South Salt Lake teen fatally shoots friend after argument over text, police say

The shooter is being held without bail.

(South Salt Lake Police Department) An 18-year-old has been arrested after he police say he shot and killed his 17-year-old friend.

A 17-year-old was shot and killed by his 18-year-old friend after they argued over text and in person on Friday night, South Salt Lake police said.

According to a probable cause statement, the 18-year-old and his father had “ingested both marijuana and multiple alcoholic beverages” and were “intoxicated” when the son got involved in a “text-messaging” argument with the 17-year-old.

The 17-year-old soon went to the 18-year-old’s home, near 500 East and Woodland Avenue, where both the 18-year-old and his father, 47, armed themselves, police said.

At first, the 18-year-old’s mother went outside and talked to the younger teen, then allowed him inside, according to the probable cause statement. There, the 18-year-old’s father put his gun on the kitchen table, and his son went to his bedroom, refusing to speak with the 17-year-old.

According to police documents, the 17-year-old began to argue with the mother and threatened to assault her son. The 18-year-old then came out of his bedroom and argued with the 17-year-old before the two were separated by the parents.

At that point, the 17-year-old said he was going to leave, but the mother was “pulling on” his clothing, police wrote. As the teen went to leave, the 18-year-old said he was going to shoot him.

The 17-year-old then charged toward the 18-year-old, who pulled out a “concealed” gun and shot the younger teen five to six times, police said.

After the shooting, the 18-year-old called 911 and made a “spontaneous statement” that he had just shot someone. When officers and paramedics arrived, the 17-year-old, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital. He died a short time later.

Investigators obtained a search warrant and found “several” guns inside the home, as well as surveillance video from “multiple security cameras in the residence,” police wrote. The 18-year-old reportedly told police that he feared the 17-year-old “was going to assault him,” so he shot him.

The 18-year-old was booked into the Salt Lake County jail, where he is being held without bail on suspicion of murder, aggravated assault, felony discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, and felony discharge of a firearm. The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name defendants unless they have been formally charged with a crime.