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Neighbors and Family of the Shooter Search for Answers

Neighbors and Family of the Shooter Search for Answers



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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Click Here for Complete Coverage of the Trolley Square ShootingsAshley Hayes/Paul Nelson Reporting

The neighbors of alleged Trolley Square shooter Sulejmen Talovic are speaking about the accused killer that was living on their block.

Fourth North and Marion Street seems like a quiet part of Salt Lake City. So, Alfred Gomez never thought his neighbor, Sulejmen Talovic, would plot to be a mass murderer.

Alfred Gomez: "It's actually kind of scary because he could have done that here, you know?"

Even Talovic's aunt, Ajka Omerovic, says the family doesn't know the man who could commit five murders and attempt many more.

Ajka Omerovic: "We only know him as a good boy, very patient and everything."

People who knew him said he showed up to work and acted like it was any other day, so they don't know what would set him off.

Police officers are still trying to determine why Monday night's deadly shooting happened. Even the family of the shooter can't seem to answer that question.

Sulejmen Talovic's family is baffled at what happened. When we spoke with his aunt she couldn't believe her nephew was capable of killing so many people.

Ajka Onerovic, Gunman's Aunt: "We want to know what happened just like you guys. We have no idea. He was such a good boy. We don't know what happened."

She said there were no early warning signs Talovic was planning on attacking people at the mall. His co-workers at Aramark Uniform Services said he was at work Monday afternoon, but acted normal.

A family friend, who didn't want to be identified, told us Talovic's upbringing may have played a role. He was a Muslim-Bosnian, born in war-torn Bosnia. Talovic has lived in Utah for the past several years. He dropped out of high school in 2004.

The family friend said Talovic had a tough time interacting with people and dealing with traumatic episodes. That may be why neighbors who lived near the Talovics for years don't know the first thing about him.

John Buddensick, Neighbor: "Me or my family, or pretty much anybody on my side of the street never came in contact with Sulejmen or any of his friends or anything like that. So to hear that this happened is somewhat shocking because you really didn't know who he was."

Whether there were indicators or not, police say Talovic planned on killing as many people as possible at Trolley Square. Talovic carried with him a .38 caliber pistol, a shotgun, a backpack full of ammunition and a bandoleer of shotgun shells into the mall.

The Deseret Morning News is reporting Talovic was a legal alien, which means he could legally purchase those weapons. He was also 18 years old, a legal adult.

Police are tracing the guns back to the manufacturer and are hoping to find some answers as to how they ended up in Talovic's hands. But at this point, we don't know where he got the guns, and we still don't know a motive for the shootings.

Six people, including Talovic, were killed during the rampage. The other five are:

Jeffrey Walker, 42
Vanessa Quinn, 28
Kirsten Hinckley, 15
Teresa Ellis, 29
Brad Frantz, 24

Several others were wounded.

Carolyn Tuft, 44, is in critical condition. She lost her daughter in the shooting. Sixteen-year-old A.J. Walker is in serious condition. His father was killed in the shooting.

Also injured were Stacy Hansen and Shawn Munns.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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