Police seek gunman in apartment shootings

Published: Thursday, March 30 2006 12:17 p.m. MST

A charge and an arrest warrant were issued Tuesday against a 21-year-old man in connection with a weekend double shooting in South Salt Lake that left one man dead and another in critical condition.

Tyson Yellowbear, also known as Tyson Hadley, was charged in 3rd District Court with one count of attempted homicide, a first-degree felony. A $1 million warrant was issued for his arrest.

Early Saturday morning, a woman was hosting a party at an apartment near 3500 South and 500 East. At some point during the party, two uninvited men showed up, according to court documents.

Yellowbear was in a bedroom when he got into an argument with 32-year-old Pesio S. Vaeluaga. Another man who was standing outside the bedroom, "observed the defendant pull out a handgun, hold it up sideways above his shoulders and shoot Pesio in the head," court documents state.

Two men ran into the bedroom to assist their friend. At that point, the gunman pointed his weapon at them, according to court documents. The two men began wrestling with the gunman to get the weapon away from him. During the confrontation, "the defendant fired another shot that hit Danny (Tapuaialupe) in the chest. Danny ran out of the room and collapsed on the stairs."

Tapuaialupe, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene. Yellowbear was seen jumping into a teal green pickup truck waiting for him and driving off with another man.

Although Yellowbear was only charged with attempted homicide, South Salt Lake police Capt. Chris Snyder said after some follow-up investigation he would likely also be charged with the homicide.

Vaeluaga was taken to University Hospital in critical condition where he had a bullet fragment removed from the back of his skull, according to court documents.

Yellowbear is a known gang member and should be considered armed and dangerous, Snyder said.

In addition to the warrant for the attempted homicide, Salt Lake City police issued an arrest warrant for Yellowbear on March 21 for three counts of second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property.

Anyone with information on Yellowbear is asked to call South Salt Lake Police at 840-4000.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

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