SANDY — The suspected gunman in a fatal shooting at a Midvale convenience store was found dead in Sandy following a late-night chase with police.
Jose Luis Garcia, 24, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound and his car rolled through the fence of Peruvian Park Elementary School, 1545 E. 8425 South, and down a steep hill into a field, police said.
It was not known Thursday if Garcia shot himself before he crashed, but Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray noted the vehicle was traveling just 25 mph when it unexpectedly went over the curb and into the school property.
The Canyons School District said Thursday that classes at the school would not be affected.
The incident began just after 9 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Maverik, 7720 S. Main in Midvale. Ray Paul Willie Vasquez, 40, had just bought a drink and was sitting in the driver's seat of his car when a black Jeep Wrangler pulled up and parked next to the victim on the passenger side, Gray said.
The driver of the Jeep, Garcia, got out of his vehicle and shot and killed Vasquez, she said.
Investigators say the men knew each other and do not believe the attack was random.
Because Unified police has a substation nearby, Gray said officers were at the Maverik quickly. Officers soon started pulling over every black Jeep Wrangler in the area, she said.
One Jeep that was spotted by several agencies kept eluding officers every time officers got close, Gray said. One officer, however, was able to get a license plate number.Comment on this story
Just before midnight, Cottonwood Heights police spotted the Jeep again and a chase ensued, Gray said. It went through residential areas before ending up at the elementary school.
A motive for the shooting had not been established as of Thursday morning.
According to state court records, Garcia had no adult criminal history in Utah.
Vasquez was paroled from the Utah State Prison in December. He was convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, and sentenced in 2013 to two terms of one to 15 years to be served consecutively, according to court records.