MAGNA, Utah, July 13, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police said Wednesday morning the suicide of a man running from police and the homicide of a man inside a Magna home are linked.
Police did not know at first if the bizarre sequence of events that unfolded between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday had anything to do with one another until after a search warrant was issued on the home where a man had been found dead.
The first call came in to dispatchers at about 8 p.m. of a fight at a home 3739 S. Armoridge Dr. The original caller was the homeowner who stated that a family friend, Jared Groves, 35, was chasing her husband around the yard trying to stab him. A neighbor who saw and heard the fighting also called police. Groves did stab the husband in the shoulder area, but the injury was minor.
“Groves was apparently invited over to the home to hang out with some friends after he told them he was having a rough day,” Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said. “A short time later, Groves got into an altercation with his friend and pulled out a knife and slashed him in his arm. That is when 911 was called.”
Bell said when officers arrived Groves was holding a large knife and ran to the back of the house. Officers who were concerned he would attack someone else, ran after the man and cornered him in the backyard. Groves turned on the officers, holding the knife in a threatening manner and officers deployed a Taser, but it did not affect the man.
Groves then stabbed himself in the neck, cutting his artery. Groves removed the knife and charged at an officer. Another Taser was deployed before Groves dropped the knife and fell to the ground.
Officers immediately began CPR until Unified Fire medics arrived and Groves was pronounced dead; he bled to death in a matter of minutes. The entire event was witnessed by officers, neighbors and people attending the barbecue.
At about 10 p.m., while officers were still on the scene of the suicide, a call came into 911 after a family had come home from an event and found their relative 38-year-old David Perea, dead at the bottom of the stairs.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said officers were called out to 2651 S. Twain Dr. after paramedics who had arrived at the home felt the death was suspicious, he had traumatic injuries and there was a lot of blood.
“The family had gone out to an event and when they came home they found the body of the victim,” Winder said.
“The man was home alone so there doesn’t appear to be any witnesses.”
After a search warrant was obtained and the scene processed, detectives discovered the two incidents were related and the two men were neighbors.
Investigators and forensics determined Perea’s death was a result of multiple stab wounds. The knife used by Groves to stab his friend and then take his own life matches up to the stab wounds on Perea. Footprints in the blood at Perea’s house perfectly matched the tread and type of shoes Groves was wearing at the time of his death. Blood was found on the outside and inside of Groves’ car that was still parked at the Armoridge Dr. home.
According to several neighbors, family and friends of Groves, he had been on a downward spiral after losing his job and had been drinking heavily and not sleeping. Groves had even made statements that he wouldn’t be around very long.
Police have no idea what sparked the attack that may have started in the driveway.
“We found a cell phone belonging to the victim in the driveway so we believe it may have started there,” Bell said. “But we do not know why they went inside and what else transpired. We most likely never will know exactly what happened.”
Bell said it will most likely be several months before all of the evidence is processed, but investigators are very confident that there are no other suspects and no danger to the public as a result of the two incidents.
“Our hearts go out to the families, friends, witnesses, neighbors and officers who had to witness these tragic events,” Bell said.
The man’s sister and two young children are the ones who discovered the body.