Category: west valley city

Officer-involved critical incident inside city hall

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — An officer-involved critical incident occurred late Friday night inside the West Valley City Hall.

No further details were given, but Fox 13 will be meeting with a department spokesperson on site shortly.

This story will be updated when more information is available.

Statewide crossing guard shortage lingering as kids head back to school

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Classes begin for most of Utah next week, yet critical safety positions remain unfilled.

School zones across Salt Lake City got a fresh coat of paint and reflector beads Thursday.

Judy Burr is also preparing for the new school year. The longtime crossing guard bought an expensive LED stop sign to keep herself and the kids extra safe.

“I have come so close to being hit more than I can tell you,” Burr said, who’s helped children get to school safely for 18 years.

Despite advertising all summer, Salt Lake City must hire at least four more crossing guards. If not, some routes to school won’t be covered, according to supervisor David Tola.

“We want to keep every kid safe so we do want to put guards at every crossing that is out there,” Tola said.

Crossing guard vacancies are a statewide problem. FOX 13 found job openings from Logan to St. George.

West Valley City needs 17 more crossing guards.

“It makes me very nervous for Monday,” West Valley City Police Det. Mike Millett said.

Det. Millett hosted a last-minute training to cover 82 crossings Thursday afternoon. Some guards may have to double up Monday.

“If I am short, I’ll have our law enforcement officers be there,” Millett said.

In Salt Lake City, critical positions may still be empty when the lights change on the first day of school.

“These children need safety. They are not always attuned to what is going on. Their mind is always somewhere else in playland somewhere,” Burr said.

For application information for a crossing guard in Salt Lake City, click here. For West Valley City, click here.

‘People were in a full-on panic’: Valley Fair Mall evacuated after false alarm of shots fired

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A false alarm of shots fired caused panic at Valley Fair Mall Tuesday night and forced the mall to close early, West Valley City Police said.

Multiple stores and restaurants went on lockdown after reports of shots fired, witnesses on the scene told Fox 13. WVC Police then announced on Twitter that a sign fell down and made a loud bang, and no shots were fired.

“There was a performance occurring at the mall. During this performance, a sign fell making a loud noise which some feared was a gunshot. People panicked and ran into stores to hide,” the department wrote on Twitter. “The management at Valley Fair Mall asked us to clear the mall of all patrons. Mall management has decided to close the mall for the evening. They have asked us to have people leave the mall property, parking lot included.”

There were also reports of a fight at the mall, police said.

“As you can imagine, there’s a heightened sense of fear right now with things that have gone on around our country,” West Valley City Police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said. “People were in a full-on panic.”

Fox 13 has a crew on the scene and will provide updates as information becomes available.

Activists protest ICE treatment of immigrants, asylum seekers

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A small group of protesters gathered outside the regional offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Wednesday night, asking for change in the way immigrants and asylum seekers are being treated at the United States-Mexico border.

“They are real-life people with real-life experiences,” said Sanne Siale, one of the event’s organizers. “This is really happening. The treatment of the families we are seeing here, at our own border, is real and is inhumane.”

Organizers said it is no coincidence they chose Pioneer Day to have their voices heard.

“The reasons they are fleeing for a better life are no different than the historical reasons that we saw with Mormon pioneers,” Siale said. “With what’s going on at our border, we wanted to make that connection to give sort of a wake-up call.”

They hope the historical parallels will resonate with Utahns.

“There is a reason why we chose to do it on this day, specifically to make the connection for people here,” Siale said.

Many of the activists planned on spending the night on the sidewalk wrapped in mylar blankets, which are the same blankets immigrants are given in detention centers.

Family of 5-month-old baby, allegedly killed by father, trying to cope with loss

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Family members are trying to recover after the death of a 5-month-old baby boy, reportedly killed by his own father over the weekend in West Valley City.

People who live at the Boulder Pines Apartments said they witnessed 23-year-old Shawn Johnson on Friday night pacing around, looking worried, as if something horrible had just happened. They didn’t realize until later that Johnson was about to confess to the killing of his son, Deyvion Johnson.

The baby’s mother was inside the apartment when Johnson took Deyvion out for a walk.

According to a report filed by the West Valley City Police Department, Johnson punched his baby boy in the back of the head, hit him with a metal bottle, and dropped 15 feet from a swing.

“He meant the world to me, it’s not the same without him. Every day goes by, I wish there was something more we could have done. Eats me alive every day,” said Deyvion’s maternal grandmother, Jamie McCrea. “We loved taking pictures of him, because he was so happy!”

McCrea said she knew her daughter’s boyfriend had “severe anger issues” and was “abusive,” but she never thought Johnson would hurt his own son.

