WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Feb. 25, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — An 18-year-old Magna shooting suspect is facing a slew of charges after he allegedly held a 99-year-old West Valley City woman hostage in her home early Saturday morning.
Freddy Alexander Velasquez is facing charges of first-degree felony aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery; second-degree felony receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle; third-degree felony aggravated assault, felony discharge of a firearm and purchasing, transferring or possession of a firearm by a restricted person; and misdemeanor carrying a concealed loaded firearm, failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer and pedestrian on roadway to yield right of way to all vehicles.
According to a statement of probable cause, the incident began around 8 p.m. Friday when Velasquez opened fire on a home in Magna.
While officers from the Metro Gang Unit were attempting to find Valasquez, investigators received a tip he was in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn motel at 3440 S. Decker Lake Drive (2200 West) in West Valley City, adjacent to the Maverik Center. It was verified that Velasquez had multiple felony warrants for his arrest.
“Detectives converged on Velasquez, who then fled on foot and produced a handgun,” the probable cause statement said. “Multiple commands were given by detectives for Velasquez to stop running and drop the gun. Velasquez continued to run south, jumping a fence and running across 3500 South. Velasquez ran east across 2200 West once he was on the south side of 3500 South, and went behind a residence at 3533 S. 2200 West.”
Velasquez then shot the sliding glass door so he could break into the house, the probable cause statement said.
“Once Velasquez was inside the home he demanded car keys from the occupants of the home and threatened them,” the probable cause statement said. “Two of the occupants were able to exit the home, but one occupant was still inside. It took several hours for the third occupant to get out of the house due to Velasquez not letting her leave.”
SWAT teams from Unified Police and West Valley City encircled the home while negotiators contacted Velasquez. After several hours, he released the elderly woman at about 3:30 a.m.
Velasquez then searched the home until he found the car keys, the probable cause statement said, went into the garage just after 5 a.m., and started the vehicle. He attempted to back out of the garage.
SWAT team members responded by blocking the driveway with several vehicles, including an armored personnel carrier.
Velasquez was then taken into custody without injury and transported to the Sheriff’s Office building where he was interviewed by detectives. He was then transported to Salt Lake County Metro Jail without incident.
After the arrest, police say they found Velasquez’s handgun inside the car.
The 99-year-old woman — whose name was not released — was reunited with family members.
The probable cause statement gives these additional conditions for continued detention of Velasquez:
- Velasquez committed the felony while on probation or parole or while on free on bail awaiting trial on a previous felony charge.
- Velasquez was wanted and knew he was wanted and stated he did want to come back to prison.
- Velasquez would constitute a substantial danger to any other person or to the community, or is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
- Velasquez fled from officers and fired a handgun to make entry into a residence and threatened human life.