Police say homicide in Salt Lake City may be drug-related

Posted at 4:01 PM, Dec 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-20 23:40:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Police released additional details regarding the suspects in a fatal shooting that occurred on a downtown Salt Lake City street Friday night, and Saturday they said the incident may have stemmed from drug activity.

At about 4:30 p.m. Friday, a gold-colored 4-door vehicle pulled up near a pedestrian in the area of 563 West and 200 South; a passenger exited the vehicle and began a discussion with a pedestrian before firing a handgun and killing the man. Police set up containment temporarily nearby in order to interview witnesses or others who may have been involved.

A suspect in a homicide that occurred 12/19/14 in Salt Lake City. Image courtesy Salt Lake City PD.

Both suspects fled eastbound in the vehicle along 200 South. Police released an image of one suspect and the vehicle Friday night, and Saturday evening they released an image of the second suspect. See the gallery below for those photos.

“It is unsettling--in broad daylight, multiple witnesses, and most of the areas around Salt Lake City are videotaped, so you have cameras rolling, this is no exception," said Det. Cody Lougy of the Salt Lake City Police Department on Saturday. "So we have several cameras rolling that actually caught this, and that’s why we are able to release images of both suspects and their vehicle."

During Saturday's press conference, Lougy provided a possible motivation for the incident.

“It appears to be some sort of transaction between the victim and the suspect, and this appears to be some sort of drug activity," he said.

The identity of the victim has not been released, pending notification of his family. An individual who said they are a friend of the victim said the victim's next-of-kin is in Honduras, so that notification could take some time.

“A nice guy who takes care of his family, he has about eight kids and is doing what he can to support that family," said the victim's friend, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of possible retaliation.

Salt Lake City Police Department officials also provided suspect descriptions in a press release.

The vehicle is described as a gold Mazda 6 with Utah arches license plates, tinted windows and a handicap placard hanging in the rear view mirror.

One suspect is described as being a Hispanic male between the ages of 30 and 35 who stands 5-feet 7-inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds. He has dark hair and was last seen wearing white shoes, dark pants and a blue jacket with a gray hood.

The other suspect is described of being a male, race unknown, who is between the ages of 30 and 35. He stands 5-feet 6-inches tall and was last seen wearing tan boots, camouflage pants and a maroon hooded sweatshirt with white strings and some sort of white design on the front. He was also wearing a light-colored baseball cap.

Anyone with information about the suspect, the vehicle or the shooting is asked to call Salt Lake City police at 801-799-3000. Tips can be sent via text by sending the keyword TIPSLCPD and the relevant info to 274627. Tipsters can remain anonymous and should reference case #14-220403.