Three Arrested In Drive-By Shooting Death Of 17-Year-Old Boy
SANDY, Utah – Three people have been arrested for the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy who was on his front lawn in a Salt Lake County neighborhood.
Officials with the Sandy Police Department said they have arrested 19-year-old James Edward Smith and 20-year-old Emmanuel Augustus Espinoza for criminal homicide.
Also arrested was Dina Marie Smith, age 58. All three were also charged with obstruction of justice.
Police said the arrests were made after tips from the public led detectives to the suspects’ vehicle.
The shooting happened just before noon Friday on the 1100 block of Sapphire Drive. Neighbors who ran out to help after hearing the gunshots described it as a drive-by shooting.
Several exterior home surveillance cameras caught a green, older model Ford Explorer driving through the neighborhood at the time of the shooting.
Investigators released video of the SUV, and asked for help from the public to find its owner.
The identity of the teen was not released.
According to the probable cause statement, James Smith told officers he had been having issues with the victim. He said he picked up Espinoza and drove past the victim’s house.
Smith told detectives as they drove by, Espinoza fired multiple shots from the back seat of the SUV.
Several shots hit the home, and police said one shot struck the teen in the chest.
According to the probable cause statement, Smith said he did not know what Espinoza was going to do. He said after the shooting, he took Espinoza home and drove to the Discovery Inn in Midvale where he was staying with his mother, Dina Smith.
Police were able to track the SUV to the hotel room, where they executed search warrants on the home and the vehicle. They said they were able to gather evidence in both locations.
Three arrests made in the Saphire Dr homicide case. Thanks to the public and diligent work of investigators leading to the arrests. pic.twitter.com/dpZAR3dWmS
— Sandy Police (@Sandy_Police) May 23, 2020
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