New details released after shooting death of 22-year-old man in West Valley City

From left, Bryan Zumaya-Garcia, Hassan al Rekabi and Samuel Maile Niu. Photos: Salt Lake City/County

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, May 1, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — New details have been released after the shooting death of a 22-year-old man in West Valley City.

A probable cause statement reveals that Hassan Al Rekabi — charged with the Sunday, April 28 murder of Jake Gengelbach — may have been trying to flee the country before he was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, and that he admitted to arresting officers he had shot the victim multiple times.

Calls of shots fired brought West Valley City Police officers to the Overlook Point Apartments, 4612 S. 2930 West, at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday, the statement says.

“While in the area, officers located a body,” the statement says. “It appeared that the decedent had been shot multiple times.”

The body was found in the parking lot of a Hire’s Big H restaurant at 4700 South 4900 West, a previous WVCPD statement says.

“Through multiple tips it was found that the suspect was Hassan Al Rekabi,” the probable cause statement says.

Officers researched places Al Rekabi has been known to stay.

“Through mobile surveillance, the suspect was taken into custody,” the statement says.

An earlier report from the WVCPD indicates that Al Rekabi left the residence while it was being watched by SWAT officers, and he was picked up without the need for a major operation.

“Post Miranda, the suspect admitted to shooting the decedent multiple times with a semi-automatic handgun,” the statement says. “The suspect stated that after he had shot the decedent, he fled on foot and threw the gun concealing its location.”

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Al Rekabi, 18, was booked into jail on suspicion of murder, a first-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony. His bail was set at $1 million.

The bail document indicates the reason for the high bail:

“The suspect was found to have been googling ‘how to renew your passport within 24 hours,’ and an anonymous tip came in stating that the suspect was trying to flee the state.”

Arrested later in connection with the crime were Bryan E. Zumaya-Garcia, 21, and Samuel Niu, 19. Both are charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, and are being held on $10,000 bail.

Zumaya-Garcia’s probable cause statement says that, post Miranda, “the suspect admitted to being at the location and being well aware of the homicide that had occurred and not notifying police of the incident. The suspect stated that he did not notify police of the incident.”

Niu’s statement said, post Miranda, that he was also on the scene and aware of the homicide, but “he did not notify police of the incident as he did not want to go to jail for something he did not do.”

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