Police arrest suspect in fatal 2023 shooting near now-closed New Yorker nightclub

The arrest comes after a ‘lengthy investigation,’ said SLCPD police Chief Mike Brown.

(SLCPD) An officer assigned to the SLCPD Central Division Bike Squad blocks traffic during a search warrant on Aug. 26, 2023.

Salt Lake City police officers have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man in the parking lot of a downtown nightclub last summer, the police department announced.

The 23-year-old suspect was arrested on Friday in West Valley City and booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on suspicion of murder, a news release stated Saturday.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally doesn’t identify suspects unless they have been charged with a crime.

The arrest comes after a “lengthy investigation,” said Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown in a statement. The shooting happened about 4 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2023, during Pride weekend. Police received multiple 911 calls about a shooting at the now-shuttered New Yorker nightclub at 60 W. Market St.

When the first officer arrived, they found Halapaini Latu Moala on the ground, the release stated, in a large pay-to-park lot at 300 South and West Temple, close to the club. Moala died at the scene. The shooting was the second shooting to happen near the club that weekend.

After the shootings, the SLCPD implemented crime suppression patrols in the downtown area and began a criminal investigation into the New Yorker club, the release stated.

That investigation led to two arrests, along with the seizure of firearms, marijuana and cocaine.

SLCPD’s Gang Unit worked closely with the SLCPD’s Homicide Squad to identify the gunman in the June 4 shooting, the release stated. In 2023, SLCPD spokesperson Brent Weisberg told The Salt Lake Tribune that “many of the shootings and the incidents that occurred in June 2023 have a gang nexus.”

The suspect’s arrest on Friday “will certainly advance public safety in our city,” Brown said. “The web of violence connected to this one case kept people in our community living in fear of retaliation. I hope that fear is now broken.”