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Spenser Heaps, KSL

14-year-old Sandy boy shot, killed woman who lived on his street, police say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul. 23, 2020 at 5:12 p.m.

SANDY — A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman in Sandy.

The boy, whose name was not released Thursday, was booked into Salt Lake Juvenile Detention for allegedly killing Aliani Mejia-Marin.

Both the gunman and Mejia lived on the same street where the shooting occurred and investigators believe both parties were previously acquainted with each other, said Sandy Police Sgt. Clayton Swensen. He did not know, however, how they knew each other or what their previous interactions had been like.

The incident happened about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday near 200 W. Eastgate Drive (8800 South). Swensen said there was a confrontation between two groups. One group was comprised of three juvenile boys, including the gunman, and the other was Mejia and her husband, he said.

The confrontation started outside of a car. When police arrived, Mejia was inside the vehicle but Swensen did not know if she had been shot while inside the car. She was shot at least once.

Swensen said investigators did not know Thursday whether Mejia was shot more than once and declined to say whether detectives had recovered a weapon. What the two groups were arguing about, or whether the confrontation had ties to gangs or drugs, was also still under investigation Thursday.

The 14-year-old boy fled the scene after the shooting, but he later returned and was arrested without incident, according to Swensen.

The sergeant called the shooting a tragedy and noted it was traumatic for all involved. He said detectives would be conducting more interviews before presenting their case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to be screened for possible criminal charges.

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