MIDVALE (ABC 4 News) - Authorities are searching for at least one man in connection with a shooting in Midvale that left three people dead and a woman barely clinging to life, officials said Tuesday.
The Unified Police Department received reports of a shooting at approximately 8 a.m. Tuesday, at a home located near 8200 South and 500 West. When officers arrived, they found that four people inside had been shot. Three were already dead, and a woman was critically hurt. The ages and genders of the deceased victims were not immediately revealed.
Authorities announced that approximately 80 officers are searching for 25-year-old David Fresques, who police say has local gang ties.
"We are now calling Fresques a suspect in this homicide," says Lt. Justin Hoyal. "And so is the second male suspect who have yet to identify."
During a press conference, Lt. Hoyal appealed directly to the wanted man, saying "Mr. Fresques, we want to talk to you." Authorities found what is believed to be Fresques' vehicle in a nearby motel parking lot.
The triple-homicide happened at what police coined a "known drug house," but investigators aren't certain yet whether the shootings were gang or drug-related.
A neighbor says about two weeks ago a swat team raided the home early in the morning.
"The set off a percussion bomb and police were all over there," says Alicia who didn't want her last name used.
Police say a woman who was shot in the home was taken to the hospital where she was upgraded to stable condition.
A man, woman and child were also in the home at the time of the shooting. Lt. Hoyal says they were removed from the home and taken to safety.
Meanwhile, Lt. Hoyal says Fresques was at the home this morning when the shooting started. Fresques was believed to be in a White Nissan Maxima.
"We are trying veryy hard to locate him," says Lt. Hoyal.
Police went door to door throughout this Midvale neighborhood in search of Fresques.
"I've lived here my whole life and I can't remember anything like this," says Mark Holt. "It's scary."
Shortly before the noon hour police converged at a nearby Motel 6 near 7200 South and I-15. People staying there were told to leave.
"We couldn't even go to our room," says Ashley Williams who was there with her child and husband. "Everybody had to stay inside their rooms. Nobody could come out. It's very scary though, very scary."
Police found a white Nissan Maxima believed to be Fresques' getaway car.
"All we know is we found his vehicle and we're over at the motel talking to residents to see if he was there," says Lt. Hoyal.
But he wasn't.
"We're not sure how he left, whether somebody picked him up or is on foot," says Lt. Hoyal.
For now, investigators are still trying to figure out a motive for this triple murder.
"We don't know if its gang related, drug related or if there's another motive involved here," says Lt. Hoyal. "We do know Mr. Fresques has gang times but we don't know exactly what the motive is."
Authorities locked down several nearby schools during the initial stages of the manhunt. Midvale Elementary, Midvale Middle School, Mid Valley Elementary, East Midvale Elementary, Sandy Elementary and Copper View Elementary were all locked down for fear that the gunman or gunmen might take cover there. The lockdowns were lifted at 10 a.m. when officers failed to find any suspects. However, police officers remained stationed inside the schools.
Fresques has a criminal history that includes convictions for robbery, assault, drug possession and possession of a concealed weapon. In 2008, he was sent to the Utah State Prison for the robbery conviction. He was paroled in 2010, but again sent back to prison for a parole violation. Fresques was paroled again three months ago.