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Magna man killed guest just as he arrived at barbecue, charges say

A Magna man was charged Tuesday with murder after police say he shot and killed a man just as he arrived at a barbecue on May 28, 2021.

A Magna man was charged Tuesday with murder after police say he shot and killed a man just as he arrived at a barbecue on May 28, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



MAGNA — A man with a long criminal history in Utah and California has been charged with shooting and killing a man just as he arrived at a barbecue in Magna.

Juan Alvarez, 44, of Magna, who uses the moniker "Machete," was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.

On May 28, Alvarez was at a barbecue at 8270 Westbury Drive. Witnesses told police he was arguing on the phone with Omar Isael Gomez Salazar, 28, of Colorado. When Salazar arrived at the house, "Alvarez shot Omar as soon as Omar got out of the car," according to charging documents.

Investigators say a doorbell camera recorded the incident.

Another doorbell camera recorded Alvarez walking over to Salazar after he shot him, kicking him, then walking away, the charges state.

Alvarez then allegedly pointed his gun at two others who were in Salazar's vehicle. The person sitting in the back seat of the vehicle jumped in front and drove away

"Alvarez did not fire but Ring doorbell picked up the clicking of the trigger being pulled as Alvarez pointed the gun at the two occupants in the Jeep," according to the charging documents.

After the shooting, Alvarez fled and was arrested in Millard County after being involved in a chase with police.

Prosecutors noted in court documents that Alvarez's California criminal rap sheet "lists 41 incidents beginning in 1997 and continuing through 2018," including drug and weapons charges. He has also been convicted at least four times in Utah for crimes including assault and theft, the charges state.

The state has requested that Alvarez be held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail.

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