SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Officers seized drugs, cash, and a rifle in a traffic stop during an overnight enhanced patrol operation, according to Salt Lake City Police.

Following the shooting death of 22-year-old Halapaini Latu Moala on June 4, officers began enhanced patrol. Overnight, they conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of 300 South West Temple St.

Officers reportedly found drugs, cash, and a rifle inside the car.

Police say they also stopped a Chrysler 300 the same night after the driver refused to stop, sped off, and “ran multiple red lights showing no regard for the safety of others in downtown,” a release states. Officers reportedly found a small amount of cocaine during the stop.

Officers are reportedly working with the community to identify and disrupt violent crime in the area. SLCPD is also boosting summer patrols in an effort to address public safety concerns, the release states.

“While the enhanced patrols are intended to deter crime, by having police resources concentrated in a focus area, the SLCPD can ensure an immediate response should an emergency occur,” the release states.

The increased police presence comes after an uptick in gun violence in the area. Police say the following incidents occurred all within two days:

  • June 03, 2023 – A non-injury shooting near 60 West Market Street.
  • June 04, 2023 – A deadly shooting near 60 West Market Street.
  • June 04, 2023 – A shots fired incident near 60 West Market Street.
  • June 04, 2023 – A shooting near 300 South Main Street that resulted in a non-life-threatening injury.

SLCPD detectives believe there are people who know the identity of those involved in the shooting of Moala. Anyone with information should call 801-799-3000.