SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was shot and killed in what was originally described as a drug deal gone bad was actually trying to rob a good Samaritan, prosecutors say.
Jesse Ray Rakes, 30, was shot on Aug. 28 near 550 W. 300 South after police say he and two other men got into a confrontation with Daniel Christopher Simon, 25. Rakes later died as a result of his injuries.
On Friday, Simon was charged with possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, but he was not charged in connection with the shooting death.
Rakes approached Simon and his girlfriend, Natanni Namtha Xoumphonphackdy, and "asked for a jump because his battery had died," charging documents state. Simon moved his car so he could connect jumper cables, then got out to talk to Rakes.
That's when Michael Sean Polk, 34, of Grantsville, and Matthew Gordon Eyre, 35, of South Salt Lake, got out of the other car and Rakes told Simon "that this is a robbery, displayed a gun, and demanded all of their property," according to the charges.
Polk and Eyre were charged Friday with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. Eyre later told police that Rakes "liked Simon's car and wanted to take it," the charges state.
Simon walked to the passenger side of his car where his girlfriend handed him a gun, according to charging documents. Rakes then pulled out his own gun and Simon shot him in the hip, police say.
Simon got back in his car and attempted to drive away, but Polk allegedly hit Simon with his car, causing Polk's car to flip. Simon and Xoumphonphackdy drove around the corner and waited for police to arrive.
Simon has been convicted of a felony before and is not allowed to possess a firearm, according to prosecutors.
After Polk's car crashed, between 15 and 30 people who were standing near the Rio Grande Depot rushed to the vehicle. But rather than offer help, the majority of the people looted items, including Rakes' wallet. Police have asked the public to help them find the missing items.
Polk is a documented member of the Soldiers of Aryan Culture gang, and Eyre is a documented member of the Silent Aryan Warriors gang, according to Salt Lake police.
Xoumphonphackdy was originally arrested for investigation of obstruction of justice, but no criminal charges had been filed against her as of Friday.
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