LOCAL NEWS

Mother of Shooting Victim Speaks Out As Police Search for Her Son’s Killer

Jul 17, 2021, 9:54 AM

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — A Salt Lake mother is desperate for answers in the death of her 19-year-old son.

It’s been nearly two months since he was gunned down at a house party, and the teen’s mother is breaking her silence with a call to action for parents,

There are few leads in the case despite dozens of teens being at the party. The mother is hoping parents will encourage their kids to speak up and prevent this from happening again.

Ariana Bell Mulakel describes her 19-year-old son Malik Saaed as her rock and an example to his younger siblings.

“He decided that he was going to go in the medical field like his dad. (He) was enrolling in college. He had saved up money for tuition,” Bell Mulakel said.

But those dreams were shattered On May 28th when Malik went to a 19-year-old friend’s birthday party.

“There was an Airbnb party up on 2300 East near the Foothills,” Bell Mulakel said.

Ariana says the friend’s parents rented an Airbnb home for the party located near 2493 E 1700 S in Salt Lake City.

“There’s like 50-60 people at the party,” Bell Mulakel said.

Then at some point shots rang out.

Ariana says Malik was shot near the entrance of the home. She thinks he encountered the shooter(s) as he opened the door.

Malik suffered at least 6 gunshot wounds.

“You go to bury your son and before you tell him goodbye you see gun residue powder all over his head and bullet wounds in his head,” Bell Mulakel said. “How do you move on from that?”

(Used with permission, Ariana Bell Mulakel)

Neighbors tell KSL TV it took police at least 10-30 minutes to arrive. One neighbor, Aaron Pedersen, told KSL TV on May 29th, that he made two calls to 9-1-1.

Pedersen also reported a car leaving the scene shortly after the shots were fired.

“The car [was] trying to escape here… a lime green dodge challenger,” Pedersen said.

Nevertheless, the initial report by Salt Lake City police officers indicates they spoke with several people claiming to have witnessed the incident, but they refused to provide statements.

“What eats at you the most is there are people who know who did it… and they’re silent. Give me the peace I deserve. I’m not after revenge, I’m after peace. Just give me the peace of knowing who did it and why,” Bell Mulakel said.

Bell Mulakel says multiple teenagers at the party have reached out to her with information on the shooting but they are too scared to speak out against the suspect(s) and cooperate with police.

“Protecting yourself is not staying silent. It’s speaking up. It’s protecting you, your family, your friends. This violence that we didn’t have in Utah needs to come to an end,” Bell Mulakel said.

(Used with permission, Ariana Bell Mulakel)

Bell Mulakel hopes those teens’ parents will encourage their children to do the right thing and help find justice for Malik.

“Think about it, your innocent child, it doesn’t matter what race… there were all kinds of people at this party, goes to an innocent birthday part and one person gets triggered,” Bell Mulakel said. “Are you going to be okay that the outcome becomes… the next party will be 10 dead? 50 flee and nobody wants to talk about it?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salt Lake Police. There’s an anonymous tip line. You can call 799-INFO (4636) or text a tip to 274-637.

You can also reach Ariana on Instagram. Her handle is MissArianaBell.

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Mother of Shooting Victim Speaks Out As Police Search for Her Son’s Killer