EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

16-year-old shot dead in Piute County, 17-year-old suspect in custody

Jan 9, 2023, 12:51 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm
Francisco Daniel Aguilar, 17, is charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and fe...
Piute High School is pictured in Junction, Utah. (Piute High School)
(Piute High School)

PIUTE COUNTY, Utah — A 16-year-old girl is dead after a shooting Sunday night. The Piute County Sheriff’s Office has a 17-year-old suspect in custody.

In a press release, the sheriff’s office said officers responded to a shooting on Docs Spring Road around 9:57 p.m. Sunday.

A few minutes after arriving, officers found a 16-year-old girl shot dead near a dirt road. 

The sheriff’s office found a Ford Ranger Sunday night that was believed to be involved in the shooting. The driver of the car fled but police eventually caught him near Salina, Utah.

The driver, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The sheriff’s office said the court will decide on Monday whether the suspect will be tried as an adult or as a minor.

“Murders don’t happen where we live and so, as you can appreciate, everyone (from Piute High School students, faculty and staff to friends and neighbors) is in shock and reeling from this tragedy,” said Piute County Sheriff Marty Gleave in the press release.

Piute County School District reacts to the death.

The Piute County School District extended support to its community in a statement Monday morning. At the time of the statement, the school district did not say what happened to the student, and just called it a “critical incident.”

“Our hearts and thoughts are with the family. We want all our students to know that we are here to help in any way we can,” the district said in the statement.

The district also said it would excuse any absences for students who don’t attend school Monday.

The district said it would have counselors available to its school community. The Piute County School District website offers a list of resources.

Piute High School postponed its homecoming events and canceled a wrestling event scheduled for Monday. The school did not mention whether the event changes were related to the student incident.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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16-year-old shot dead in Piute County, 17-year-old suspect in custody