Man arrested in connection to fatal shooting of teen in Sugar House in September

Jan 4, 2024, 12:09 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested a man in connection to a September shooting that killed 18-year-old J’kye Watkins.

Watkins was found with multiple gunshot wounds near 900 East and 2100 South in Sugar House around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2023. Detectives said they believe he attended an event at a private party venue when he got into a fight with a group of men.

Those men left the party and allegedly began circling the area in a gray Nissan Sentra. Police said Watkins was walking through a parking lot when the men turned off the car’s headlights, entered the lot and shot Watkins.

He was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition and died hours later from his injuries.

Raelynn Payne said she is still grieving the loss of her grandson  said he was barely 18 when killed. She said his death has been difficult for his family and she has been praying for a break in the case.

The vandalized memorial for J’kye Watkins outside of the Walgreens he was shot at.

The vandalized memorial for J’kye Watkins outside of the Walgreens he was shot at. (KSL TV)

“We want to see Justice be done for him,” Payne said. “That’s what we’re looking for, is justice for him. He was a really good kid, he didn’t deserve this at all.”

Watkins’ uncle, Tyler Fillmore, said his nephew was shot 10 times. Fillmore also described Watkins as 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.”

Teen with dark brown eyes

J’kye Watkins (Family photo)

The Salt Lake City Police Department said officers arrested the driver of the Nissan, who was identified as Felix Diego-Rufino. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on one count of murder.

“In this case we’re obviously happy we could take one of these individuals off the street and we’ll continue to work until we get the rest of them as well,” Det. Michael Ruff with SLCPD said.

Police said their investigation is ongoing and additional arrests may be made. Anyone with information about this case should call 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 23-03839.

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

KSL 5 TV Live

Gun Violence

The Tooele Police Department...

Eliza Pace

Tooele man shot and killed by 9-year-old family member

A man was shot and killed by a 9-year-old child and family member on Friday.

2 days ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

6 days ago

Kelly Glaubensklee...

Shara Park

House party gunman sentenced for killing 19-year-old Kelly Glaubensklee

A Utah family says justice was not served as the man who murdered their teenage son at a graduation party in 2021 was not given the maximum sentenced.

7 days ago

Catalytic converters were stolen from more than 15 buses used by Omaha Public Schools....

Mike Anderson

Bus drivers, administrators ask UDOT for help with highway speeds in Cache County

Highway speeds near one Cache Valley School are drawing concern from both administrators and bus drivers. Now they're turning to the Utah Department of Transportation for help.

7 days ago

Sandy police at the scene of a shooting on Feb. 12, 2024. (Derek Petersen, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

1 dead, 1 injured in Sandy shooting

One man was killed while another was injured after being shot in Sandy early Monday morning.

11 days ago

generic emergency lights...

Alexander Campbell

Roosevelt police seek public help in robbery investigation

Roosevelt City Police are requesting the public's help in a robbery investigation that happened Thursday.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Man arrested in connection to fatal shooting of teen in Sugar House in September