CRIME

Man accused of shooting friend during ‘play fight’ now charged with murder

Apr 4, 2024, 9:31 PM

Jhon Alvaro-Alarcon Paredes, 20, is accused of shooting a teenager in a McDonald's parking lot in U...

Jhon Alvaro-Alarcon Paredes, 20, is accused of shooting a teenager in a McDonald's parking lot in Utah, critically injuring the victim, and then fleeing the scene to Colorado. (Mesa County Sheriff's Office)

(Mesa County Sheriff's Office)

MURRAY — A Midvale man who police say was “play fighting” with his friend is now charged with murder and accused of shooting his friend in the head.

Jhon Alvaro Alarcon Paredes, 20, who was originally arrested on a warrant for attempted murder, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; plus possession of a gun by a restricted person and obstruction of justice, second-degree felonies.

On March 2, Josue David Magadan was in the driver’s seat of a 2004 Chevy Tahoe parked at a McDonald’s, 4452 S. Commerce Drive in Murray, when he was shot in the back of the head, according to police. A GofundMe campaign states that Josue was 16 while charging documents say he was 17. Josue was taken to a local hospital, where he was taken into custody

A third person in the SUV, a 17-year-old boy, told police that Paredes was in the back seat and was “play fighting” with Josue.

“At some point, Alarcon Paredes reached between his legs and pulled out a handgun. Alarcon Paredes charged the firearm by operating a semiautomatic slide and then pointed the loaded firearm to the back of Josue’s head, stating that he was going to shoot Josue. Alarcon Paredes repeated saying he was going to kill Josue,” charging documents allege. “Alarcon Paredes then said he could kill Josue, and the handgun went off.”

The teen who witnessed the shooting said Paredes did not want him telling Josue’s family about the incident and that he had to physically fight with Paredes to get away, according to the charges.

After tracking Paredes’ cellphone data, deputies from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado were notified by Murray police that Paredes may be headed that way. Mesa County borders Utah’s Grand County and includes I-70 through Grand Junction.

Paredes’ vehicle was spotted at a gas station in Fruita, Colorado, and he was taken into custody.

When questioned, Paredes at first claimed he did not know Josue because police did not say his name correctly, the charges state. After admitting that he was friends with Josue, he claimed he had only communicated with him recently through social media.

“Detectives confronted Alarcon Paredes about lying. Alarcon Paredes said he would tell the truth,” according to the charges. Paredes then claimed that Josue had pulled out a knife, which he viewed as a threat.

Prosecutors note in their charges that “regardless if (he) and victim were play fighting, (Paredes) produced a gun, racked it and threatened to kill the victim several times,” according to the charges.

Police say Paredes is originally from Venezuela and entered the United States illegally about a year ago.

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Man accused of shooting friend during ‘play fight’ now charged with murder