UTAH COUNTY, June 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Spanish Fork man faces a felony aggravated murder charge after a juvenile was killed and two others injured in a shooting in Orem Wednesday night.
A probable cause statement from Utah County said Sidney Ramon Rodriguez, 18, is facing charges of:
- Aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Three counts of attempted murder, a first-degree felony
- Obstruction of justice, a first-degree felony
At approximately 6:53 p.m. Wednesday, officers with the Orem Police Department responded to the area of 1780 N. 165 East on a report of shots being fired, the statement said.
“Additionally, officers were then called to 1274 North State St. in Orem, where four juvenile victims were located in a white Chevrolet Cavalier,” the statement said. “Juvenile victim one, who was driving the vehicle, was found to have a gunshot wound to the back, and the lower buttocks, juvenile victim two was located within the front passenger seat and was uninjured.”
A third juvenile victim was located in the rear passenger seat and sustained a gunshot wound to the right upper leg and a fourth juvenile sustained wounds to his neck.
When the second juvenile victim was interviewed, he allegedly said he had initiated a drug deal with one of the suspects. Through Snapchat, he contacted “Raymond”, who was subsequently identified as Rodriguez.
“Victim two stated they met at the LDS church located at 1780 North 165 East,” the statement said. “Victim two stated that Sidney got into victim’s car to proceed with the deal. Once Sidney was in the car another suspect exited the suspect car and approached the rear driver side window with a rifle.”
That suspect allegedly put the rifle inside the window and demanded the “dope” and threatened to shoot, the statement said. “At this point victim two said that juvenile victim three grabbed the barrel of the rifle along with victim two and a fight for the rifle began,” the statement said. “A shot was fired during this and victim three was hit in the leg. Two other shots were fired during the struggle at this point. Victim two said that he and the other victims backed up and tried to flee the area to which he stated the suspect then started shooting at the back of the car with a handgun.”
Victim two stated that he was only grazed with a bullet and not injured but the other three victims were all injured. Victim two stated they drove to a friend’s house on State Street to get help and police then responded to that address. Juvenile victims one and three were found to have gunshot wounds in their lower extremities and taken to the hospital for treatment. Juvenile victim four died from his wounds.
“Orem dispatch notified officers that a juvenile claiming to be the shooter in this incident was turning himself in and was being brought to the police department by his mother,” the statement said. “This juvenile will be referred to as juvenile suspect one. Suspect one was brought to the police department by his mother and was interviewed. He was read his Miranda Rights and agreed to speak and answer questions.”
He then said that he and Rodriguez had set up a drug deal with juvenile victim two and were to meet at a place that victim had described. The juvenile suspect said Rodriguez did not know of his plans to rob the victims in this case, and that he had hid a rifle and a handgun on his person. When Rodriguez got into the victim’s car the juvenile suspect stated he got out of the suspect car with the rifle and put the rifle inside the window and demanded the drugs and the cash.
“At this point, juvenile suspect one stated that victim three grabbed the barrel of the rifle and in the midst of trying to grab the rifle back he fired a round into the car and heard victim three say ‘my leg!,” the statement said. “At this point suspect one said victim two also grabbed the barrel and he lost control of the rifle and it landed inside the car. Suspect one said he heard two more rounds fired from the rifle and feared for Rodriguez so he pulled a handgun out of his waistband. The victim vehicle was backing out to drive away and suspect one stated he fired 10 rounds into the car because Rodriguez was still in there along with the rifle.”
At this point, the juvenile suspect said Rodriguez jumped out of the moving car with the rifle and once Rodriguez was out, the juvenile suspect allegedly fired four more rounds at the vehicle. The juvenile suspect stated that he, Rodriguez and the driver of the suspect car drove the vehicle to Spanish Fork where the juvenile suspect told Rodriguez and the driver to get out while he drove the car to Lincoln Beach and allegedly threw the guns into the lake.
Rodriguez was found by Utah County Major Crimes and brought into the Orem Police Department for an interview. He was read his Miranda Rights and agreed to talk with officers concerning the incident.
“Sidney admitted to officers of the drug deal and the details were consistent with both the juvenile suspect’s story and that of juvenile victim two,” the statement said. “He also stated during the beginning of the interview that this was a premeditated robbery attempt by both himself and the other suspects, but would not divulge who the shooter was or the others involved.”
Rodriguez also mentioned the struggle for the rifle and the ensuing shots. He still had not said who the shooter was or the driver of the suspect vehicle. At this point, it was brought to his attention that the juvenile suspect had just turned himself in and was talking with officers. Rodriguez then allegedly said he did not want to give more details until he knew what the juvenile suspect had confessed.
“Sidney was informed that the juvenile suspect had admitted to being the shooter and claimed that Sidney had no idea he was going to rob the victims and was acting on his own,” the statement said. “Sidney then changed his story from what he said at the beginning of this being a premeditated robbery and said that the juvenile was telling the truth and that he did not know that the juvenile was planning on robbing the victims.”
Rodriguez was transported to Utah County Jail, where he is being held without bail.