3 killed, 1 hospitalized in Midvale shootings

Landlord was evicting 2 from what police called a 'known narcotics house'

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 9:25 a.m. MST

SWAT team members look for suspects at a Motel 6 after a shooting in a Midvale neighborhood Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

MIDVALE — An all-day manhunt for two men wanted in connection with a triple homicide and the shooting of a fourth person continued into the night Tuesday.

By Tuesday afternoon, Unified police investigators were no longer calling the duo "persons of interest" but directly called them "suspects" based on information received from witnesses.

Between 70 and 80 officers spent much of the day Tuesday searching for David Fresques, 25, and an unknown man he was believed to be with.

"It is a dangerous situation," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

Fresques is wanted in connection with three shooting deaths inside a Midvale house, 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West), just after 8 a.m Tuesday. Three people were killed and a fourth critically injured inside what police described as a "known narcotics house."

"When (officers) got here, they found three victims confirmed deceased at this residence. One was transported to the hospital, also having received wounds from a shooting as well," Hoyal said.

The names and ages of the victims were not released. Hoyal said the person sent to the hospital in critical condition is an adult woman. She was later upgraded to serious condition. The three slain victims are all adults, two women and one man. 

The 911 call to police came from inside the house, either while the shooting was still happening or immediately after, he said. When police arrived, there was a man, a woman and a child inside who were not injured, in addition to the four victims.

"I was just like, 'Whoa, there's like 50 cops here. They're searching everyone,'" said Christopher Ivie, who lives across the street. "(They asked) if we saw anything, and no one really saw anything in my house."

Hoyal did not have a description of the second man, but based on interviews with witnesses and neighbors, detectives believe the two men were present when the shootings occurred. He also did not say what roles the two men may have played in the crime.

Fresques is a documented gang member, but Hoyal said it was unknown whether the shooting was gang-related, drug-related or something else. He noted, however, that police had been at the Midvale house last month as part of an "ongoing narcotics investigation."

"Our SWAT team served a search warrant at this home not too long ago for a narcotics investigation. We do know it's a known narcotics house," he said.

At least one neighbor said there was frequent short-term traffic at the house consistently.

Hoyal did not know if the victims lived in the house. Detectives were also investigating Tuesday how often Fresques may have visited the house and what his relation was to the victims.

According to Utah state court records, two renters of the house were currently in the process of being evicted. New filings were processed in court just a few days ago.

Jose C. Velazquez, the owner of the property, filed an eviction notice against Jose Fernando Garcia and Esther Arredondo. In his court filings, Velazquez claimed the occupants were behind on rent, had caused significant damage, had added roommates without permission, built two extra rooms in the backyard in addition to "trashing" the backyard. He also said the city of Midvale had sent him violation notices about storage in the front yard.

In their counterclaim, Garcia and Arredondo said the damage to the property was caused by police "when they served a search warrant in which Jose is being wrongfully accused of," according to court records.

Dozens of heavily armed officers, along with bloodhounds, went door-to-door in the neighborhood surrounding the shooting scene looking for the Fresques and the second man. Fresques was described as Hispanic, bald, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds.

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