into custody, one looked back and saw a gun, which was being held by the man’s four-year-old son in the backseat, pointed at the police from the rear window.

The police officer was able to swipe the gun to the side as the child opened fire and directed the bullet away.

He then shouted ‘kid’ to other officers after seeing how young the shooter was.

A witness observed the father tell the four-year-old, who was in the backseat with a three-year-old sibling, to shoot the gun, Sergeant Melody Cutler, a spokesperson for the Unified Police Department, said. 

Today Salt Lake County sheriff Rosie Rivera said the ‘campaign against police officers needed to stop’ before going on to say she had ‘never seen anything like this in her 28 years.’

She told reporters: ‘This campaign against police officers just needs to stop. We’re here to protect and serve, and this is getting out of hand.

Rivera also praised the officer who noticed the armed toddler and his handling of the situation. 

‘He’s a hero in my mind, River told KUTV. ‘He saved a life today.’  

The Unified Police Department said it was a 'sad day for law enforcement and our community' to have an adult encourage a four-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police. Pictured: Unified Police Department

The Unified Police Department said it was a ‘sad day for law enforcement and our community’ to have an adult encourage a four-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police. Pictured: Unified Police Department

‘This is a child who thought it was okay to pull a firearm and shoot that firearm at police,’ she added. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 28 years.’

In a statement the Unified Police Department said: ‘This is a sad day for law enforcement and our community. 

‘To have an adult think it is okay to encourage a four-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten.

‘This needs to stop and we need to come together as a community to find the solutions to the challenges we face in our neighborhoods. 

‘Officers are here to protect and serve and we are beyond belief that something like [that] could happen.’

After the shooting, police said Utah state social workers took custody of the children. 

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