Police: Gang shooting could result in bigger retaliation

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Six known gang members are behind bars, accused in an overnight crime spree. West Valley police say the six men are part of the Tiny Oriental Posse Gang, known as the T.O.P.

Police say early Friday morning the group targeted a rival gang member's house at 3299 W. Brookway Dr. in West Valley City. Police say there is a long history of violence between the T.O.P. and the O.L.G., which stands for the Oriental Laotian Gangsters. Police believe Friday morning's somewhat small attack on a O.L.G. gang member could mean a bigger retaliation.

West Valley City police Lt. Bill Merritt said, "Often times they don't need any more motivation than the fact that somebody is a member of a rival gang, that's good enough for them."

Police: Gang shooting could result in bigger retaliation

When police arrived, they found broken windows and the homeowner, a member of the O.L.G., inside.

As police were investigating the scene, guns shots were reported nearby. Moments later, the same six T.O.P. gang members came back.

"They hear a couple of vehicles come racing into the area, they (police officers) were seated back in their unmarked car, and sure enough the two cars that were given in the description in the shots fired call, pull right back into the neighborhood," Merritt said.

Not knowing that the men in the unmarked car were police officers, the gang members approached the vehicle wanting to fight. As one of the men reached for the door, the officers pulled their guns, taking four of the six men down on the spot.

Police: Gang shooting could result in bigger retaliation

The other two suspects were pulled over nearby, by an off-duty officer in the area. During that arrest, police also recovered a .9 mm handgun from the car.

West Valley police say as the weather gets warmer, they see more flare-up like this between the two rival gangs. They say their concern is that these flare-ups will turn deadly.

"A few years back we had several shootings and even a couple of homicides in the Salt Lake Valley, including those two different gangs," Merritt said.

All six of the men: Tony Sisouphanh, Nhat Ahn Truong, Brandon Iphongsay, Andy Rasabout, and Eddy Viphongsay Levitz Kaykeo will face criminal mischief charges.

Viphongsay is also charged with possession of a firearm, and Kaykeo was also charged with possession of firearm by a restricted person.

West Valley police say no one was injured during the reported shots fired, but say they will investigate whether the gun recovered has been used in any other criminal cases.

E-mail: spark@ksl.com

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Shara Park


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