3 teens charged in connection with double shooting in West Valley City

May 10, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:24 pm

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Three 17-year-old boys have been charged as adults in connection with a double shooting in West Valley City at a party a year ago that killed one man and critically injured a second.

Cisco Knowels, of Salt Lake City; Julian Eli Lopez, of Sandy; and Daniel Medero, of Draper, were each charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; three counts of shooting causing injury, a second-degree felony; and discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony. Medero received an additional charge of obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, while the other two were each charged with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony.

All three were 16 when the shootings occurred.

On June 4, 2022, about 3:15 a.m., West Valley police responded to a report of shots fired at an apartment near 2935 S. Whistling Lane.

“Officers located 23-year-old Elijah Isaiah Brown, aka ‘Rico,’ inside the apartment immediately to the right of the entrance with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper chest,” according to charging documents. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. “A second male, 21-year-old Alexander John Ogilvie, was located in the bedroom with a gunshot wound to his lower stomach and his upper left shoulder.”

Detectives also found multiple shell casings and bullet holes, including “11 .22 shell casings and nine 9mm shell casings … on the inside and outside of the apartment and five bullet holes were located in the front door indicating that bullets had passed through the door from the outside of the apartment going inside,” the charges state.

Police also noted that shots had been fired from the inside through the door to the outside.

Ogilvie told police a birthday party was being held for him. At one point, Ogilvie told police he left to go to a nearby convenience store and when he returned he learned that several people had been kicked out, according to the charges.

“Ogilvie said he heard a loud bang at the front door. Ogilvie initially thought it was police, but an unknown person attending the party looked out the peephole and said, ‘It’s not the cops,’ and, ‘They have guns,'” charging documents state. “Ogilvie said he locked the deadbolt and was almost simultaneously shot in the stomach.”

Brown then began shooting through the door from inside the apartment, Ogilvie told police, according to charging documents.

Using a license plate reader from the apartment complex and a doorbell camera, detectives identified a 17-year-old who drove away from the party. When questioned, that teen said one of his friends, Lopez, was punched at the party “for ‘flexing and stuff,'” the charges state. Police said he reported that he, Lopez and Cisco were then kicked out of the party.

After being kicked out, police said Lopez was overheard “making a call to an unknown individual … asking, ‘Where y’all at? I need y’all. I got a strap on me,'” charging documents state.

Investigators believe the phone call Lopez made was to Medero, who had already left the party. Police said Lopez was overheard saying “that he was going to kill everyone, and Danny was telling him to calm down,” the charges state. Lopez then “asked them to come back and was wanting either a gun or ammunition for a gun.”

When Medero returned to the parking lot, Lopez allegedly had an “angry cry” and stated, “Yeah, I’m gonna do, like, I’m gonna kill everybody,” according to charging documents. Mercado then allegedly gave Lopez his gun, and Lopez and Knowles went back toward the apartment.

Witnesses heard 10 to 15 shots.

Lopez and Knowles then ran back to the 17-year-old friend’s truck and were heard making statements such as, “I can’t believe we did that,” the charges state, and “They shot back.”

Detectives going through the teens’ social media accounts said they found messages from Medero telling him to “lay low and not to drive the white truck anymore,” according to the charges.

No-bail warrants were issued last week for each of the teens arrested.

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3 teens charged in connection with double shooting in West Valley City