Two Charged In Death Of St. George 18-Year-Old
Aug 15, 2019, 11:36 AM | Updated: 11:39 am
(St. George Police Department)
ST. GEORGE, Utah – Two suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the shooting death on an 18-year-old in Washington County.
Officers from the St. George Police Department were called to a home near 300 North and 2700 East around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
They found the teen inside with a gunshot wound to the head. Witnesses at the scene told officers the teen had shot himself.
The victim was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The teen was identified as Skyler Armstrong.
After speaking family members, investigators learned Armstrong was right-handed, which they said was inconsistent with the nature of the injury.
During additional interviews with witnesses, detectives determined several people were inside a bedroom when the shooting happened. Among them were several juveniles and an adult friend of Armstrong’s.
They told police another person identified as 32-year-old Nicanor Vasquez-Mendoza was also in the room. Vasquez-Mendoza reportedly brandished a pistol and removed all the bullets but one.
The witnesses said Vasquez-Mendoza pointed the gun into the ground and pulled the trigger. They said he then pointed the gun at one of the juveniles before aiming at Armstrong and pulling the trigger again.
Officials said the gun went off, shooting Anderson in the head.
Witnesses told police that after the shooting, Vasquez-Mendoza’s girlfriend told them all to tell police they had been looking at their phones when Armstrong shot himself. She was identified as 26-year-old Silvia Gladiz Lopez.
As detectives investigated further, they found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamines in the home and inside Vasquez-Mendoza’s pickup truck.
Investigators also found the weapon they said was used in the shooting, along with a receipt for the gun inside Vasquez-Mendoza’s wallet. They also found an AR15 rifle in the pickup.
When the originally arrived on the scene, an officer stopped the pickup driven by Vasquez-Mendoza as he was leaving the scene.
Vasquez-Mendoza was taken into custody on charges of murder, drug possession, distribution of controlled substances, two counts of purchase or possession of a firearms by a restricted person, aggravated assault and five counts of witness tampering.
Lopez faced one charge of obstruction of justice and five counts of tampering with a witness.
Officials said the investigation was ongoing. They were working to determine if the shooting was an accident or intentional.