MIDVALE, Utah (AP) – A suspect was on the run Tuesday after three people were shot to death and one was wounded at a known drug house in suburban Salt Lake City, causing temporary lockdowns at several area schools.
Police left three bodies inside the house for much of Tuesday as they searched Midvale for ex-convict David Fresques, 25, who left his car at a nearby Motel 6.
“He is a suspect at large, and we want to get him caught,” Unified Police Department Lt. Justin Hoyal said Tuesday afternoon.
Fresques has a lengthy criminal record and was paroled in November on a robbery conviction, court records show. His involvement or motive in the shooting was unknown.
Detectives, meanwhile, were interviewing two adults and a child left unharmed at the house during the shooting, Hoyal said.
The shooting was reported around 8 a.m. at a house that backs up to a sound barrier for Interstate-15, about a dozen miles south of Salt Lake City.
Hoyal said a search warrant had been served at the residence in recent weeks for drug activity. “It was a known narcotics house,” he said.
Several elementary schools were locked down to keep children safe as dozens of officers began a search for Fresques, who police believe left the home after the shooting. The school lockdowns were later lifted, but police kept the schools under guard for much of the day.
At first, police called Fresques a “person of interest” in the case. But by late Tuesday Hoyal left no doubt that he was being considered a suspect, together with a second man who has yet to be identified.
Investigators and a medical examiner were preparing to enter the house late Tuesday to recover the bodies and evidence.
The fourth shooting victim, a woman, was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Her condition improved later Tuesday to serious, Hoyal said.
Neighbors said they thought the house had been left vacant after police conducted the drug raid weeks ago.
“We heard a big boom at 4 o’clock in the morning,” said Guy Foote, 50, who lives nearby. “They blew the door hinges off with flash grenades. The police were telling us to get back inside our houses.”
He and other residents were shocked to learn a triple homicide had occurred in their tidy neighborhood of small houses.
“It’s crazy,” Foote said. “It blows my mind. Scary. I walk my dogs on this street all the time.”
Court records show the owner of the house was trying to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent, but the landlord’s daughter told The Associated Press the shooting had nothing to do with the dispute in court.
Jose Velazquez filed eviction proceedings Jan. 29 against Jose Fernando Garcia and Esther Arredondo, who countersued a week later, claiming Velazquez failed to credit the couple for making repairs to the $116,000 house.
Several other people appeared to be staying at or frequently visiting the house, said Stephanie Velazquez, the owner’s daughter. She didn’t know if the tenants were victims of the shooting.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas