As I previously suspected, the January 6th shooting which took place in the Sears parking lot in downtown Salt Lake City was primarily an issue between the older perpetrator and the older victim. Sixteen-year-old Diego Mendoza was executed to eliminate him as a potential witness.
On January 15th, 2008, the Deseret Morning News reported on the initial hearing for both Luis Salazar Mendoza and Alexis Rodriguez, charged in the crime. The court documents give a detailed description of the shooting itself:
On January 6th, Diego Mendoza, Joel Mendoza and Eder Orona were driving down State Street and stopped at 754 South, the area near the taco stand. When they got out, Orona, 23, got into an argument with two men in another vehicle, according to court documents. Here's the pertinent excerpt from the story:
"The driver of the white vehicle, later identified as defendant Luis Salazar Mendoza, approached Mr. Orona and shot him four times with a ... .40-caliber Glock handgun. After the driver shot Mr. Orona, he walked to Mr. Orona's vehicle and shot Diego Mendoza four times," court documents stated.
Luis Mendoza also fired three times at Joel Mendoza — who by then was running from the vehicle — but did not hit him, according to court documents.
After Joel Mendoza ran off, Rodriguez ordered Luis Mendoza to walk over to Orona, who was lying on the ground, and said, "Kill him! He's still alive," according to court documents.
"Mendoza then held his gun to Mr. Orona's head, and pulled the trigger. When the gun failed to fire, the defendant told Mr. Orona, 'You're (expletive) lucky!"' court documents state.
A big break in the case occurred when the getaway car was located and traced to the owner. Luis Mendoza and Alexis Rodriguez were subsequently apprehended without resistance at a Woods Cross motel on Saturday January 12th.
Luis Mendoza, 23, has been charged with one count of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder, one felony count of second-degree attempted homicide and three third-degree felony counts of discharging a firearm from a car in the direction of a person or building.
Alexis Rodriguez, 17, who is being prosecuted as an adult, has been charged with one count of first-degree felony murder and one count of third-degree felony discharging a firearm from a car in the direction of a person or building.
In addition, Michelle Ramirez, 22, the registered owner of the getaway car, has been charged with one count obstruction of justice, because she gave evasive and contradictory answers to police.
Court records show both these perps have a criminal past. Luis Mendoza was previously charged with drug possession, criminal mischief and making false statements. Alexis Rodriguez was previously convicted as an adult under the Serious Youth Offender statute, according to court documents. In September 2007, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree felony aggravated robbery. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors did not seek gang enhancement charges, according to court records. On November 27th, Rodriguez was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on 36 months probation for the aggravated robbery conviction. [Ed. Note: I bet that judge now wishes he/she hadn't suspended the sentence. It would seem like someone who is prosecuted under the Serious Youth Offender statute would be considered dangerous enough to warrant at least some jail time.]
Since the residency status of the perps has not been discussed by the media, there is no reason to assume they are illegal aliens at this time. There is every reason to assume they will go away for a LONG time. They should be executed.