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2 bouncers arrested in connection to weekend Ballpark neighborhood shooting

Posted at 1:19 PM, Jul 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 19:20:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Police said they have arrested two people in connection to an early Sunday morning shooting in Salt Lake City's Ballpark neighborhood critically injured a 20-year-old man.

In a tweet Monday, the Salt Lake City Police Department said the arrests were made after following multiple leads and obtaining search warrants.

Ryan Lua, 47, was charged with aggravated assault and felony discharge of a firearm, while 25-year-old Christopher Taliu was charged with aggravated assault and felony discharge of a firearm.

During their investigation, detectives learned the victim was shot at a large party near South Major Street. Lua and Taliu were allegedly working as bouncers at the party when a fight broke out at the entrance of the venue involving the victim and another person.

Police say surveillance video showed Lua and Taliu both shooting multiple rounds in the direction of the victim and his car, which had people inside. The victim was also seen in the video firing back at the two bouncers.

After the shooting both Lua and Taliu were seen getting into separate vehicles and leaving the area.

Residents who live near the shooting aren't happy, saying this has happened before in their neighborhood.

"This can't be accepted as normal in the Ballpark neighborhood," said Amy Hawkins, council chair of the Ballpark Community Council. "This makes me furious, this is what causes folks to move away from the Ballpark neighborhood."

Hawkins and others who call the neighborhood home don't feel the police response to these sorts of incidents has been enough.

"We had two homicides in this neighborhood in May and we heard from [Salt Lake City Police] Chief Brown via the news that there was going to be a safety plan, and we would really like to hear, as a neighborhood, what that safety plan is going to be," expressed Hawkins.

"The violence is overwhelming and I'm afraid to say that the response to it is not adequate," added resident Brian Whaley.

Chief Brown said the man was found injured hiding behind car and was transported to the hospital in critical condition. On Monday, police said the man was no longer in the hospital, but offered no other information.

"Our police department is prioritizing our efforts to reduce crime not only throughout the city, but in the Ballpark neighborhood," assured Brown.

Brown added that his department has worked to be more visible in the Ballpark community, conducting patrol saturation operations to help deter crime.

"Our Liberty Bike Squad is spending most of their patrol time here in the Ballpark area to address the crime that's occurring and also to prevent future crimes."

The chief added that they are also working with the mayor's office to engage with the community and coordinate with civil enforcement, his department and other partners to help with the issues in the Ballpark neighborhood.

"That's a great neighborhood, I have friends that live there and I want them to know, and I want everybody in that neighborhood to know at this police department and our officers are very dedicated to their concerns and their safety issues," Brown said.

Residents say they are on-board with whatever will make their neighborhood more safe and secure.

"This really hurts us as a neighborhood when this happens repeatedly," said Hawkins.