Police: Suspect threatened 4-year-old at gunpoint before murdering man in Taylorsville apartment

Posted at 3:44 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 17:44:56-05

Shawn Eugene Fleming

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Two suspects have been charged with murder, and newly released court documents allege the gunman threatened a 4-year-old child just before shooting and killing a man in Taylorsville earlier this month.

Documents released Thursday state 36-year-old Shaun Eugene Fleming faces one count of murder, three counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of child kidnapping and other charges in the death of Toussaint “TJ” L’Ouveture Tyler Jr. on December 10.

A woman police say served as Fleming’s accomplice, 49-year-old Tonita Vianay Rico, is charged with murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery—all first-degree felonies.

Rico was arrested December 12 while Fleming remains on the run. A warrant has been issued for his arrest with bail set at $2 million. Police provided a booking photo of Fleming from 2004.

Tonita Vianay (Espinoza) Rico

Police state Rico told them she went with Fleming and another man to an apartment complex at 742 West Sunny River Road the morning of December 10 and that Fleming, who she knew as “Kane”, told her the occupants owed him money and for her to knock on the door.

The woman knocked as the men waited outside, and when a female resident opened the door the male suspects rushed in.

The female resident told police when she opened the door Fleming put her in a chokehold and put a gun to her head as a 4-year-old child stood nearby. She said the men asked her who else was inside the apartment and threatened to shoot the child if she lied to them.

The suspects encountered another resident of the apartment as he was coming out of a bathroom, and they also forced his girlfriend out of the shower and bound both of them with duct tape.

The suspects took the first woman and the child into a master bedroom and then forced her boyfriend, Tyler, out of the master bathroom where he had been showering.

Police state the suspects held the 4-year-old child while ordering Tyler to open a safe in the master bedroom. Police say a struggle ensued and Tyler was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the back of the neck.

Video footage captured at the apartment’s entrance showed Rico knocking on the door, and after those images were circulated by the media a tipster called police and identified Rico.

Police spoke with Rico, who ultimately identified the man she called “Kane” as Shaun Fleming from an array of photographs.

Rico told police she went back to the car after Fleming and the other man entered the apartment that day and that they fled at speed when the men returned.

Rico told police she asked Fleming if they had killed someone and he told her to be quiet. She said he asked for new clothes and gave her his clothing and a gun to dispose of, according to the charging documents.

Police say a large quantity of cash was located on top of the safe the suspects had ordered Tyler to open, and they said a large quantity of marijuana was found within that safe.