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Nick Fitzgerald, KSL TV, File

WVC police identify man shot, killed at construction job

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Updated - May 30, 2020 at 10:57 a.m. | Posted - May 29, 2020 at 1:16 p.m.


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WEST VALLEY CITY — Police on Saturday identified the man who was shot and killed Thursday while doing construction work at a West Valley City home.

Melvin Martinez, 39, was shot on the job by the resident of a nearby house, police allege.

On Friday, 30-year-old Jesus Valdez was arrested and booked into jail for a parole violation. Police said in a tweet he is suspected in the shooting, though the investigation continues.

Police were alerted by the homeowners Thursday about 4 p.m. that Martinez had collapsed at the site near 2900 South and 3000 West, according to West Valley police officials.

"It was unclear what had happened to him," said West Valley City police spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku.

The worker was bleeding from a wound, and police initially wondered if he might have injured himself with a nail gun or another worksite accident, Vainuku said. After investigating, however, they realized Martinez had been shot.

Police identified a potential suspect Thursday night, Vainuku said. Just before noon Friday, Valdez was arrested in the area near 1700 W. Indiana Ave. in Salt Lake City.

Vainuku said the arrested man was "next to the house where the work was being done" and had previously complained about noise because of Martinez's work. Martinez had performed jobs at the home several times before, Vainuku said.

"A neighbor who had previously been upset with the noise of the construction project shot the victim, and then hid the weapon and took off," she said.

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Graham Dudley

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