SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 28, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office filed charges Friday against a suspect in a shooting that occurred Monday at a business in the 3100 block of West Professional Circle.
Esekielu Tuigamala, 45, of West Valley City, is facing the following charges:
- Discharge of a firearm with injury, a second-degree felony
- Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
- Three counts of discharge of a firearm, all third-degree felonies
- Criminal mischief, a class A misdeamor
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm, a class B misdemeanor
In a news release Friday, District Attorney Sim Gill stated:
“We are going to hold each and every violent offender accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Gun crimes in Salt Lake County will not be tolerated.
“As we have been saying for months now, if you commit a violent crime with a firearm, you can expect the full force of the law.”
According to the charging document filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County, the victim told police he was at a work meeting on Monday, May 23, when he and Tuigamala, who was a supervisor, got into an argument.
The victim told the reporting officer that Tuigamala left the building and retrieved his firearm from his vehicle, shot a round into the air, then shot out three tires on the victim’s GMC, causing about $1,000 worth of damage.
The victim went out to confront Tuigamala and Tuigamala fired a round at the victim, grazing his calf, the document states. The victim said he went back into the building and tried to lock the door, but was unable to get the door to lock.
Tuigamala came back inside, pointed the firearm at the victim and tried to fire off another round, but the firearm jammed, according to the victim’s statement.
That’s when the victim fled into the building and hid, and Tuigamala left the building and fled the scene, the document says.
The Salt Lake City police officer who responded stated that he viewed surveillance footage showing Tuigamala shooting into the air, shooting out the victim’s tires, shooting the victim in the leg, and then re-entering the building and pointing his firearm at the victim, at which point the weapon failed to fire.
The officer called Tuigamala, who agreed to speak with law enforcement. When he arrived at the public service building, he was taken into custody
The Salt Lake Police detective who interviewed Tuigamala said he admitted to getting into an argument with the victim, shooting out the victim’s tires, and shooting the victim in the leg.
Esekielu Tuigamala was booked into the Salt Lake County jail, where he remains on a no-bail hold.