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Investigators believe shooting at Taylorsville cemetery is latest battle in ongoing gang war

Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 13:35:12-05

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- A shooting Saturday at a Taylorsville cemetery appears to be the latest incident in a recent, violent cycle of gang murder and retribution.

Investigators with the Unified Police Department say the victims, including an 18-year-old who remains hospitalized with a gunshot wound, were apparently visiting the grave of 16-year-old murder victim Alan Hernandez Lopez.

Lopez was shot to death the afternoon of February 13, moments after leaving an alternative high school building in South Salt Lake.

Last Thursday night, police and gang detectives arrested 20-year-old Joshua Park for the Lopez murder.

He apparently admitted to detectives that he shot Lopez after the two exchanged gang signs that day.

Then, roughly 36 hours after Mr. Park was taken into custody, someone drove up to the 3 men mourning Mr. Lopez and opened fire.

The search continues for those suspects and cops say this is all gang related.

"These things kind of fire up and we have this circle of violence that occurs for an amount of time so we're doing whatever we can to really stop that cycle," Unified Police Department Lt. Brian Lohrke said. "We're looking for some participation and cooperation from those involved in this so we can put an end to this so we don't have any more shootings."

The big problem for detectives is that often times and in this case in particular, the victims refuse to cooperate with police.

Investigators say the shooters were in a dark colored, 4-door sedan, but so far they don’t have a make, model or year of that vehicle.

They are checking with local business owners to see if there is any security video of the incident.

In the meantime, anyone with information can call detectives at 801-743-7000, and tipsters will remain anonymous.