Man arrested in connection to SLC assault that left one dead

Jul 13, 2022, 6:17 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Police say a 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an aggravated assault that left one man dead in Salt Lake City over the weekend.

Officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department said Kepueli Penisini was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of criminal homicide by assault on Tuesday.

The investigation started Sunday after police responded to an assault at 149 W. Pierpoint Avenue around 1:51 a.m.

When officers arrived, “they found a chaotic scene with more than 100 people on the streets” and noticed a large fight outside the clubs.

One man critically hurt after ‘chaotic scene’ in Salt Lake City, police say

Additional officers responded to the scene and were aided by deputies from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and a private security company.

Around 2 a.m., officers heard multiple gunshots being fired in the area.

Police then located 37-year-old Yusuf Mohammed, who was unconscious with face and head trauma. Officers performed immediate life-saving efforts and paramedics transported Mohammed to an area hospital in critical condition, where he later died from his injuries.

Investigators said multiple witnesses reported Mohammed was standing in the parking lot when a group of men approached him.

Witnesses said a person wearing black clothing punched Mohammed in the face, without warning or provocation. Investigators said that blow caused Mohammed to fall to the ground, losing consciousness.

Penisini then left the area, according to police, who used surveillance video to identify the suspect.

SLC police are asking anyone with information on this case, including people with photos or videos of the events before, during and after the assault, to call 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 22-129894.

This was the seventh homicide in SLC this year. Police said they are staffing additional patrol shifts around Pierpont Avenue and West Temple as part of a proactive crime reduction approach.

“There have been several high-profile incidents occurring at and around the Pierpont entertainment district, but those incidents certainly do not define this important part of our city and its culture,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown. “As a police department, we are committed to proactively addressing the concerns along Pierpont Avenue, but it will take more than just extra police officers or security guards, it will require people to stop allowing situations to escalate into potentially dangerous – and now deadly – situations. The best way to keep safe is to avoid the potential for conflicts and to report anything suspicious by calling 911.”

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Man arrested in connection to SLC assault that left one dead