CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Police: mall shooting was gang-related, two in custody

Jan 14, 2019, 10:17 AM | Updated: 6:44 pm
Fashion Place Mall shooting...
People evacuate after a reported shooting at Fashion Place Mall in Murray on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

MURRAY — Murray City police confirmed Monday a shooting outside Fashion Place Mall that sent two people to the hospital was gang-related, including the victims of that shooting.

The suspects have been identified as Jesus J. Payan-Mendoza and Jorge C. Gonzalez, both 19 and both known gang members, according to police.

(Jesus Payan-Mendoza: Salt Lake County Jail)

 

(Jorge Luiz Crecencio-Gonzalez, Salt Lake County Jail)

However, there could have been as many as 12 people involved in what led up to the shooting, according to Murray Police Office Kenny Bass.

“We had a group of five individuals that included the victim, and then a group of five to seven that were in the other group,” he says, adding,  “[We’re] attempting to identify and interview all other involved individuals in the shooting.”

Neither Payan-Mendoza nor Crecencio-Gonzalez live in Salt Lake County.  Bass says they both live in Summit and Wasatch counties, so, they don’t believe the dispute was over territory.  Bass says the two gangs started arguing after they inadvertently ran into each other inside the mall.

Bass says, “It’s difficult to say whether it was chance, or not.  It appears, from the initial information, that it was.”

After the argument, Bass says one group followed the other out of an exit close to Dillard’s.  That’s when the fight became physical.

“The second group that was in the mall had an individual who turned and fired at the first group,” Bass says.  Someone in the other group returned fire, but no one was hit.

The man who was shot is still in the hospital in critical condition.  The woman who was injured was treated and released.

Police are combing over the surveillance video they’ve taken from the mall, however, they know there are lots of other people who took cell phone video of the shooting.  Investigators want those people to come forward.

“Contact our police department and see if we could get a copy of the video,” Bass requests.

Payan-Mendoza and Crecencio-Gonzalez were both booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and discharge of a firearm, although police have not figured out who exactly fired their weapons.

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Police: mall shooting was gang-related, two in custody