SANDY — A man allegedly involved in a gunfight in a Sandy garage has been charged with two counts of murder.
Alexander Leroy Vasquez, 24, was charged in 3rd District Court with capital murder and murder, first-degree felonies, in addition to other charges.
On Aug. 5, Vasquez, Paul Giovale, Cindy James and her boyfriend Simon Vasquez — Alex Vasquez's uncle — all met in a garage at 80 E. 8640 South. It was unknown Friday how Giovale knew the group or why that group was meeting in the garage.
"Once the doors of the garage were closed, the defendant pulled out a gun and pointed it at several people, including Paul Giovale," charging documents state.
Alex Vasquez fired first at Giovale who returned fire, according to police. James and Simon Vasquez found themselves caught in the middle of a gun battle.
Giovale was shot three times and died at the scene. Simon Vasquez was shot in the neck. Family members said he had been paralyzed by the wound, but he then died a week later from his injuries. James was shot in the arm.
An autopsy revealed that shots from Alex Vasquez's gun killed Giovale, and shots from Giovale's gun struck Simon Vasquez. But because prosecutors believe Alex Vasquez was responsible for instigating the entire incident, they say he is criminally liable for both killings.
Vasquez was on parole at the time of the shooting and is currently in the Utah State Prison for a parole violation. He was sentenced to prison in 2008 after being found guilty of two counts of unlawfully possessing a vehicle to commit a felony and escaping from official custody. He was paroled in January of 2012.
In addition to the two murder charges, Vasquez was also charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and second-degree felony charges of discharge of a weapon with injury, and two counts of possession of a weapon by a restricted person.