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Man dies after fight in Salt Lake City gas station

Published October 18, 2012 7:56 am

Crime • Police think victim, 62, who was elbowed in the head may have been drunk.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A man is dead after a fight broke out Wednesday evening at a gas station on South Temple.

Salt Lake City police are investigating the death, which was reported shortly after 7 p.m., according to police Lt. James Nelson. The fight took place between two customers at Smith's Express, a convenience store at 873 E. South Temple.

Nelson said Wednesday night that two men, who apparently didn't know each other, began arguing inside the store. The argument escalated into a physical confrontation that apparently was started by the victim, a 62-year-old man. The other man, 53, elbowed the victim in the head. The victim then left the store and got into a maroon-colored Toyota Corolla, where he collapsed and died a few minutes later.

Police think the man may have been intoxicated. The suspect in the case, who had not been arrested Wednesday night, was not drunk, Nelson said.

Both men are from Salt Lake City. No weapons were involved in the fight, and Nelson said police are trying to figure out whether the man died as a result of the fight or from some other cause.

"We are treating it as a homicide until we learn otherwise," Nelson said.

The altercation was caught on the store's surveillance camera, Nelson said, and police are working on getting that footage. The fight also was witnessed by the store's clerk.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kimballbennion