She said Johnson called her that night, blaming his 12-year-old brother for baby Deyvion’s injuries.

“He got on the phone and tried to make it look like it was his little autistic brother which — he had nothing to do with it,” McCrea said. “I really didn’t believe him because I know how aggressive he was and this was my fear… There’s no way an autistic kid could do something like this.”

Johnson’s mother, Latricia Barnes, said she could tell something was wrong when she noticed her grandson’s head was swollen that night.

Barnes said an autopsy revealed broken bones in the baby’s skull and pelvis.

“I was tapping him on the cheeks… I was like, ‘What the **** do you mean he’s unresponsive?'” she said, describing the interaction with her son that night. “I still have to be there for him as a mother… but at this point, I want justice for Deyvion.”

Since Johnson was arrested, Barnes said she still hasn’t spoken to her son. She said she still doesn’t understand why Johnson would abuse his own child, especially because baby Deyvion was so happy, rarely crying.

“I’m mad because he didn’t even have to do this. He could have just opened his mouth if it was too much for him,” Barnes said. “I want answers. I want justice… I just want to tell my baby I love him. I love you Deyvion.”

The family has set up a fundraiser to help with funeral expenses for baby Deyvion. If you would like to help, you can donate here.

One dead after shooting at West Valley City home, police say

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — One man has died from his injuries after a shooting that left two other people injured early Sunday morning in West Valley City.

Neko Jardine, 19, was one of three people shot at a home near 5600 West 4360 South just after midnight, according to police.

Jardine was shot in the neck, chest and torso, police say, was taken to the hospital in serious condition, and underwent surgery before he died.

West Valley Police stated Sunday evening they had not identified a suspect yet, but that witnesses saw a white Ford Mustang and a red Nissan Altima drive up to the residence.

Police said a fight ensued and then about 10 to 12 gunshots were fired, hitting the three people.

An 18-year-old was shot twice in the leg and a 17-year-old was cut, police said. They were treated and released from the hospital.

West Valley City Police continue to investigate.

Police: three people shot at West Valley City home

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Three people a recovering after being shot at a home early Sunday morning.

The West Valley City Police Department said the incident occurred at 5625 West 4360 South around midnight.

According to police, witnesses said they saw two passenger cars, a white Ford Mustang and a red Nissan Altima, drive up to the residence.

Police said a fight ensued and then about 10 to 12 gunshots were fired, hitting the three people.

Two of the people who were shot had minor injuries and were treated and released from the hospital.

The other victim was hit in the neck, chest, and torso and underwent surgery. Police said that person is in serious but stable condition.

West Valley City Police are investigating the shooting and are looking for suspects.

Police: West Valley man arrested for killing infant son

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A man was arrested Friday for beating his son to death, police say.

Shawn Malik Johnson, 23, faces charges of child abuse homicide and obstruction of justice in connection to the death of his 5.5-month-old son.

West Valley City Police responded to a report that the child was not breathing early Friday morning. According to police, Johnson initially claimed he took his son on a walk, and he became unresponsive after they returned. At the hospital, medical personnel found injuries to the child’s head, including a fractured skull, brain hemorrhaging and bruising. Police say that during an interview, it became apparent that he was responsible for the injuries.

According to police, Johnson initially blamed the child’s injuries on his brother who had autism. He later admitted to lying and told police he punched the child, threw a metal bottle at his head and dropped him about 15 feet onto concrete.

Johnson was initially booked on charges of child abuse. However, the child was taken off life support Saturday and passed away. The charges were then amended to child abuse homicide and obstruction of justice.

Decker Lake hosts Nitro R/C boat nationals

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Although they may look like toys, these flashy, miniaturized vessels from Tuesday’s Nitro R/C Boat Nationals on Decker Lake are anything but.

Utah man arrested after police say he held Latter-day Saint missionaries at gunpoint

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A man was booked into jail and faces several charges after police said he held six missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at gunpoint in West Valley City.

Police said the men were at the Windsor Estates mobile home park at 8 p.m. Thursday for an appointment with 46-year-old Paul Marquez.

A statement of probable cause indicates the missionaries were there for a religious discussion but the man showed them his firearm.

“The victims explained they were trying to leave after the first 10 minutes of being in the residence,” the document states. “[Marquez] made several threats that they could not leave and waved the firearm at the 6 victims keeping them at the residence for over an hour.”

The missionaries told police the man was drinking and waving the firearm at them, and they said he would point the gun at people if he “did not like what they were talking about.”

The missionaries were able to talk the man down, said Lt. Bill Merritt of West Valley City Police, and he let them go. The missionaries left and contacted police.

Merritt said responding officers found three firearms in Marquez’s home.

He was booked into jail and faces six counts each of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault and three counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.