Update: Officials ID 16-year-old victim of fatal shooting in Kearns

Unified Police officers responded to the scene of a shooting in Kearns, in which a 16-year-old boy was fatally wounded early Saturday morning, Nov. 21, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

KEARNS, Utah, Nov. 23, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified the 16-year-old victim of a fatal shooting in Kearns early Saturday morning.

“We have identified the victim in Saturday’s early morning shooting in Kearns as Roman Karpunin,” said a tweet from Unified Police Department. “Previous information provided indicated he was 15 years old, but he is actually 16. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time.”

The suspect, Kaden Christiansen, 18, has been booked into Salt Lake County Jail. He is facing a charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

UPD Detective Kevin Mallory told Gephardt Daily early evidence suggests the shooting was accidental.

“There was no conflict between the two before the shooting,” Mallory said. “It’s possible it may have been an accidental shooting. It was a bunch of teenagers hanging out, and at some point, a gun was brought into the mix.”

That scenario is reflected in the charge of manslaughter rather than homicide or murder, Mallory said.

Police responded to the scene at about 1:11 a.m. after neighbors called to report a commotion in the area of 5155 S. Alex St. (4280 West).

When officers arrived, they found that Karpunin had succumbed to a gunshot wound, Mallory told Gephardt Daily.

Interviews were conducted with all involved, and Christiansen was taken into custody.

Gephardt Daily will update this developing story as more information is released.


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