Police: Suspect confesses to fatal shooting in Millcreek

Unified Police investigators on the scene of a deadly shooting in Millcreek. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner; booking photos for Edgar Esquivel (left) and Alekzander May from Salt Lake County

MILLCREEK, Utah, Aug. 14, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police officials have revealed that a suspect arrested for a fatal shooting in Millcreek Wednesday morning told officers he shot the man who died.

The victim was 31-year-old Taylor Kauvaka, of Salt Lake City.

The jailed suspects in the case are Alekzander Ethan May, 18, of Midvale, and Edgar Omar Esquivel, 19, of West Jordan. Each faces a preliminary charge of murder, a first-degree felony.

A probable cause statement filed in May’s arrest adds more details:

“On Aug. 14, 2019, a male was found deceased having been shot. A male identified as Alekzander May approached police in the area after the shooting stating that he knew what happened and could show police where the gun was.

“May took police to where the gun was, and made a spontaneous statement that he had just shot someone. May was then transported to the Salt Lake County Sheriffs office building by a detective. While enroute May made a second spontaneous statement that he had shot somebody, this was audio recorded.”

May told officers that “… he had shot a male point blank in the chest with a shotgun. The information that May provided in a recorded statement to detectives match details of the scene and death of the male found.”

May is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail.

A probable cause statement for Esquivel has not yet been filed.

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, Sgt. Melody Gray, public information officer for Unified Police, told Gephardt Daily at the scene, 3900 S. 700 West.

Taylor Johnathon Kauvaka was fatally shot on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. Photo: Salt Lake County

When police arrived they found Kauvaka, lying on the ground outside the Sunnyvale Apartments, the victim of a gunshot wound.

According to Gray, police attempted CPR until medical help arrived but were unable to revive the Kauvaka. He was declared dead at the scene.

The call went out across Salt Lake County for all available K-9 units as police from multiple agencies searched a wide area.

Gray said several people were detained, including the two suspects. She said their relationship to the victim and a possible motive remained unclear.

Gray said police were exploring potential gang ties, but had yet to make a determination.

 

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