Friends, family hold candlelight vigil to remember one of the victims in SLC triple homicide

Posted at 9:27 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 01:21:16-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A candlelight vigil took place at West Valley City Park Monday night to remember a 28-year-old man who was shot and killed in a Salt Lake City home Friday.

More than 30 close friends and family members attended the vigil for Dakota Smith.

"We know the fact that Dakota is gone and was brutally taken from us way too soon, unfair, there is nothing that can bring him back," said Jenn Long, who has known Smith since he was 8 years old.

Long said candles are such an appropriate way to remember him, because he was a light in so many lives.

"He had the biggest heart, would help anybody, everybody that crossed his path," she said.

Smith's father said he is meeting some of his son's friends for the first time. He said it means a lot to have so much support during this difficult period.

"It puts a smile on my face, he has a lot of friends and family who just love him and miss him," said father Scott Smith.

Dakota Smith was one of three people found shot to death inside a Salt Lake City home on Friday.

The other two victims were 50-year-old Heike Poike and her 2-month-old granddaughter, Lyrik. Poike was renting the upstairs of the house. The downstairs' neighbor, Alexander Tran, was arrested in the case and is in jail on three counts of aggravated murder.

"We don't know what he was doing there, we don't know where the connection is between him and that lady or her daughter, they are not on his Facebook page or anything, he's never spoken of her so those are all questions that remain unanswered and we may never know," Long said.

Police have not said what the motive for the killings could be.

The triple homicide remains under investigation.