Murder charge filed in West Valley City shooting
Prosecutors on Friday filed a first-degree murder charge against a West Valley City man who allegedly shot and killed his roommate earlier this month.
According to charging documents filed in 3rd District Court, Roberto T. Romero, 59, shot Jesus L. Velez "at least six" times with a handgun in the early morning hours of March 11, hitting him twice in the head and four times elsewhere on his body.
According to witness statements recorded by West Valley police, Romero and the 42-year-old Velez had been "feuding," and Romero threatened his roommate earlier in the day. One woman who was drinking with friends in the house at 2363 S. Redwood Road told police that she heard a loud noise coming from a room followed by a man saying, "No, no, no." She then heard several gun shots and another man say: "I told you not to mess with me."
The woman then heard even more gunshots, court documents state.
Romero fled the residence after the shooting, and he was located later that day by police at an old acquaintance's address on the 200 block of East Hubbard Avenue (935 South) in Salt Lake City. The man living there told police that Romero came to his door in the middle of the night and asked if he could sleep there. Later, police came knocking on the door, and Romero pulled handgun from his waistband and put it in a garbage can. The resident of the home then gave the garbage can to police and Romero was arrested.
Court documents state that Romero, an illegal immigrant, admitted to the shooting.
Prosecutors charged Romero with first-degree murder, a second-degree felony count of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, and third-degree felony discharge of a firearm.
Romero is held at the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.