Taylorsville residents grieve missing man shot over the weekend

Mar 19, 2024, 9:21 PM | Updated: 11:33 pm

TAYLORSVILLE — The community of Taylorsville is grieving the tragic death of 21-year-old Alex Franco, who was shot by a teenager over the weekend. Family and friends are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a young man described as an outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, and someone with a heart of gold.

A picture of Alex Franco which was shared during a search for him. (KSL TV)

A picture of Alex Franco which was shared during a search for him. (KSL TV)

It happened Sunday afternoon in Franco’s front yard. According to a witness, he was meeting with the three teens when the situation turned violent.

His girlfriend, who was present at the time, recounts the horrifying moment when the shots rang out, leaving Franco mortally wounded as the assailants fled the scene.

Speaking about her brother, Nicole Tolman tells KSLTV, “Alex was a sweet kid, he had the biggest heart. He would sacrifice anything for anybody.”

UPDATE: Taylorsville man believed to be abducted, found dead

Kaylie Sage, a lifelong friend of the family, echoes these sentiments, adding, “There’s not one thing that you can pinpoint that you’ll miss about him. It’s everything.”

“Just the one that comes in the room and just brightens up the whole place,” says Shellie Kilpatrick, Franco’s grandmother, at a candlelight vigil.

Lt. Aaron Cheshire of the Taylorsville Police Department says Franco willingly entered the car before the fatal encounter occurred. Investigators found Franco’s body in the desert west of Eagle Mountain. It appears he died from a single gunshot wound.

Cheshire announced that two juveniles have been detained in connection with the incident and are facing felony charges. However, authorities have yet to disclose a possible motive behind the tragic shooting.

Reflecting on Franco’s life, his girlfriend Alyssa Henry emphasized his deep love for his family, especially his siblings, mother, aunt, and grandfather.

“I don’t want to believe it still,” Henry said. “I just wish that it was a dream, and he was gonna come home.”

The question remains whether the teens involved will be tried as adults in this case.

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Taylorsville residents grieve missing man shot over the weekend