Stray bullet hits 9-year-old Mt. Pleasant boy on U.S. 89
By Robert Stevens
MT. PLEASANT—What would you do if you received a phone call saying your child had been shot?
Zak and Stevie Marsh of Mt. Pleasant received that exact call on Saturday, Nov. 23, telling them their 9-year old son had been hit by a stray bullet while riding in a car.
“At first I was in shock, and scared,” Zak said. “Then things sort of went on autopilot and we were immediately out the door and on our way.”
In fact, Ayden’s parents actually beat the ambulance to the hospital.
The frightening mishap started when Ayden was in the rear passenger seat of his grandfather’s car, driving between Mt. Pleasant and Fairview at approximately 1 p.m. Stevie says the grandfather heard glass breaking and then heard Ayden shout in pain.
The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is still in its early phases, but the bullet appears to have come from a family who were target shooting in the direction of the highway.
After pulling over to see what had happened, the grandfather called 911, and an ambulance came to the car and took Ayden to Sanpete Valley Hospital.
According to Stevie, the doctors at Sanpete Valley told her and her husband they could probably remove the bullet then and there, but to avoid any possibility of further damage to the gunshot area, they sent Ayden to Provo.
The stray bullet went through the windshield of the vehicle and struck Ayden in the upper-right shoulder, lodging near his collarbone in a mass of muscle.
The ambulance personnel let Stevie ride with her son to the hospital in Provo, and she says she is so proud of the way he handled himself with his injury.
“He was smiling most of the time and almost never complained about the pain,” she said. “He is so resilient and strong.”
In Provo, the bulk of the bullet was removed, but some fragments were allowed to remain in for now to avoid damaging the surrounding tissue.
The doctors and nurses reported Ayden to be in good sorts during his entire overnight stay. Stevie says the medical people told her and Zak that Ayden had been very polite. When asked if he minded a particular medical procedure, his answer was “I don’t mind if my mom is OK with it.”
The Marsh family left the hospital around 5 p.m. on Sunday after Ayden was discharged.
Resting safely at home, Ayden reflects back on the whole time with a favorite memory—how the hospital made him Mickey Mouse pancakes and let him play video games.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was executed at the suspected shooters’ residence where guns and ammo were seized. Investigators have been in close contact with the Sanpete County Attorney’s Office regarding charges potentially being filed when the investigation is complete.
Zak says despite this incident, he doesn’t blame the gun for the accident, and fully supports the 2nd Amendment, but adds that gun safety should not be taken lightly.