SLCPD arrests 3rd suspect after armed robbery attempt, fatal shooting at Briar Rose Place apartment

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 12, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police Department’s Homicide Squad has made a third arrest in connection with a June 6 homicide and burglary at an apartment at 1636 W. Briar Rose Place.

Preston Luke Olson, 18, was arrested Saturday, and faces initial charges of:

  • Aggravated robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony

Arrested Thursday on charges identical to those above were Erik Virgen, 18, and Malibu Rose Mawson, 20. All three suspects are being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail system.

The man fatally shot was 19-year-old Anthony Wheatley.

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

“Post Miranda, Preston stated he was with Erik, Anthony, Malibu when they went to the apartment where this incident occurred,” according to a probable cause statement filed in Third District Court.

“Preston said there was a plan between himself, Erik, Anthony and Malibu to assault and rob (one or both of the apartment residents), who were known to the group.

“He stated Malibu sent messages to (one resident) to (make him) think she was romantically interested in him. The plan was for Malibu to enter the apartment first, she would then open the door to allow the other three inside where they would assault (one or both residents) and rob them.

“Anthony, Erik, Preston and Malibu executed the plan. Malibu entered first and left the door unlocked. Preston, Erik and Anthony entered the apartment where they encountered a male. Preston stated Erik and Anthony removed handguns from their waist and began hitting the male in the apartment. Anthony then instructed Preston to look for items to steal.”

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

Olson said while he was searching for goods, he “heard a gunshot and observed a struggle in the front room. He began to exit the apartment and felt a pain in his back and chest. Preston positively identified Erik (Virgen) as the person who pointed the gun and was in the apartment with him.”

Post Miranda, Mawson allegedly told officers she arranged the robbery with Anthony, the probable cause statement said.

“She stated that Anthony saw (one resident’s) post on Facebook about having marijuana. Malibu stated during the interview that she contacted (that resident) through Facebook Messenger to meet.”

The resident told police later that he was shot by Wheatley, and managed to get the gun away from Wheatley, and he and the other resident fought Wheatley. They disarmed him, and one of the residents “stated he shot the male until he felt safe.”

The man who shot Wheatley said they were once in a youth group home together and had several verbal altercations. He also told officers he had communicated previously with Mawson, who told him Virgen wanted to fight him.

SLCPD officers are shown at 1150 S. Redwood Road. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

Two shooting victims and one victim of pistol whipping were treated at a local hospital before being released or, in Olson’s case, arrested.

Mawson and Virgen, who reportedly drove south after the crime, were arrested in the Cedar City area.

“The Salt Lake City Police Department acknowledges the Enoch Police Department, Cedar City Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol, and the Iron County Sheriff’s Office for their dedicated assistance on this case,” an earlier SLCPD statement says.

The statement released Sunday says more charges could be filed.

“Detectives continue to work with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, additional criminal charges Olson, Mawson and Virgen could face.”

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

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