WEST VALLEY CITY — The shooting death of a 15-year-old boy who was driving a minivan on the Bangerter Highway Thursday night is being investigated as a gang-related incident, police said Friday.
About 9:45 p.m., Irving Alexis Chuba, 15, and a small dog were shot and killed near the intersection of 4100 South and Bangerter Highway.
The boy and three friends, all in their mid-teens, were in the minivan and were confronted by a group in another vehicle near 3500 South and Bangerter Highway. Chuba indicated to his friends that he knew "one or more" of the occupants in the other vehicle, and "he began to attempt to lose them," said West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.
"The other driver followed the victim at high speeds, running several red lights and weaving in and out of traffic in the area of 3500 South Bangerter and 3100 South west of Bangerter. When the victim was forced to slow down due to traffic at 4100 South Bangerter, the other driver pulled alongside the victim’s vehicle and fired multiple shots," she said.
Chuba was hit at least once. As the minivan continued its turn onto 4100 South, it collided with another vehicle and eventually a power pole. A dog in the minivan, a Chihuahua, was also shot and killed. The three others in the minivan were not injured. No one in the vehicle hit by the minivan was injured.
Several West Valley officers were nearby and heard the gunfire, according to police. They were able to respond to the scene quickly, but the shooter had already sped away.
Erik Stevens was working in his home nearby when he heard the gunshots. He said "without a doubt" he heard five shots. Stevens said he had his children go to the basement as he tried to figure out what was going on.Comment on this story
Police were looking Friday for a silver or gold Mitsubishi-type vehicle, or a car that's similar. Witnesses said there were three to four people in the car.
Anyone with information about the shooting or who witnessed the two vehicles chasing each other on the Bangerter Highway is asked to call police at 801-840-4000.
A GoFundMe campaign was started to help pay for funeral expenses for Chuba's family. According to the page, "He is survived by his four siblings, and his father, who loved him beyond words."