OREM, Utah (ABC4) – A Spanish Fork man and his younger brother are in custody after a drug deal gone wrong in Orem.
Orem Police were called to a possible shooting at a church near the Canal Trail shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday night. They were soon notified of a victim of a shooting on N. State Street.
Officers found three teenagers suffering from gunshot wounds inside a vehicle. Two of the victims were transported to a local hospital in critical condition, while another was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to court documents, officers spoke with one of the victims, who explained he had initiated the drug deal with another man, now identified as 18-year-old Sydney Rodriguez. They agreed to meet a church parking lot, and, when they arrived, Rodriguez allegedly got into the victim’s car.
Another suspect, later identified as Rodriquez’s brother, allegedly pointed a rifle at the victim and threatened to shoot. The victims tell police a fight for the rifle began, and a shot was fired, injuring one of the victims.
When the victims tried to flee the scene, one of the suspects allegedly started firing shots from a handgun at the vehicle. That’s when three of the four victims on the scene were injured. One of the victims told police they drove to a friend’s house on N. State Street for help.
Police, after arriving on scene, say they learned Rodriguez’s younger brother had turned himself in, claiming to be the shooter, at the police department.
When police spoke with the unidentified minor, arresting documents say he had planned to rob the victims, unbeknownst to his brother or the driver of their vehicle. Police say the minor admitted to pointing a gun at the victims and demanding drugs and cash.
The minor also admitted to firing rounds from a handgun at the victims because he “feared for his brother.” Rodriguez allegedly jumped out of the moving vehicle, with the rifle, and fired more rounds at the vehicle.
Authorities were able to locate Rodriguez and take him into custody. At first, when investigators spoke with him, court records outline that Rodriguez admitted to the drug deal and described the incident as a premeditated robbery attempted by himself and the other suspects.
According to arresting documents, Rodriguez allegedly changed his story after learning his brother had spoken with police, saying he did not know his brother was planning on robbing the victims. He then allegedly said the incident “wasn’t supposed to go down this way and no one was supposed to get hurt.”
Arresting documents say officers have found probable cause to accuse Rodriguez and his brother of charges of aggravated homicide and three counts of attempted aggravated homicide.
The current conditions of the other victims are unknown at this time.