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Parents help police find their son, the suspect in shooting of 2 children on Sandy street



New details emerge in the Sandy, Utah case where an 18-year-old male is accused of shooting two children, ages 13 and 14, while they were walking down 8800 S. on April 16.

A probable cause statement reveals that the parents of Tyson Connor Rocco helped police track down their son, who police say is a member of the Norteños gang. In January, 2News reported on a gang-related incident involving Rocco where he and three other alleged gang members approached an employee in a Smith’s grocery store and began throwing canned food at the employee.

While recovering at Primary Children’s Hospital, the 14-year-old victim told police that he believed the pair was targeted because he was dressed “banged out,” which is slang for wearing gang attire. Police say the 14-year-old victim is a “known associate” of Florencia 13, a rival gang of the Norteños.

The victims told police they had exited a TRAX train at the Historic Sandy Station and were walking to a friend’s house when Rocco, who they did not know, pulled up in a silver Volkswagen Jetta and asked them; “Where you from?”

As the teens began to run away, they say someone in the vehicle started shooting at them. The 14-year-old victim was shot in the left thigh and ankle, and the younger boy was shot in the right hand. The boys ran into a nearby daycare center and called 911.

The 14-year-old victim said he “knew something like this might happen” because of what he was wearing.

One witness called police after he saw three white males exit a “suspicious vehicle” parked outside his Sandy home. The PC statement says: “All of the males had their hoods pulled up and were wearing baseball caps. Two of the males were wearing black bandanas over the face, and the third was wearing a red bandana. [The witness] took pictures of the Jetta and called police.

Other witnesses heard gunshots and saw the victims running away from the scene.

Police say sometime after the shooting, Rocco called his sister and told her that he “was in trouble and [is] going to prison.”

The day after the shooting, Rocco’s father got a call from his daughter, who told him about the phone call she got from Rocco. Shortly after getting the call from his daughter, Rocco’s father saw a news article about the shooting, leading him to think his son might be involved.

Rocco’s mother confirmed with police that she was the owner of the Jetta and her son would be the only driver.

The father reached out to Rocco, who “explained he was in trouble with the police and people and would not talk about it over the phone,” the PC statement states. Rocco’s father then went to the Sandy City Police Station and told officers he believed his son was involved in the shooting. He also told them his son had left his home a little more than an hour before the shooting happened.

Rocco’s father then took police to an apartment where he thought his son would be, but he was not there. A police officer then called Rocco and said he need to talk to him. Rocco said he would be back to the apartment in 45 minutes, however, he showed up at the apartment shortly after the phone call ended. He was then taken into custody.

After searching Rocco’s home and vehicle, police say they found “several items of drug paraphernalia and narcotics, a 7.62 caliber bullet, two 0.22 caliber bullets, and one black and one red face mask,” the PC statement reads.

Rocco is facing three first-degree felony charges of discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury. Each charge has a gang enhancement.

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