Candlelight vigil honors Midvale triple-homicide victim
Midvale • When Andrew Lucero dreams, he sees his big sister Danielle smiling.
"I've had dreams about her. I think of her when I hear the music I play. She loved music and she loved to sing," the 25-year-old says, wiping tears from his eyes. "She had dreams. She wanted to raise her kids to be happy. She wanted them to have a happy home, but she didn't get enough time."
Danielle Lucero, 26, was one of three people shot and killed inside a Midvale home, 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West), last Tuesday. The others who died were 35-year-old Omar Paul Jarman and 34-year-old Shontay Nichole Young. An unidentified woman was also shot and hospitalized with serious injuries but was expected to survive.
David Fresques, a 25-year-old ex-con with gang ties and a violent criminal history, was arrested and is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail in connection with the fatal shootings. In jail documents, Unified Police Department detectives said Fresques went room to room through the house, gunning down his victims. A second unidentified man suspected in the shootings remained at large on Sunday.
Police say the residence is a known drug house.
Danielle Lucero had struggled with drug addiction, but family members say they don't know why she was there or how she knew any of the others who were also in the home.
On Sunday evening, Lucero's extended family and friends held a vigil outside the rundown two-story brick house, where a memorial of flowers, candles, stuffed animals and heart-shaped balloons now adorns the concrete front steps. The Luceros lined the curved walkway to the front door with small waxed paper cups that held flickering candles. Each cup, like the bright red sweatshirts worn by many of the three dozen mourners in attendance Sunday night, bore a photo of a smiling Danielle.
"I don't even like to think of this as a house. It's just a stop for lost souls," Andrew Lucero said. "She didn't belong there."
Andrew Lucero said the family wanted to gather here, however, so they could feel close to Danielle, who leaves behind three young daughters, ages 9, 4 and 3.
'She was lost and trying to find her way," he said of his sister. "But everybody deserves a second chance, and we were reaching out. She just wasn't ready."
Lindsay Atwood said she last saw her friend Danielle Lucero about two days before the shooting and the pair had plans to connect again later in the week. Then Atwood, 23, saw a television news report about the shooting. Atwood recognized pictures of the house, she said, because she'd given Danielle a ride there in the past.
"I knew right away she was gone," Atwood said, as she tied pink and purple balloons to a chain link fence in front of the home. "I kept calling her cellphone and trying to get a hold of her, but I knew."
Inez Lucero, Danielle and Andrew's aunt, came from New Mexico for the vigil. She made a similar trip to Utah last summer, when her nephew Antonio Vasquez, was shot and killed during an argument with another man. Vazquez was Danielle and Andrew Lucero's half-brother.
"It's too much for a family," Inez Lucero said. "It's devastating."
Near the close of the vigil, Inez Lucero held a candle aloft, offering a prayer for her niece and the other victims and called for an end to the drug abuse and gun violence that has left so many families scarred.
"If you have a loved one that is lost," Andrew Lucero added, "help them."