‘Family Was Everything,’ Friends Say About Man Killed In Maverik Stabbing
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Maverik gas station and convenience store that is usually bustling with activity, was silent, and closed off Wednesday, as investigators looked for clues about what led up to a fatal stabbing outside, in the early morning hours. Chrystal Cook says she first heard that something was wrong at around 4am.
“I woke up to my cousin saying that there was a stabbing at Maverik, and that the only person was working was Joey,” Cook said of her friend Joseph (Joey) Allen.
Police say that at around 3am, Allen, and a friend stepped outside the convenience store to confront a group of four males who had been loitering on the property.
“There were some issues with them being on the property,” Detective Greg Wilking said. “They had been asked to leave.”
Wilking says what happened next verbally to escalate the confrontation is not clear, but on surveillance video, Allen’s friend could be seen throwing a metal pole at the group. He says a man could then be seen wielding a knife, and stabbing Allen and his friend, before the four of them ran off. Allen died at the scene. His friend is recovering in an area hospital, and is expected to recover.
“He was a great person, (and had a) good heart,” Cook said of Allen. “We’d come to the store, and we’d hang out with him on his shift, and like he was the coolest person ever.”
Cook says that Allen was excited about his relatively new job at the Maverik, near 1300 S. and Main st, and that he had recently become engaged.
“He leaves behind two twin girls, you know, two more daughters and a son, that looked up to him,” Cook said. “His family was everything to him.”
Marissa Munoz is the mother of those twin girls.
“I’m really sad. I just can’t believe this is happening,” Munoz said. “He was just a really good person. He was always there for me. He helped me out a lot.”
Wilking says the man with the knife was later identified as 21 year-old Tukka Gonne. He’s being held at the Salt Lake County Jail for suspicion of murder, aggravated assault, and interference with arresting officers.