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Police say no rhyme, reason to violent crimes plaguing Salt Lake Valley



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Police say there's no rhyme or reason to the string of crimes that led to an exceptionally violent weekend in Salt Lake City.

Sunday alone, police agencies dealt with a shooting, stabbing and two murders. Then Monday, a Syracuse couple was found dead in their home. Police say their deaths may be the result of a murder-suicide.

None appear to be random, including a murder at a Taylorsville home where a man was stabbed to death, allegedly by his stepson.


It happens sometimes. Usually it's spread out a little bit more, but when you have a weekend like this, it raises extra concern to everybody.

–Sgt. Shawn Josephson


Police say an argument led to the murder. Before he died, John Palm was able to tell officers his stepson - Doneral Dalton - had stabbed him. According to jail documents, Dalton told police his stepfather confronted him with a knife.

During a struggle, Dalton stabbed him several times. Dalton said Palm had ordered him to leave the house before the confrontation.

"That is definitely one of the things we are looking into through this investigation, if there were some mental illness factors that played into this," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

There was a history of violence between Palm and his stepson. In October, Dalton was charged in city court with a domestic violence-related assault. The victim in that case was Palm.

The murder capped off a disturbingly violent weekend in the Salt Lake Valley.

"One is bad enough," said Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Shawn Josephson. "When you have several, it's definitely a concern."

Sunday night, two teens were shot in a parking lot near 500 East and 2100 South in Salt Lake. The victims drove to a gas station for help. Gang detectives are investigating.

Also Sunday, police arrested Travis Lorenzo Heath for allegedly stabbing his wife during an argument.

There have been no arrests, however, in the murder of a 43-year-old woman found in her South Salt Lake apartment Sunday. She had been shot once.

A 911 call about gunshots led officers to the home. Police have no suspects or motive.

Authorities say none of the cases are related, and that their timing appears to be just a tragic coincidence.

"It happens sometimes," said Josephson. "Usually it's spread out a little bit more, but when you have a weekend like this, it raises extra concern to everybody."

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Sandra Yi

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