Three Kearns men accused of injuring two people during a drive-by shooting earlier this week were charged Friday with attempted murder.
Gary Archibald, 23, and Trentin M. Giles, 18, both of 4380 W. 4949 South, and Benny Lee Gardner, 18, 4221 W. 5015 South, were each charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts each of aggravated assault in 3rd Circuit Court.Investigators said the trio fired shots about 8:45 p.m. Monday at four people who were walking near 4620 W. 5295 South. The victims were fired upon as they were walking home from a 7-Eleven store.
Alama Tausinga and Fatafehi Samani were both hit during the drive-by shooting. They suffered several puncture wounds to the legs, arms and side after apparently being hit with bird shot. Both were treated for injuries at a local hospital. Anna Samani and Sam Teaupa were with them but were not seriously injured.
Gardner admitted to detectives that he was the one who fired a shotgun at each of the victims, and Giles admitted he was driving the car during the shooting, court documents state. Archibald also admitted that he participated, the records said.
David Lavell Mills 18, was originally booked into jail following the shooting, but he was later released and has not been charged because of lack of evidence, sheriff's officials said.
The shooting was apparently gang-related. Detectives are continuing to investigate whether the shooting is connected to two other incidents.
Early Sunday morning, Tausinga's home, 4651 Caplan Drive, was riddled with .22-caliber bullets, .38-caliber bullets, BBs from a pellet gun and bird shot in another drive-by shooting. Deputy sheriffs found a bullet that had passed through a bedroom wall and landed next to a pillow where a 15-year-old girl had been sleeping.
A window had been shot out in the living room, where a young child had been sleeping on a couch, a sheriff's report said.
Thirty minutes before Monday night's shooting, a 17-year-old Kearns High student was beaten in a church parking lot at 3350 W. 5135 South and then drenched with gasoline - including his hair. A man saw four Tongan males running from the youth as he pulled into the parking lot, a report stated.