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Suspects arrested for fatal shooting of West Jordan teen on Christmas Eve

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Posted at 9:24 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 23:34:42-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah — Police have identified the victim in a shooting in West Jordan on Christmas Eve and have arrested two suspects.

Kenneth Gant, 16, was found dead in the parking lot of Gene Fullmer Recreation Center when police were called to perform a welfare check Saturday morning.

Police later arrested two suspects, who allegedly both shot Gant the night before he was found.

Jedediah Zane Newsome, 18, and a 17-year-old boy are facing charges in connection with the homicide investigation. The 17-year-old was not publicly identified because he is a minor.

The two were found Saturday afternoon as part of a separate investigation. Court records say they stole a vehicle in West Valley City, then fled on foot after police spotted the stolen car and attempted to stop them. They were found in the backyard of a nearby home.

Investigators later connected the suspects to the shooting based on evidence found during the investigations. Newsome also admitted to shooting Gant when interviewed by detectives.

The suspects agreed to meet up with Gant late Friday night under the guise of joining their gang, police say. Newsome claimed that he knew Gant was a member of a rival gang, but didn't admit to it. This made Newsome upset. He and the 17-year-old then took Gant behind a storage container in the parking lot and each shot him twice, according to the report.

Newsome is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail on five felony counts: Criminal homicide, obstruction of justice, and three firearm-related charges. He also faces charges of aggravated robbery and failure to stop for police in connection with the car theft.

Police say the underage suspect is in juvenile detention on a separate incident in West Valley City (possibly the car theft) and charges related to the homicide are pending.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Gant's family with funeral expenses.