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Neighbors in shock over child killed in apparent murder-suicide in SLC

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 13:28:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in which the victim was an 8-year-old boy.

Police say the suspect, 46-year-old Moses Waters, used a homemade firearm to kill the boy, Xavier Lucero-Waters, and then shot himself.

It all happened around noon Tuesday inside the apartment where the victim and suspect lived on Center Street. Police received a 911 call regarding a domestic dispute.

The boy's mother also lives in the apartment and is the one who police believe made the call. They are not sure of the suspect's relationship with the boy and mother, expect that they all live in the apartment.

"There was an incident that took place, a fight that was going on, between these individuals," said Salt Lake City Police Det. Greg Wilking.

When police arrived the suspect was dead. The boy was taken to the hospital, and was pronounced dead a short time later. The boy's mother was not hurt. The murder weapon is only being described as a homemade firearm.

"I don't want to go into specifics about what the device looked like but a projectile was shot out of it and it was deadly enough to end two people's lives," Wilking said.

Neighbors were shocked to see the bodies being wheeled out of the apartment.

"It's a very loving neighborhood. We're all friends, everybody knows everybody, so it's just a shock of what happened," said neighbor Kirk Freeman.

Freeman tried his best to hold back the tears. He can't believe he won't see his 8 -year-old neighbor playing outside ever again.

"Life was taken, not by his choice. It's very heart breaking," said Freeman.

Another neighbor recalled seeing the male suspect one day earlier.

"Really nice guy, he was really friendly and positive all the time," said Erica Newell.

Another neighbor spoke about the 8-year-old victim. How he was so full of life and energy.

"Super rowdy, fun kid, chatty, any glimpses I got inside their apartment they always had drawings of his up, the bus would come up every morning and he would jump in and come home and I could always hear him yelling for his mom," said Shelby Castleton.

Police spent hours investigating the apartment, looking for any motive that could have led this man to allegedly commit such a heinous act.

They have been speaking with the boy's mother throughout the day, and they say she has been very cooperative.