A man was arrested Monday after ordering his 4-year-old son to shoot at Utah police officers in a McDonald’s drive-thru during an incident that began over an incorrect order, police said.
The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake said in a statement that officers were called to a McDonald’s in Midvale, a city in Salt Lake County, at around 1:30 p.m. following a report of a man brandishing a firearm at employees after receiving a wrong order.
Police said employees asked the man to pull over to the front of the store while they corrected the order. During this time, they also put in a call to police.
When officers arrived on the scene, they issued several verbal commands ordering the man to exit the vehicle, but he did not cooperate, police said.
Officers then opened the vehicle’s door and pulled the man from the car, they said.
While taking the father into custody, an officer turned back toward the vehicle and saw a gun pointing out from the rear window, the department said. After alerting other law enforcement, the officer swiped the gun to the side as a round was fired from the weapon.
According to police, the weapon was fired by a 4-year-old child sitting in the back seat of the car with a 3-year-old sibling.
During the course of the investigation, police said they learned that the father had instructed the child to fire at police. They said the man was still in custody as of Monday.
The officer received a minor injury to his arm, but no other injuries were reported.
In a statement on Monday, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said it was 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,” the sheriff said.
“This needs to stop and we need to come together as a community to find solutions to the challenges we face in our neighborhoods,” Rivera continued. “Officers are here to protect and serve and we are beyond belief that something like could happen.”
Police said an investigation into the incident was still underway.