Police detail gang-related shooting, vehicle theft after slain teenager discovered on Christmas

Local News

WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) – Police have released the name of a teenage boy who was killed by gunfire and discovered outside of a recreation center on Christmas morning.

On Saturday morning, officers from the West Jordan Police Department discovered 16-year-old Kenneth Gant who had been killed by multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of Gene Fullmer Recreation Center. At the time, authorities were responding to a welfare check when they found the body behind a storage container in the parking lot.

Police have since identified two suspects in the killing, 18-year-old Jedediah Zane Newsome, and an unnamed 17-year-old juvenile male.

Investigators concluded in a police affidavit that the suspects initially met up with Gant on Saturday night to discuss the victim’s gang affiliation. After luring him to the side of a storage container to smoke marijuana, suspects allegedly fired multiple rounds from a stolen weapon at the victim from close range before fleeing the scene in West Jordan.

The next day, the suspects were arrested in West Valley City after police received reports of a stolen vehicle. Following an on-foot chase, the suspects were taken into custody in a West Valley backyard. Newsome was booked on charges of aggravated robbery and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement.

Further investigation and collaboration between West Jordan and West Valley City Police regarding the two suspects’ weekend crime spree found that they had been involved with the shooting in West Jordan. Upon making a connection between the vehicle theft and the shooting, law enforcement added additional charges to Newsome’s first arrest, including homicide, two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, obstruction of justice, and transaction of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

The juvenile suspect is currently being held in juvenile detention on an unrelated incident that occurred in West Valley, while charges relating to this crime are pending.    

The family of the victim requests privacy at this time, as they deal with the loss of their teenage son.

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