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Family of elderly man killed in West Valley shooting ‘heartbroken’ at his loss

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The family of an elderly man killed by gunfire in West Valley City has doubled the reward offered by the U.S. Marshals Service for a person of interest in the case.

Family members say Farrell Bartschi, 82, was a beloved grandfather with 38 great-grandchildren. His family said he was an innocent bystander who was shot by a complete stranger on Oct. 4 during a morning walk.

It’s why they hope the $4,000 reward will help those with information to do the right thing.

On the surface things in the West Valley City neighborhood are back to normal. But for Kimberlie Dixon’s family, they will never be the same.

“I never expected anything like this,” Dixon said. “You hear it all the time on the news and it’s always someone else and you just never think it’s going to be you.”

On Oct. 4, Dixon’s father was walking in the area of 3800 South and 4220 West.

One killed in shooting outside West Valley home

“He just went out for his walk — he goes out every morning,” Dixon said.

However, just as Bartschi passed in front of a house on 3800 South, police suspect he was gunned down by someone in a passing car. Bartschi died on the sidewalk in front of the home.

“I’ll just miss him forever and I’m just very angry that he took him away,” Dixon said.

The West Valley City Police Department has named Noel Munoz Lopez, 34, as a person of interest in the case. Lopez is also wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service for violating his parole. They’ve issued a $2,000 reward for him, but Dixon has doubled the reward to $4,000 in hopes of getting any leads.

“I just want him caught. I just want to get him off the streets,” Dixon said.

Police are also looking for a white 2012 Chevy Malibu with Utah license plates No. 9P6EE.

Police said residents who live in the house where Bartschi was shot have an association with Lopez.

“I just want to find him so we can have justice for my dad and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Dixon said.

Lopez has a violent background, according to police. He was granted parole in March and was last known to be living in Kearns.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts or the shooting was asked to call WVCPD at 801-965-5200. Officers said tipsters can remain anonymous.

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