That man doesn't even know what he took away. He took away a mother, a friend. Danielle had so much potential and so much life left to live. She was a beautiful individual. She always had the biggest heart. —Wayne Gavin
MAGNA — Over the summer, Andy Lucero had to bury his son who was shot and killed.
Now, less than seven months later, Luerco has to bury his daughter, 26-year-old Danielle Lucero. She was one of three people who were shot and killed inside a Midvale house earlier this week.
"We're going to have to deal with it, man up, and see this thing go through," a somber Andy Lucero said from his Magna home Thursday.
Omar Jarman, 35, and Shontay Young, 34, were also killed inside 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West) Tuesday morning. A fourth person — an adult woman whose name has not been released — was seriously injured after also being shot. Four others inside the house — three adult males and an adult female — were not injured.
One of the primary suspects, David Fresques, 25, was arrested Wednesday night following a two-day manhunt thanks to an alert officer responding to a traffic accident.
A South Salt Lake police officer responded to a traffic accident near 300 E. Fenton Ave. (3760 South) about 9 p.m. Wednesday. A man in a pickup truck, which was later determined to be stolen, had crashed into a parked vehicle. The impact of the crash knocked the front passenger-side tire off the pickup.
South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller said when the officer asked about the details of the crash, the driver acted very nervously.
"(The officer) quickly realized more was going on than just a simple accident. He requested additional officers," Keller said. "People just don't act that way at an accident. He said something was up."
At least four more officers arrived to question the man. The driver gave the responding officers a false name, said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. But the officers recognized Fresques, who has several distinguishable tattoos including a large "13" across the front of his neck and a tattoo over his right eyebrow. Fresques was subsequently arrested without incident. No weapon was recovered, Winder said.
Fresques was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of three counts of murder — one of those counts for investigation of aggravated murder — attempted aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and being a restricted person in possession of a weapon.
The search continued Thursday for a second man whose identity detectives have not yet confirmed. Anyone who has information about him is asked to call police at 801-743-5851.
Friends and family members of Danielle Lucero say they don't know Fresques. But Andy Lucero said there is no reason to hate anyone for what happened. The only emotion he wants to feel right now is the love he had for his daughter.
Lucero remembers Danielle as a star athlete in softball with a passion for sports. He said she was a "well-liked, beautiful" woman who was searching for herself.
"She was just lost like every 23-, 26-year-old person, trying to find an identity," he said.
Wayne Gavin had been Danielle Lucero's friend since the two were children.
"Danielle had so much life and so much beauty inside of her," he said. "That man doesn't even know what he took away. He took away a mother, a friend. Danielle had so much potential and so much life left to live. She was a beautiful individual. She always had the biggest heart."
Now, Gavin wishes he had talked to her more to get her out of the situation she was in.
"I just wish I would have been in contact with her. Now I'll never have that closure with her," he said.
"Everybody has different paths in life, she went down the wrong one. She still could have been saved. She was young and she had a good heart," said her brother, Andrew Lucero.
Danielle Lucero is survived by three daughters, ages 3, 4 and 9.
In July, Andy Lucero's son, Tony Vasquez, was shot and killed in a Salt Lake home on July 28. Michael Eugene Vigil, 36, is charged with murdering him. Vasquez and another man were visiting Vigil's parents when Vigil — who had just arrived home — came to the front door and shot Vasquez, according to prosecutors. Vigil is expected to plead guilty as part of an agreement later this month.
Lucero, who has now lost two children to violence, believes the problem is methamphetamine and other drugs, which he believes are worse than guns.
"People need to realize that even if they do (meth) once, it will stay with them for years after," he said.
Despite Fresques' arrest, investigators still are unsure of a possible motive for Tuesday's killings. Fresques is a documented gang member, and the house where the shootings occurred is a known drug house. But Winder said Thursday that it would be wrong to characterize the killings as simply drug-related.
"The facts involving this case are very unique," the sheriff said, while also using words like "very confusing" and "complicated."
"We're not exactly sure what has gone on. It's not clear-cut," Winder said.
The sheriff described Fresques as being very uncooperative with detectives who later tried interviewing him at the police department.
Fresques, who goes by the street name "Twisted," went to the house on Adams Street early Tuesday, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. "During that time, an altercation occurred with Twisted and one of his associates," police wrote.
Fresques reportedly shot one of the women in a room where another witness was but did not shoot the witness, the report states.
As for whether Fresques shot all four people in the house, Winder said that was still under investigation but classified Fresques as having "primary involvement."
A preliminary autopsy from the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that all three victims died of gunshot wounds, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.
Investigators were still trying Thursday to retrace Fresques' steps and figure out where he has been hiding for 48 hours. Winder said he did not know yet how Fresques came to be in possession of the stolen pickup truck.
Fresques' arrest is the second made in connection with the case.
Jose Fernando Garcia, who was renting the Midvale home, was arrested for investigation of obstruction of justice, Hoyal confirmed. Details about how he was allegedly obstructing the investigation were not released Thursday.
Garcia and Esther Arredondo were in the process of being evicted from the house by the property owner when the shootings occurred. In court documents, the owner claimed the occupants were behind on rent, had caused significant damage, among other accusations.
Fresques has served prison terms for robbery and assault, according to court records. He served jail time for forgery, weapons, drug and other charges. He was charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication in September.
Shooting victims Young and Lucero also had recent run-ins with the law prior to their deaths.
Lucero was charged Tuesday — the day of the slayings — with possessing multiple IDs that were not hers, a third-degree felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, in 3rd District Court. A warrant was issued for her arrest that day.
According to court records, Lucero and Joshua Tatafu were using drugs inside a parked vehicle in West Valley City on Feb. 5 when an officer pulled up. Lucero also had three other women's identification cards in her possession, according to police. As the officer was transporting Tatafu to jail, the man told the officer he was going to injure him, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. When the two got out of the squad car, Tatafu allegedly kicked the officer. Lucero was released from jail to Pre-Trial Services.2 comments on this story
In December, Lucero was convicted of shoplifting, a class B misdemeanor. Also in 2012, Lucero was charged with assault, intentionally destroying property and domestic violence in the presence of a child. All charges were later dismissed. In a separate incident, she was convicted of selling tobacco to a minor, a class C misdemeanor.
Young had a relatively minor criminal history, according to court records. She was convicted of attempted forgery in 2011, shoplifting in 2010, and disorderly conduct in both 2010 and 2009 for which she was sentenced to 90 days in jail each time. Court records show she has also had four eviction notices filed against her since 2003.