Two arrested, charged with murder for 2009 I-15 fatal shooting

Jan 12, 2023, 4:27 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm
Police investigate the fatal shooting of Cesar Ramirez, 18, on I-15. (Deseret News)
(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Two men have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder for a 2009 fatal shooting on Interstate 15.

Law enforcement agencies announced the arrests of Aaron J. Paul Campbell, 33, and Nicholas Dean MacNeil, 32, on Jan. 11 and charging documents from Salt Lake City’s Third District Court show the murder charges filed by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, the shooting was from a Nissa Maxima into a green Jeep Cherokee that Cesar Ramirez, 18, was driving on Jan. 9, 2009. Police officers responding to the call of fired shots found the Cherokee, near 1700 South, on the shoulder of I-15 with the driver’s side window completely shattered with Ramirez injured inside.

Documents state the driver’s-side rear window was also broken and many small shotgun BBs were imbedded in the vehicle. Ramirez died at a hospital the following morning.

Investigators said a shotgun and handgun were fired from the Nissan. After the shots, Ramirez slumped on the steering wheel but and managed to get the car to the shoulder of the freeway. The black Maxima had three occupants as it drove by the Jeep, from which, police said, a bottle was thrown at the Nissan and that gang signs were thrown between the two cars.

“MacNeil and Campbell are associated with the Nortenos gang and have a history of violent criminal activity,” a release from the Utah Department of Public Safety said. “Due to the violent past of MacNeil and Campbell, the safety of witnesses is one of the prosecutors’ and investigators’ primary concerns.”

Citing those concerns, few case details about what led to the arrests were revealed in the press release.

When the case was 10 years old and still unsolved, old UDPS officials displayed both cars for media and a $5,000 reward was offered for information that would lead directly to the arrest and conviction of the two suspects.

Previously, Matthew Day was convicted of manslaughter for the fatal shooting; State officials said he was the driver involved, but not the shooter.

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Two arrested, charged with murder for 2009 I-15 fatal shooting