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SLC teen murdered outside of gas station, police seek armed suspect

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Posted at 6:35 AM, Apr 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-13 16:10:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- An armed gunman is at large after shooting a teenager to death outside of a Salt Lake City Maverik gas station early Saturday morning, police told Fox 13 News.

Officers said a 19-year-old man, identified as Sione Fakatoufifita, was fatally shot on the north side of a Maverik store, located on the corner of 1700 South and Redwood Road. in Salt Lake City, at about 1:15 a.m.

According to Fakatoufifita’s family, he had called his parents to ask for a ride moments before he was murdered.

“They actually went to go pick him up and there’s cops around there, and the police told them that there was a crime scene. Come to find out, it was their son that was shot,” said Kalolaina Samani, the teenager’s cousin.

Fakatoufifita had spent Friday evening with his fiance, the family said, but they believe he was dropped off somewhere near the store later that night.

His aunt, Nia Taulanga, said, “Whoever did this, I’m hoping and praying that you’ll get locked up and justice will be served.”

Police said multiple shots were fired, and Fakatoufifita was hit more than once. The suspect is a Polynesian male who was last seen wearing a black hooded sweater, a white T-shirt and dark colored jeans.

“We have some leads that we’re currently in the process of investigating,” said Lt. James Tracy, Salt Lake City Police. “We’re trying to determine who exactly was responsible. We have some witnesses that we’re interviewing, so right now we’re in the process of trying to figure out who committed the crime.”

Police are looking at all angles and are checking to see if it might be gang related.

“We don’t know what the cause, or if it’s gang related,” Tracy said. “We are still in the process, seeing if we can eliminate some of those possibilities. We will, of course, look into every scenario to see if the victim knew the suspect, but right now we don’t have a lot to go on.”

Police are currently using security cameras to see if there is any usable footage to help learn more details about the suspect.

“Our crime lab is actually in the process of seeing if anything of value would be brought up from those security cameras,” Tracy said.