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A Utah man is in jail after allegedly opening fire on a family who had helped him dislodge his truck from mud.
A family in unincorporated Duchesne County told police that on July 28 at around 9 p.m., they saw a truck pull into their driveway and get stuck in the mud, according to a police report reviewed by KUTV. The situation prompted a male family member to go outside and assist the man, who was later identified by authorities as Eric Delynn Burns, 31.
“The individual identified himself to [victim] as Eric, and asked if he could pay him for the help. [Victim] declined Eric’s offer, and drove back to his property,” a report filed by the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office reads, according to KUTV.
The male family member returned to his home, but soon saw a flashlight on the property, according to the report. The unidentified man then went outside to investigate and heard a man calling his name. Burns then made himself known to the victim.
The man returned to his home and later told police he had an uneasy feeling about the situation and believed Burns had a weapon.
“That’s when they heard four shots in their general direction. [Victim] stated he and [another victim] gathered their wives and small children and retreated inside their travel trailers. [Victim] stated he heard another shot as they were running to the trailers. [Victims] had their families lay on the floor for cover, one child asked if they were going to die,” the sheriff’s report states.
A member of the family told investigators they thought the suspect was “going to kill us all.”
Deputies responded to the area and reported a gunshot was fired over one of their vehicles as they pulled up to the scene. The found Burns’ abandoned vehicle and several guns, including a stolen rifle, upon a search of the area, KUTV reported.
Burns was ultimately arrested and booked on multiple counts of aggravated assault and felony discharge of a firearm. Deputies reported that they did not fire their service weapons during the incident.
Burns is being held without bail and was on probation at the time of the incident.
“[Burns] is a substantial risk to the general public and while on probation and parole caused an imminent threat to a family with children present,” the sheriff’s report states.