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A Roommate Gets A Gun Pointed At Her For A Door Being Locked


Vernal, Ut. - On 11/24/23, Officer Oldham was dispatched to a brandishing a weapons call at 854 S 300 W. The victim stated she had gotten into a verbal argument with her roommate, 20-year-old Vernon D. Zack, aka "Cole."

When asked about the altercation, the victim said she was washing the dishes upstairs when Cole walked through the back door. Cole confronted the victim about the front door being locked. The victim explained to Cole that she didn't lock the door.

Cole's girlfriend entered the living room, and she and Cole sat down on the couch to watch a movie. The verbal argument continued, and Cole pulled a small pistol out from under his leg. Cole pointed the gun at the victim and cocked the pistol. The victim told Cole she was going to call law enforcement; he got up from the couch and walked down the hall toward his bedroom with the gun in his hand.

Officer Oldham spoke with Cole concerning the altercation that took place, and while speaking with him, the officer noticed a shotgun leaning against a chair in the living room. Another officer checked the shotgun and found it was loaded with three rounds.

Cole and his girlfriend stated that the victim had confronted them after Cole had to climb the fence to come through the back door due to the locked front door. Cole said the victim confronted them again when they were sitting on the couch, and she was yelling, and he reached down and picked up his shotgun.

Cole said he didn't point it at the victim. "I just simply picked it up." Cole's girlfriend stated that she threatened to call the police, but the victim said she was going to call first.

Cole was asked where they were sitting on the couch, and he showed the officer. Officer Oldham pulled the couch cushions up, not locating the firearm, but a small compact handgun holster.

Cole's girlfriend also stated that she had an audio recording of the last 20 minutes of the altercation. When Officer Oldham began listening to it, for the first 30 seconds, it could be heard that the victim was saying she was going to get someone to come over and quote, "beat his ass." Cole responded, "he can get a 9mm to the head."

When asked about the comment, Cole began creating a story that he would have his friend come over with a gun. Again, Officer Oldham stated that it was not expressed in the audio recording about his friend coming over. Cole then stated he meant to say it when speaking to the victim.

When asked about the holster, Cole didn't have an answer. Cole was then asked about the handgun, and Cole stated that the only firearm in the house was the shotgun sitting near the couch. Officer Oldham asked Cole if he could search his room, and Cole didn't hesitate to answer yes.

Two officers searched Cole's bedroom, not finding a handgun, but did discover a Glock handgun case. The officers returned to Cole while Officer Oldham kept the case concealed and asked again if any other firearms were in the house; Cole again said no. Officer Oldham then Showed Cole the case, and he stated the case and holster were one of his friends.

Officer Oldham spoke with his supervisor, and the decision was made to apply for a search warrant. While he was typing the warrant, his supervisor came to his patrol vehicle and said that Cole had been detained, and he admitted there was a handgun inside the residence. When asked where the gun was hidden, Cole said it was in the closet before his bedroom.

Cole was arrested, transported to the Uintah County Jail, and booked.

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