OREM, Utah — A hospital visit by Orem police officers to interview a gunshot victim led to the arrest of five people in what police are saying could be a gang-related shooting.
It began when the officers interviewed Gustavo Adolfo Morales at Timpanogos Hospital; the 25-year-old said he had been shot twice while getting ready for work, but changed his story when police said they would go to his house to investigate.
Morales provided no further information on the location of the shooting, but upon investigation, a witness said it occurred in the parking lot of US Synthetics at 1260 South 1600 West.
A friend of Morales said they went to the parking lot to meet up with Ryan Bencomo, 22, and Neit Armando Renter-Gurrola, 20, when Bencomo and Morales began arguing.
According to a police affidavit, Morales said something to the effect of, "You won't shoot me" when he heard two popping sounds, and Morales grabbed his abdomen, after which he was taken to the hospital.
Based on information received from the witness, detectives with the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force were surveying Bencomo's residence when two vehicles arrived at the home, where several people got out of the cars and left after wandering around the property.
Police followed them to the Winco Food Store where they made contact with them; one vehicle remained at the scene, but the other fled after swerving at a detective's car and hitting a private vehicle.
According to court records, police chased the car through Orem, Lindon and Pleasant Grove, ending when it "crashed into a second civilian vehicle" and "was completely destroyed in the pursuit and rolled to a stop."
Detectives located 261 grams of methamphetamine in the car, which carries a value of over $26,000.
Three people in the car were arrested; Kelby Luis Vizcarra, 32, and Carlos Alberto Garcia-Herrera, 27, were booked for investigation of drug possession with intent to distribute and evidence tampering, among other charges.
Salvador Morales, 26, was arrested for multiple related offences.
In a police interview, Bencomo confessed that he took an assault rifle to the meeting in the parking lot, which was found after a search of his home.
He has an extensive history of assault convictions and has been arrested on multiple criminal charges.