This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
An 11-year-old boy shot once through the neck during Tuesday's volley of gunshots on a residential Sandy street remains in intensive care but he is awake, seeing visitors and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, family friend Sarah Weaver said Friday.
Myles Rackley lost his mother, 39-year-old Memorez Rackley, and his 6-year-old brother, Jase, in the shooting on Alta Canyon Drive just after school let out. The shooter, Jeremy Patterson, who police say had some sort of relationship with Memorez Rackley, also shot and killed himself.
Police say that following a verbal confrontation moments earlier, Patterson rammed with his pickup an SUV the Rackleys were riding in, then jumped out and began shooting into the vehicle.
The unnamed woman driving the SUV has an 8-year-old daughter who also was shot in the leg. An update on her condition was unavailable Friday, though earlier this week she was in stable condition.
"They are still in shock," Weaver said of the Rackley family, including the boys' father Dustin Rackley. "They are focusing all of their attention on helping Myles recover.
"They're going to meet his needs, then turn their attention to planning a funeral and mourning."
Police have declined to reveal specifics of Memorez Rackley's relationship with Patterson. Others close to the family have indicated they were unaware of Patterson.
"I'd never heard his name before the police released it," said Weaver, who has known the Rackley family for years. "I personally have not talked to anyone who knew about him. I do not know of the level the family knew of this [relationship].
"I did get the impression from the family that [their relationship] was a one-sided thing," she added.
In Instagram posts leading up to the shooting, Patterson wrote that he loved Rackley and lamented she had kept their relationship a secret. "I don't think anyone deserves to be kept a secret," he wrote.
Memorez Rackley and her husband had undergone a quiet separation some time before the shooting, friends have said, though they still supported their three boys at school events and soccer games. Memorez Rackley lived in the family's Sandy home near Brookwood Elementary School, around the corner from the scene of the shooting. Dustin Rackley had moved to a different residence in Sandy.
Memorez Rackley and Patterson shared a passion for bodybuilding and fitness. They shared the same West Jordan trainer, Mike Manfre, Manfre wrote on his Facebook page. Patterson had a large sticker advertising Manfre's business on the back of his pickup. Manfre could not be reached to discuss Patterson and Rackley on Friday.
Rackley, "Mem" to her friends, regularly attended Pure Workout, a Murray gym. It was unclear if Patterson worked out there as well. To honor and raise money for the Rackley family, the gym said it is holding workouts at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The gym's owners did not return several messages Friday.
Sandy police Sgt. Jason Nielsen said Friday that detectives had conducted an extensive interview with the SUV driver, who officials have called a "good Samaritan" for picking up Memorez Rackley and her boys when they were walking home from school and appeared troubled.
From the SUV driver, Nielsen said police learned Patterson and Rackley had engaged in a verbal argument after Patterson confronted her near Brookwood Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon. The woman "sees these two arguing, and stops to assist," Nielsen said. A witness told The Salt Lake Tribune she saw Rackley push Patterson off her as she jumped into the woman's SUV.
Patterson left the scene of the argument in his truck, Nielsen said. But he quickly returned, and as the SUV carrying Rackley and the boys went west on Alta Canyon Drive, he pursued. A quarter mile later, the shooting occurred.
What may have led to the verbal confrontation by Patterson remains unclear, and police have declined to release further details as they continue to investigate the chaotic murder-suicide. But they have said Rackley had called 911 three days earlier to report telephone harassment by Patterson.
On Thursday night, about 150 gathered to mourn for neighbors and friends who died in the shooting.
"The family is very appreciative of the community's support," Weaver said Friday. "They were appreciative of the community event last night. They are being buoyed by the messages, calls and well wishes they are receiving."
Meanwhile, those in the tight-knit neighborhood around where the shooting took place continue to piece together details of the tragedy. They are trying to make some sense of the destruction.
Jordan Smith is one of those neighbors, a mother who just had picked up her 5-year-old kindergartner at Brookwood Elementary when she came upon the scene in her car. She said she pulled over, got out. She watched a man, who she later learned was Patterson, fall from a gunshot.
Smith said she turned around, uncertain if there was an active shooter, to see children standing around not far from the scene. She told a couple young girls to get in her car. She grabbed a few boys by their backpacks, shoving them inside.
"I'm rolling down my window and I'm yelling at cars in the street," she said. "I'm telling people, 'Do not go up there, there's been an accident, but someone has a gun.' "
At one point, Smith parked her car across the road, trying to block traffic. A "greater power than me" helped her remain calm in the face of chaos, she said.
"I know everyone's going to bounce back," she said of the shaken community. "The best thing for me is to see the good people, and good that can come out of the bad."
Tribune reporter Mariah Noble contributed to this story.