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S.L. City shooting victim had a criminal record

Published December 14, 2004 1:40 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A man shot through the head in the parking lot of a Salt Lake City apartment complex was a suspected gang member who had sporadic troubles with the law.

Brandon Rhoualah Sazesh, 30, on Monday evening was clinging to life at LDS Hospital, where he was taken Saturday night by paramedics who found him in the driver's seat of a car that had crashed into the east wall of Eagle's Landing, 660 S. Redwood Road.

Police later discovered that Sazesh had entry and exit wounds from what appeared to be a single gunshot to the lower right side of his head.

Officers said it appears Sazesh was shot from inside the car but have located no witnesses to the shooting.

At least one apartment complex resident reported seeing two teenage boys running from the scene.

Police spokesman Dwayne Baird said Monday he was unaware of a motive or whether investigators had any suspects. "Other than that vague description, we don't know who we're looking for," Baird said.

Baird also did not know what Sazesh, who was not an Eagle's Landing resident, was doing at the apartment complex. Residents who live in the complex said gang activity is "rampant" there, though none could recall anything as violent as Saturday night's shooting.

Court records indicate Sazesh had lived in West Valley City, Murray and Salt Lake City during the last 13 years. During that time, Sazesh had compiled a criminal record including convictions for trespassing, drug possession and carrying a concealed weapon. He also had been charged, though he was not convicted, of assault and battery in 1996.

However, Sazesh hadn't been in a criminal courtroom since early 2000, when he was arrested by the FBI for dealing drugs from his West Valley City home.

In at least one case, in 1995, Sazesh was ordered to cease his involvement with gangs. Police suspect gang activity may have been led to Saturday's shooting, though Baird said that suspicion has not been conclusively established.

mlaplante@sltrib.com