Utah man involved in June West Valley City shooting charged for murder

The man was previously charged for illegally possessing firearms twice before the incident.

The Salt Lake Tribune

The West Valley City Police Department charged a 26-year-old man with murder Thursday for allegedly shooting and killing another man in June.

Lolo Latu, 26, has been charged in the 3rd District Court with first-degree felonies for murder, discharge of a firearm causing serious injury as well as second-degree felonies for the purchase of a firearm by a restricted person and obstructing justice.

On June 8, Latu, who was first sentenced to the Utah State Prison at 16 after being convicted of aggravated robbery, was staring aggressively at Akesiu Fulilangi in front of a residence near 3300 South and 4350 West in West Valley City, court documents say. Fulilangi was reportedly sitting with a woman in a Nissan Pathfinder.

Latu exited his vehicle and spoke briefly with Fulilangi, 31, before allegedly turning around and firing two shots at the car as he walked away, according to a probable cause determination. The shots struck Fulilangi in his chest and leg, the charges state.

The woman drove Fulilangi to Jordan Valley West Hospital where he died. The state medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Officers say they found shell casings outside the residence that were identified as a match through forensic testing with a 9mm Taurus handgun that was found in Latu’s car after he was detained in Utah County for unrelated warrants.

Cell phone pinging data “put Latu in the area of the homicide at the time the homicide occurred,” the documents state.

Court records show Latu was convicted of firearm offenses in 2017 and 2019. Prosecutors have requested that Latu be held without bail.

“Latu’s assaultive behavior and lengthy history of firearms offenses ultimately converged in this tragic set of circumstances and led to the murder of another person,” prosecutors wrote in the court documents. “His disregard for the well-being of others will undoubtedly lead to even more tragic outcomes should he be released back into the community.”