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Family of 18-year-old shot and killed pleads for suspect to come forward

Sep 13, 2023, 12:35 AM | Updated: 5:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of an 18-year-old shot and killed over the weekend is pleading with his killer to come forward.

Police say J’kye Watkins was found with multiple gunshot wounds overnight Sunday near 900 East and 2100 South in Sugar House. His death marks the 13th homicide in Salt Lake City for 2023, according to police.

Watkins’ uncle, Tyler Fillmore, said his nephew was a funny young man who loved his family.

“J’kye would do anything for his family. He loved his brothers and sister, but most of all he loved his mom and that’s what is the most heartbreaking,” Fillmore said. “I just want people to know that the story out there might be negative but that’s just not him. He’s a great kid!”

Early Sunday morning, officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department responded to a call of gunshots near the Sugar House Walgreens. When they got to the scene, they found Watkins with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the hospital and extremely critical condition. The teenage died hours later from his injuries.

“There’s four [shots] to the head, four to the chest and two to the legs and stomach area,” Fillmore said. “I don’t think he really had a fighting chance, you know.”

Police say a fight broke out in the area before the shooting. Investigators are now looking into if it was related to the shooting.

“Who knows, maybe they are going to get another person too, you know what I mean? Obviously, no gun was recovered or anything like that so that’s still out there,” Fillmore said.

Watkins’ family is pleading for the person or people responsible to come forward.

“Please have a conscience, do the right thing; you killed a man and if roles were reversed, I know J’kye would do the right thing, I know he would,” Fillmore said.

A GoFundMe* account has been started to help the family with funeral and other expenses.

If you have any information, including pictures or videos, call SLCPD at 801-799-3000.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Family of 18-year-old shot and killed pleads for suspect to come forward