Police: Resident, robber fought for control of shotgun during home invasion in WVC

Posted at 7:40 AM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-21 19:29:35-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Police are searching for three suspects who they believe attempted a home-invasion robbery at an apartment early Sunday morning.

According to police, officers were called to a unit at the Aspenwood Apartment, 4100 South and 4000 West, around 2:30 a.m.

Police believe a party was going on when three masked suspects made their way into the home. Two of the suspects went straight to the back bedroom and started grabbing items, including electronics. The third was holding a handgun and told everyone to get to the ground.

"The [tenant] was like, 'Are you serious?' and [the suspect's] like, 'Yeah, this is a robbery. Everybody stay down,'" said Lt. Jeff Conger with West Valley City Police.

One of the tenants tried grabbing his things back from one of the suspects while his roommate came out of a bedroom holding a shotgun. He and one of the suspects fought over the gun, police said.

According to police, no shots were fired. The suspects all fled, and they left their handgun at the scene. The suspects are most likely unarmed, according to police.

Conger said they hope to pull fingerprints from the gun and other information that could help them track down the suspects. He said the description victims gave police were brief and unhelpful.

Jose Santiestevan, a resident in the complex, said he was unaware the incident happened but was not surprised. He said he has seen a car circle the neighborhood five times as if they were casing the place, getting ready to break into an apartment.

"At nighttime, you see a lot of random people walking around," Santiestevan said. "I don't think they even live here. You gotta be careful around that time."

Police said often times, home invasions are specific incidents rather than random crimes. Conger said this one is possibly drug related, since police found drugs in the apartment where this incident occurred.