UPDATE, Nov. 1, 7:23 p.m. : Salt Lake Attorney General announced charges have been filed against three men in connection to the death of Manuel Felipe Cortez on Wednesday evening, November 1.
Awad Moses Majok has been charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated robbery, and third-degree felony discharge of a firearm.
Nogolweit Kug has been charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated robbery, and two counts of third-degree felony discharge of a firearm.
Deng Mawut Buk has been charged with second-degree felony obstructing justice.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Unified Police Department has made an arrest in connection to the 2020 murder of 21-year-old Manuel Felipe Gonzalez-Cortes, court documents show.
Cortes, a Bogota, Colombia native, was shot and killed on Oct. 18, 2020 in front of a car wash near 600 West and 3900 South in Salt Lake City. Medical personnel arrived on the scene and took Cortes to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Three years later after a thorough investigation, the Unified Police Department booked Awad Moses Majok, 22, in connection with the murder. He faces charges of first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated robbery and third-degree felony discharge of a firearm.
Police say at the time of the murder, officers canvassed the scene finding two 9mm bullet shell casings, two 9mm unfired cartridges, one .40 shell casing and surveillance video.
“The video showed [Cortes] walking westbound down the sidewalk with two males,” Police reported in an affidavit. Police say one of the males was later identified as Majok. “The video then appears to show a struggle between [Cortes and the two males]. During that struggle, two muzzle flashes can be seen in the video.”
Majok and the other male allegedly fled the scene in a black car. According to a booking affidavit, Majok was stopped two weeks later in a stolen F-150 where he rode as a passenger. During a search of the truck, police reportedly found a .40 caliber handgun in the backseat and a 9mm handgun in his pocket. The .40 caliber gun was later linked to the casing found at the murder scene.
In January 2021, Majok was interviewed by police. During the interview, he allegedly admitted to owning the .40 caliber handgun found in the truck.
“Majok admitted to police that two people had been involved in the shooting of the victim,” Police reported in a booking affidavit. “Majok went on to admit that he was present during the shooting at the car wash and that one of his people did it. Majok also indicated that the person who shot the victim shot twice.”
Majok allegedly said he was “sure” Cortes was not hit by the .40 caliber bullet. Police said later evidence showed he participated in the 2020 aggravated robbery and fired a gun in the process.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.