ST. GEORGE – A man shot in Desert Springs, Arizona, en route to St. George Wednesday has been identified as Codi Jaye Norton, 21, of St. George. Norton and his girlfriend told law enforcement officers they had hitched a ride from Las Vegas to St. George when they stopped in Desert Springs, Arizona, where they were approached by a man who demanded money from them and then shot at them.
Without making a police report of the incident or seeking medical help at the scene of the shooting, Norton and his girlfriend called for a ride from a relative who reportedly picked them up in a white Chevrolet Silverado and proceeded to St. George.
Norton apparently did not want law enforcement called after being shot because he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Patricia Carter said. The warrant, issued by Utah’s 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall on May 23, charged Norton with possession or use of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, a second-degree felony, and for the possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug free zone, a class-A misdemeanor.
Norton suffered a gunshot wound to his hip that was not life-threatening. He and his girlfriend were both later transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. The girlfriend was treated for an unrelated injury.
Norton was arrested by Utah Highway Patrol Wednesday and booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility after he was treated and released at Dixie Regional Medical Center, Carter said. According to booking information, he is being held without bail.
Norton and his girlfriend had hitched a ride from a man driving a black Charger Wednesday, looking to get from Las Vegas to St. George. They told officers they stopped in Desert Springs, Arizona, where they were approached by a man with a white car who had a black handgun and demanded their money. They said they handed the man about $200 and he then fired the gun at them and left.
The driver who had given the couple the ride left them when shots were fired, they told officers.
The couple then borrowed a phone from a woman in the area and called a relative in St. George to come pick them up in Desert Springs. The woman who loaned them the phone told Mohave County Sheriff’s Office that a man came and picked the couple up and the three left. She described the vehicle they left in as a white Chevrolet Silverado and said she believed that a man had been shot.
The Sheriff’s Office issued an attempt to locate alert on the Silverado which was then spotted by Utah Highway Patrol. UHP pulled the Silverado with its three occupants over on Brigham Road off I-15 at Utah’s Exit 4, at which point they confirmed Norton had been shot.
“We looked for a crime scene where the individuals indicated that it occurred and we didn’t find any evidence of a crime scene,” Arizona Highway Patrol Sgt. John T. Bottoms said. “(The couple) claimed that they did not know who the shooter was but the circumstances that surrounded everything were really suspicious. They claimed that it was underneath an overpass in Desert Springs and we didn’t see any evidence of that – no blood, no bullet casings, no other physical evidence.”
The alleged shooter was described as being a white male, approximately 30 years old, short, extremely skinny with a sunken-in face and long, blond hair. According to the couple, the shooter was last seen traveling southbound on I-15 at Desert Springs, Arizona, Carter said.
This incident remains under investigation.
Anyone with information that may relate to these incidents is asked to call the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 800-522-4312 or Silent Witness at 928-753-1234.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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