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Man, 18, arrested in Salt Lake killing has history of gun usage

Man, 18, arrested in Salt Lake killing has history of gun usage

(Salt Lake County Jail)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of killing a man and shooting two others over the weekend has a history of illegally carrying guns and weapons since he was just 13 years old.

On Saturday, police say Esequiel David Torres, who just turned 18 last month, fired three shots at two men during a robbery attempt.

About 50 minutes later, Torres shot Ghorke Gwen, 20, of Salt Lake City, in the head in the parking lot of a multi-unit apartment building near 700 North and 900 West, a police affidavit states. A friend later told police “the shooting was in relation to complications from a drug deal.”

Gwen was pronounced dead on Wednesday.

Torres was arrested over the weekend for investigation of murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. Police said Torres was already on probation or parole at the time of the shooting for prior crimes as a juvenile.

According to juvenile court records obtained by the Deseret News, Torres was involved in another incident involving a gun a little more than three months ago on Oct. 25.

The investigation began when a woman ran onto a Utah Transit Authority bus claiming she had been robbed at gunpoint. UTA police used security cameras to locate Torres leaving the scene on Vine Street, according to the charging documents.

Police located Torres, stopped him, and discovered he was carrying a Glock 9 mm handgun in his waistband “with an extended 31-round magazine. The gun was loaded with 27 rounds, including a round in the chamber ready to fire,” the charges state.

He was charged as a juvenile with possession of a firearm by a restricted person, being a repeat offender of a minor in possession of a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.

The first time Torres was convicted in juvenile court of being a minor in possession of a dangerous weapon was in 2015 when he was just 13, according to court records. At that time, Torres was already on probation for prior offenses, including an assault case when he was 12.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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