Salt Lake City police are looking for a man in connection with the slaying of a 16-year-old boy who was gunned down in a downtown store parking lot.
Diego Mendoza was a sophomore at Granger High School in West Valley City, Granite School District spokesman Randy Ripplinger confirmed. Counselors were being made available for any students who wanted to talk about the death, he said.
Police on Monday released the description of a car sought in connection with Mendoza's slaying in front of a Sears store near 800 South and State Street.
Officers were looking for a 1991 Chrysler New Yorker with Utah license plate 488 UTN. The white four-door sedan has a front passenger window that is covered in plastic and possibly duct-taped, a police spokeswoman said.
One of the shooters, police said, was described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches, 165 pounds with short hair that is curly on top. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans.
Homicide detectives said Monday the description came from witnesses who saw the man get out of the car and open fire on two people as they pulled up to a taco cart outside the store. The other shooter may have stayed in the car, police said.
"Witnesses told us there were two people possibly in a white, four-door ... that pulled up, got out of their car and walked up with guns and just opened fire," Salt Lake City Police Lt. Dave Hoffman said Sunday.
Mendoza was shot in the head. Police said 23-year-old Eder Orona was shot in the chest, but is now hospitalized in stable condition.
Police said homicide and gang detectives are involved in the investigation.
"There are some indications it could be gang-related," Salt Lake City Police detective Jared Wihongi told the Deseret Morning News late Sunday night. "Right now, it's a little premature to say for sure."Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call Salt Lake police at 801-799-3000.
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