News / Utah / 

Police say Provo gunman was looking for rival gang members

The 4th District Courthouse in Provo is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

The 4th District Courthouse in Provo is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — A man who allegedly supplied the gun used to shoot at several people at a Provo gas station because of their clothing color, and who later attempted to sell the gun to get rid of it, has been criminally charged.

Timothy Vaughn Akai Nordahl, 20, of Murray, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm, both third-degree felonies.

Alejandro Antonio Molina-Ballesteros, 19, of Magna, was previously charged in 4th District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm, both third-degree felonies.

On June 23, Nordahl and Molina-Ballesteros were in a car with others, looking for rival gang members, according to charging documents. They made a stop at the Chevron at 900 W. Center Street.

While at the gas station, Molina-Ballesteros got into an argument with another group, allegedly over clothing color, the charges state. At one point, someone was heard saying, "Do you want to die?" according to the charges.

Molina-Ballesteros and his group got back into his car and started to drive away. He drove about 30 feet and stopped near the edge of the parking lot, and told Nordahl to hand him his gun, the charges state.

Nordahl told police he knew Molina-Ballesteros was a "soldier" in a gang, according to the charges. Nordahl said he initially hesitated in handing Molina-Ballesteros the gun, which made a second passenger in the car upset.

"Nordahl felt that if he didn't hand the gun over, it would be used on him because it is a sign of weakness in the gang not to cooperate," the charges state.

After receiving the weapon, Molina-Ballesteros opened the car door and fired seven rounds at the group he had been arguing with, according to the charges. Two rounds hit a car belonging to the other group, three rounds hit a van with a woman inside who was not involved in the argument, and two rounds hit the gas station, according to the charges. Amazingly, no injuries were reported.

Using a surveillance video from the gas station and a license plate number that police obtained, officers located Molina-Ballesteros at his residence and later arrested him.

Nordahl was arrested several days later while trying to sell several guns, including the one allegedly used in the gas station shooting, according to police.

Related Stories

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast