Three Summit County men charged for alleged involvement in Fashion Place mall shooting
Charges have been filed against three Summit County men for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 13 shooting at the Fashion Place shopping mall in Murray that left two injured in what, prosecutors say, was a gang-related incident.
Flaviano Aguilar, of Park City, and Arian Huerta and Jorge Luis Crecencio-Gonzalez, both of Kamas, were charged in Salt Lake County’s 3rd District Court on Tuesday. Two other men, Steven Alexander Perez-Hernandez, of Sandy, and Jesus Joshua Payan-Mendoza, of Heber City, are also facing charges related to the shooting. Prosecutors allege the five men are members of the street gang Florencia 13.
Aguilar and Crecencio-Gonzales were both charged with felony counts of obstructing justice and riot, while Huerta and Payan-Mendoza were charged with riot. Perez-Hernandez is facing a charge of felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, as well as counts of obstructing justice and riot. The penalties for all the charges could be enhanced because of the suspects’ alleged gang involvement.
Police said video surveillance from the mall showed the men were shopping inside a store in the mall with two other males, identified in court documents only by their initials because they are both juveniles, when an argument broke out with members of the rival street gang Nortenos.
The groups planned to fight outside when, court documents allege, one of the juveniles associated with Florencia 13 fired a 9mm pistol at a man and a woman associated with the members of the Nortenos. The man was hit three times in the abdomen and legs and the woman was struck once in her upper left thigh. Surveillance footage showed witnesses administering first aid to the man and the woman while those involved in the shooting fled the scene.
Aguilar was arrested on Jan. 16 and is being held on a $100,000 bail, according to a spokesperson with the Salt Lake County Metro Jail. Huerta was taken into custody on Jan. 17 and is being held on a $50,000 bail, while Crecencio-Gonzalez was arrested Jan. 14. His bail is $100,000. Aguilar, Huerta and Crecencio-Gonzalez all remain in custody at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail.
According to court documents, Crecencio-Gonzales, Huerta and Aguilar admitted to police after they were taken into custody that they were at the mall during the shooting. Payan-Mendoza later told police Crecencio-Gonzales drove the car that picked him up after the shooting, the documents state.
Huerta told police that Perez-Hernandez had driven him and the two juveniles away from the mall after the shooting while Aguilar got rid of the gun, according to the documents. Prosecutors allege Aguilar admitted to sending money to the juvenile who pulled the trigger so he could continue evading police. Prosecutors also say Huerta told police that Perez-Hernandez directed the juvenile to shoot at the man and woman.
Aguilar and Huerta are scheduled to make their first appearance in Salt Lake County’s 3rd District Court on Friday.
Crecencio-Gonzalez has retained attorney Joseph Jardine. Jardine entered not guilty pleas on his behalf on Jan. 23. A pre-trial hearing has not yet been scheduled for his case.
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Tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world are descending on the Park City area amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak. Summit County health officials are talking to the CDC, but say as of now, it’s the flu that poses more of a danger.