Murder charge filed in shooting between rival gang members
SALT LAKE CITY — A Taylorsville man has been charged with murder after a fist fight between rival gang members escalated to a shooting Aug. 31.
Donald Orlando Valdez, 29, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in 3rd District Court on Tuesday in the death of 28-year-old David Gonzales. Valdez also faces second-degree felony charges for obstructing justice and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
Nicholas James Valdez, 27, a co-defendant in the case, is charged with two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, both second-degree felonies, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.
Donald and Nicholas Valdez were reportedly talking about gang ties and flashing gang signs at a party at 970 S. 300 West before a fist fight broke out between Nicholas Valdez and Gonzales, charges state. Police say Gonzales was a member of a different gang.
The fight continued outside the house, where Nicholas Valdez took a silver handgun from a small, black bag and fired two rounds, one into the air and one into the sidewalk, according to charging documents.
The incident was recorded on a nearby surveillance camera, and a small, black bag with a loaded Walther 9 mm handgun and several loose live rounds were recovered from some bushes, charges state.
A broken rosary similar to one Donald Valdez was photographed wearing at the party was located near Gonzales' body, along with two spent 9 mm rounds, according to charging documents. Gonzales was killed by a gunshot to the head.
Police also located a gray beanie and white T-shirt similar to what Donald Valdez wore to the party in an alley near the scene, as well as a Glock 19 pistol that had been hidden behind a piece of plywood, charges state. A woman confirmed to police that Donald Valdez always carries a black handgun.
Police located Donald Valdez with dried blood on his hands as he was running through a Target parking lot at 1110 S. 300 West, charges state.
- Can you name your U.S. Representative? See...
- Hope in a crisis: School, community leaders...
- Eagle Mountain man killed in alleged domestic...
- Five sites now under consideration for new...
- Becky Lockhart remembered on Rare Disease Day...
- Prosecutors: Woman killed girlfriend with 46...
- UDOT announces road project schedule for 2015
- Officer in parade controversy speaks out on...
- Officer in parade controversy speaks... 263
- Gov. Herbert: 'Let chips go where they... 71
- Gov. Herbert increases pressure on... 52
- Illinois professor could help Utah... 43
- House Speaker Greg Hughes kills hopes... 33
- House panel approves bill to require... 26
- Prophets and presidents: 11 noteworthy... 23
- Utah Senate rejects delay to Count My... 19