Utah man slashed tires then fired 36 rounds at witness, police say

South Salt Lake police arrested a man accused of firing three dozen rounds outside a South Salt Lake apartment complex on Thursday.

South Salt Lake police arrested a man accused of firing three dozen rounds outside a South Salt Lake apartment complex on Thursday. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police arrested a man who they say fired 36 rounds at another man who had witnessed him slashing tires on a car.

Diego Luis Vega, 19, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Thursday for investigation of 36 counts of firing a gun in the direction of a person, aggravated assault, criminal mischief and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

South Salt Lake police were called to the LeBanke Apartments, 3185 S. 200 East, about 12:30 a.m. Thursday on a report of shots being fired. Five vehicles and part of the apartment complex were damaged, according to police. No one was injured.

Police found 24 .223 shell casings and 12 9mm shell casings in the street, according to a police booking affidavit.

Before the shooting, a man who was outside with his dog witnessed a man slashing the tires of a car with a knife, the affidavit states. Three of the four tires were slashed.

The witness said he watched the man drive off with a woman and then contacted police. When the witness went back outside, he spotted the car again parked on 200 East.

"Individuals inside the car then began firing rounds at him as he ran away. In the course of the shooting, multiple vehicles in the parking lot were hit, resulting in damages well over $5,000," according to the affidavit.

Police originally said they were investigating whether the incident was related to a person who was in the process of being evicted from the complex.

Detectives, with help from the witness, were able to identify the woman using social media. That led detectives to Vega, who was arrested in West Valley City where two rifles were also found, the affidavit states.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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