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Two arrested in shooting death at smoke shop

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Mar. 19, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Two men have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man at a Salt Lake City smoke shop.

The Salt Lake Police Department's SWAT team and Safe Streets Task Force made a felony stop of a vehicle just off the 7200 South exit of I-15 about 12:30 a.m. Monday. Two men, Yelfris Sosa-Hurtado, 25, and Vladimir Suarez-Campos, 37, were arrested without incident.

"I'm definitely very happy those guys are off the street," said Joshua Johnson, a longtime friend of the victim, Steven Guadalupe Chavez, 26.

Police believe Sosa-Hurtado gunned down Chavez at CJ Smoke Shop, 876 W. 800 South, on March 14. Investigators say Sosa-Hurtado fired at Chavez from outside the store and chased him inside where he shot and killed him. Sosa-Hurtado then fled after getting into a vehicle driven by Suarez-Campos. Both were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder.

Two witnesses at the smoke shop that night identified Sosa-Hurtado through a police photo lineup, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. Another informant later told investigators that Suarez-Campos was the alleged getaway driver and the two drove to his house after the shooting.

Chavez's father is the owner of the smoke shop. Flowers and candles have been placed as a memorial to the son in front of the business.

Johnson described Chavez as "funny" and "outgoing."

"He's my buddy. I loved him," he said Monday.

Detectives believe that about 7:30 that night, Chavez got into a fight with the driver of a maroon vehicle, possibly over a parking disagreement. About 20 minutes later, the man returned, this time as the passenger of a blue vehicle. The vehicles were recorded on a nearby business surveillance camera.

It was unknown if any of those two vehicles were involved in the arrest.

Email:preavy@ksl.com

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Pat Reavy

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