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Two men arrested for non-fatal shooting of minors in SLC

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Posted at 11:35 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 01:47:16-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested two suspects in connection with a shooting in Salt Lake City Saturday evening.

The shooting, which police initially believed to be a drive-by, left two minors wounded but expected to recover. They have been released from the hospital.

Court documents indicate that the victims were inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting, but the suspects were on foot. They also state there was a third victim in the vehicle who was shot at but not struck, and a stray bullet hit a nearby residence.

Junino Cuatemac Tafolla, 19, and Eduardo Antonio Tafolla, 21, were each arrested on three counts of felony aggravated assault and three counts of felony discharge of a firearm.

Police said the victims, who were interviewed in the hospital with guardians present, were "largely uncooperative."

However, further investigation led police to identify Junino Tafolla as a possible suspect. A person matching his description was seen on surveillance video walking near the area. Witnesses had also told police earlier that they saw two males walking in the area prior to the shooting, and they were holding handguns.

Police began surveillance on a home where they believed Junino Tafolla lived. They tailed a vehicle that was seen leaving the house, then eventually pulled it over. Police found both Junino Tafolla and Eduardo Tafolla in the vehicle, and they were both arrested.

The arrest report states that Junino Tafolla confessed to the shooting, but claimed it was in self-defense. However, he "did not further elaborate or provide information on the circumstances."

Eduardo Tafolla acknowledged that his DNA may be found on one of the handguns seized from the vehicle as evidence, but he said he only picked it up to move it and that it was not his.

Both are being held without bail, according to a judge's ruling.

It has not been confirmed whether the shooting was gang-related, but investigators wearing SLCPD "Gang Unit" apparel were seen at the scene.