3 charged in Kearns gang shooting

3 charged in Kearns gang shooting

(KSL TV/File)

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KEARNS — Three men were charged Wednesday in connection with a gang-related shooting in a Kearns parking lot that ended in a high-speed chase.

The three men, as well as two boys, ages 15 and 16, were arrested Sept. 10 following a shooting near 4090 W. 5415 South and a chase that reached 120 mph. The men reportedly opened fire on five others in a parking lot, striking one man in the arm, before speeding away. Police say the shooting was a gang-related attack.

The shooting was witnessed by a Unified police officer who was in the area investigating an unrelated case. He reported seeing a man standing outside the passenger door of a gold car and firing rounds over the roof of the vehicle.

Eddie Ovalle, 20, was charged in 3rd District Court with discharging a firearm and obstructing justice, first-degree felonies, as well as four second-degree counts and one third-degree felony count of discharging a firearm. Ovalle is suspected of being the driver in the chase, the charges state.

Alexander Mejia, 18, accused of tossing the gun out the car window during the chase, and Lauriano Herrera, 19, each was charged with discharging a firearm and obstructing justice, first-degree felonies, and four second-degree felony counts of discharging a firearm.

Typically, police officers call off high-speed chases that run through pockets of busy traffic or residential neighborhoods because of concern for public safety. But because an officer had actually witnessed a shooting, and other officers initially received information that there could be as many as four shooting victims, the decision was made to continue the pursuit despite the high speeds, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said last week.

The chase ended when the car clipped a trailer being hauled by a Salt Lake County maintenance vehicle and crashed into a nearby pole.

The five men who were shot at also fled the scene but were later stopped by police, questioned and released.


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McKenzie Romero


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