SALT LAKE CITY — A professional bull rider in town for the Utah State Fair was killed in an overnight shooting in the Ballpark neighborhood.
Salt Lake City police said the homicide happened just after midnight Monday at an apartment complex near 900 South 200 West.
The victim, identified as 27-year-old Demetrius Omar Lateef Allen, was found outside with "at least one gunshot wound," police said. He was taken to the hospital where he died.
Upon investigation, officials found bullet holes coming from a nearby apartment and 21-year-old LaShawn Denise Bagley was taken into custody.
According to police and arrest documents, Allen and Bagley knew each other and had been in an "on and off" relationship.
Allen was a professional bull rider known as Ouncie Mitchell on the PBR Tour.
He was ranked 23rd in the world in bull-riding with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
"Ouncie got his name because he was born small. He grew up to compete with a huge heart. The PBR organization sincerely extends our own heartfelt condolences to Ouncie’s cousin Ezekiel Mitchell and the entire Mitchell family," said PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason in a statement.
Allen had traveled to Salt Lake City to compete in the PRCA Rodeo at the Utah State Fair and arranged to stay with Bagley during his trip.
“These two, we believe knew each other, they had attended the fair and then ended up at a bar and ended up arguing," explained Det. Michelle Peterson. "Then the male wanted to get some of his property from the apartment that he was staying in, while he was attending the fair and a gun was pulled out and he was shot.”
Bagley was booked into jail and faces charges of Murder and Felony Discharge of a Firearm.
“I don’t understand and I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to understand,” said Ezekiel Mitchell, Allen’s cousin. “The guy that would give the shirt off his back to anybody, why would you take his life away?”
Court documents state Bagley fired several rounds through the glass door with at least one round striking Allen in the torso.
"There is no indication of any forced entry or attempted forced entry into the apartment," arrest documents state. "The witness also stated that there was no entry or attempted forced entry into the apartment."
Officers investigated blood evidence and found blood outside of the apartment but no evidence to suggest Allen had gone inside the apartment when he was shot, court documents explained.
“So we believe that this was an isolated situation, domestic related and there is no threat to the public at this time,” Det. Peterson said.
This incident marks the 10th homicide in Salt Lake City in 2022, officials report.
Allen leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter.
“She loved her daddy. She loved him and loved him and loved him. It was always, ‘My daddy this, my daddy doing this, my daddy took me fishing,’” said Nyteshea Haywood, the girl's mother. “She loves her dad and so having to break that news to her was a huge distraught.”
“Every time I put my hand on a bull rope from now on it’ll be him right there in the back of my mind,” said Mitchell. “He was a once-in-a-lifetime person and a once-in-a-lifetime family member and friend and more so, a brother.”
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