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Teen Dies in Freeway Shooting

Teen Dies in Freeway Shooting



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Tonya Papanikolas Reporting A teenage boy died in the hospital today after an early morning shooting on the freeway. Four teenage friends were driving home from a club when someone shot into their car.

It all happened so fast, the victims only got a very vague description of the suspect's car. Officers are investigating, but right now they don't have enough information to know if this was a random shooting.

After a Saturday night out at Club Vortex, four teenage friends left to go home around 1 a.m. But as they drove from I-15 southbound to the 201 interchange, they suddenly heard gunshots.

Capt. Tom McLachlan of the West Valley City Police Department explained, "A vehicle described as a brown car -- we don't have much beyond that -- pulled up alongside them and opened fire."

"They heard gunfire, heard the back window explode," McLachlan said.

One round entered that window, hitting a 17-year-old boy in the head. The scared friends drove to one of the teen's homes in West Valley and called police. The boy was flown to LDS Hospital in extremely critical condition and later died.

The teens who were with the victim told police there was no fight at the Vortex that could have led to the shootings. So right now police don't have a motive.

Officers will check further into any potential problems at the Vortex.

Police say neither the victim nor his friends had gang ties, and none of them could give police a good description of anyone in the suspect's car. Officers don't know if the victims and suspects knew each other, or if they'd had previous altercations.

"It could be something that occurred days or weeks prior, and they happened to see each other at that time. We're just not sure," McLachlan said.

West Valley officers shut down that area of the freeway this morning to look for evidence. A dog was brought in to sniff out the smell of gunpowder.

"We've recovered casings and bullet fragments from that area," McLachlan said. "There were multiple shots [fired]. We're not sure how many."

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or was driving in the area around 1:00 or 1:30 in the morning to call West Valley Police.

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