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Chicago man stabbed to death in downtown Salt Lake City

Published April 19, 2014 7:13 pm

Crime • They said victim did not know his assailant.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police say Joaquin Gonzalez had just left a movie and gotten into his car when a complete stranger stabbed him to death.

By Saturday evening, Salt Lake City officers tracked down and arrested Harlin Ramos, 30, on suspicion of murdering Gonzalez, who has a Chicago address.

The 33-year-old man left The Gateway movie theater with a woman at 1:20 a.m. and returned to his car, at 515 W. 100 South. Ramos was selling drugs in the area and opened Gonzalez's passenger-side door, which startled him, according to an arrest affidavit. Police suspect that Ramos and Gonzalerz started fighting, during which Ramos allegedly stabbed Gonzalez multiple times.

The suspect fled, and despite the aid received from emergency responders, Gonzalez died at the scene, according to police.

The police initially reported that two men were involved in the fight, but later said that the second man was nothing more than a witness, said Sgt. Robin Heiden.

Officers eventually found Ramos at a motel near 1500 W. North Temple. They also found evidence that allegedly links him to the murder, though investigations did not immediately disclose what that evidence was.

As far as the investigators know, "Gonzalez was doing nothing wrong and was just a victim of a senseless murder," Heiden said. "They don't even know each other. It just doesn't make sense. It's absolutely senseless."

Ramos admitted to the police that he stabbed Gonzalez multiple times in the chest with a folding knife, according to the affidavit.

pmanson@sltrib.com mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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