SOUTH OGDEN, Utah, Oct. 1, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A 20-year-old Ogden man has been booked into the Weber County Jail after police say he shot another man at Ogden’s Newgate Mall on Saturday, then led police on a high-speed chase.
The victim, who has not yet been identified, is expected to recover, according to information from the Ogden Police Department.
Octavio Efrain Estrada-Mendez initially was booked on suspicion of:
- Murder, a first-degree felony (which will change since the victim survived)
- Two counts of kidnapping, a second-degree felony
- Transaction of a dangerous weapon by a class-1 restricted person, a second-degree felony
- Two counts of failure to stop at the command of a law officer, a third-degree felony
- Two counts of distribution, offering or arranging distribution of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
- Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
The above details of the booking could change before formal charges are filed.
According to the probable cause statement, Estrada-Mendez became involved in a verbal fight with the victim, identified in court paperwork as L.A., at about 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Estrada-Mendez was at the mall with his girlfriend, identified as L.Z., and their son, O.M. Jr. The victim was there with his girlfriend, S.M.
“Octavio and L.A. exchanged words inside the mall and Octavio told the victim they could ‘take this outside,'” the statement says. “The parties went out to the parking lot separately. L.A. and S.M. were walking towards their vehicle when Octavio approached them and fired one round from a handgun. The round struck L.A. in the upper left torso.”
Estrada-Mendez quickly got into the driver’s seat of his girlfriend’s pickup truck, and drove away, the statement says. South Ogden Police Detective Hough was in the area, and heard the gunshot, then saw a pickup speed away from the area.
“Detective Hough immediately activated his emergency red and blue lights and pursued the truck,” the probable cause statement says. “Detective Hough continued to pursue Octavio in the truck until marked patrol units were able to take over the pursuit with emergency lights and sirens activated.”
The pursuit lasted several minutes, at times reaching speeds higher than 70 mph on city streets, the statement says.
“At times Octavio drove the truck on wrong way roads and almost caused several traffic accidents. Octavio ultimately stopped the vehicle in the 1100 block of 23rd Street and exited the vehicle. Octavio fled from the vehicle on foot. After a short foot pursuit, Ogden PD Officer Doxstader was able to catch Octavio. Octavio resisted arrest by attempting to pull away and refusing to submit to custody.”
A search warrant on the truck revealed a loaded 9mm handgun under the seat. A
black backpack containing 217 grams of a green leafy substance, 31 grams of a white crystal substance, a digital scale, and packaging materials were also located inside of the truck,” the statement says, adding that the substances later tested positive as marijuana and methamphetamine.
“The large quantity of controlled substances along with the scale and packaging material is indicative of distribution,” the statement says.
Estrada-Mendez’s girlfriend later told police she had picked him up from Salt Lake City, and he drove them to Newgate Mall. Estrada-Mendez was carrying the backpack when she picked him up, the girlfriend said.
“Octavio then had gotten into a verbal argument with the victim inside the mall and had told the victim that they would ‘take it outside.’ She walked to her truck and was putting their son, O.M.Jr. into his car seat when she heard the gunshot,” the probable cause statement says.
“Octavio quickly jumped into the vehicle, said ‘I’m sorry,’ and drove away. She immediately saw the police lights from Detective Hough’s vehicle and told Octavio to stop the car. Octavio refused. She stated that throughout the pursuit, she plead several times for Octavio to at least stop the truck and let her and O.M.Jr.
out. Octavio continued to refuse.”
Estrada-Mendez’s girlfriend told officers that he nearly crashed the truck several times during the chase, and she was afraid for their son’s safety and her own.
“She stated that while Octavio was driving he tossed the handgun into her lap, which she threw onto the ground.”
The shooting victim and his girlfriend both said they were walking to their vehicle in the parking lot when Estrada-Mendez pointed the gun and fired from about 10 feet away without saying anything. The victim and girlfriend both identified Estrada-Mendez from a six-photo lineup.
The victim’s girlfriend said she had previous interactions with Estrada-Mendez, but did not know his name at the time of the shooting.