Police: Man shoots at passing truck multiple times because ‘he feared for his safety’

Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle | St. George News

ST. GEORGE A Hurricane man was arrested New Year’s Day after shooting at a pickup truck multiple times because “he feared for his safety.”

Daniel Trent Patterson, of Hurricane, Utah, booking photo, Jan. 2, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Daniel Trent Patterson, 32, told Washington County Sheriff’s deputies that he shot at a pickup truck early Tuesday morning due to his fearing the occupant meant to cause harm, according to a probable cause statement.

The incident occurred in the Hurricane-Warner Valley area where Patterson kept a truck and motor home. Patterson told the deputies that a pickup had almost run into his vehicles as it passed by and disappeared for an hour before reappearing as it headed toward Patterson’s location.

“Daniel Patterson said he feared for his safety as well as his girlfriend’s,” a responding deputy wrote in the probable cause statement. “Daniel said the truck was heading in his direction and when it was about 150 feet away, he fired several warning shots.”

The truck turned away from Patterson, who fired several more shots and hit the back of the truck and kept firing as the truck passed by. He told the deputies he only meant to hit the body of the truck so its occupants would “know to leave him alone.” The deputy wrote the following:

According to Daniel, the truck stopped and there was movement (inside) and he thought they were possibly grabbing for a weapon so he fired again wanting to put as many rounds into the back of their truck in hopes that would scare them off and make them leave faster.

Patterson told the deputies he didn’t see how many people were in the truck, nor did he see any weapons.

Deputies located the truck and its four occupants, who said they had passed Patterson’s location while on the way to hunt rabbits in another part of the valley. The road to that part of the valley just happened to be behind Patterson’s RV.

After hunting for an hour, the group was heading back toward the area where Patterson was.

“They then saw (Patterson) get out of his truck and start shooting at them,” the deputy wrote.

Patterson kept firing as they tried to avoid him and ended up having to slow the truck down as the driver changed the truck from low to high gear. As the truck slowed, the group told deputies that Patterson stopped shooting, reloaded his gun and started shooting again.

The truck sped away and the group said Patterson chased after them until they got away, according to the probable cause statement.

Deputies found bullet holes in the driver’s side taillight of the truck, as well as in the driver’s side rear pillar. The shot taken by the pillar was “only inches away” from where one of the truck’s occupants had been sitting. The rear driver’s side tire was also flat from a possible shot, the deputy wrote.

After talking to the parties involved, collecting evidence and investigating the site of the shooting, the deputies determined that Patterson “was not in imminent danger and was not justified in using deadly force.”

Patterson was arrested and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility and has since been released on bail. He faces four third-degree felonies for aggravated assault.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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  • great success January 4, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Fully support 2nd amendment. Conceal carry myself. HOWEVER. Owning a firearm comes with tremendous responsibility. Hard to see why someone would fire unless threat truly is imminent. Once the bullet goes off, you are going to have to have answer for it. Always. And your story better be better than this guys. I’ve come across too many that have a glamorized concept of their guns and what they perceive to be their ‘rights’ with said weapons.

    • tazzman January 4, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      I agree. Too many shows glamorize shooting and treating guns like toys. They are deadly weapons.

  • Carpe Diem January 4, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Sounds like this guy is crazy and ought to be hazed the hell out of here. He bailed out, hope they took his guns. Sounds like he is one of these over-wintering campers who squat on public lands. WTH is up with that? I thought there were time limits on camping. Perhaps the BLM and local LEO need to pick up the pace and start documenting these people and kicking them off when they decide to just live out in the desert for 6 months or longer. Another bad spot is the Kolob road, along the river in the first few miles. There are permanent campers there, with walls being built and junked cars. This has grown into a LOT of people, perhaps it went viral online. Get the message out, it’s not cool.

  • Comment January 4, 2019 at 11:26 am


    a. this guy is a mental case


    b. there is more to this story

    • Carpe Diem January 4, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      KSL had a note on their article that the truck had to maneuver around his camper rig to get onto a side road. Sounds to me like he was squatting on the road and unhappy they went down it, they didn’t respect the fact HE PARKED ON TOP of the road to claim it as his own. Hope the felony sticks, he spends some time and loses his guns.

      Because, yes, he’s mental.

  • justsaying January 4, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Big dummy, only the police can use that excuse and get away with it after an internal investigation clears them of any wrong doing, duh?

  • tazzman January 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Whoah. I fully support the 2A but I don’t support someone with a gun being reckless and assaulting others. If this report is accurate, and I have no reason to think otherwise, he should suffer the legal consequences.

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