MIDVALE (ABC4)- Police have arrested a person in connection with the death of 28-year-old Oscar Avila, who was killed outside his parent’s wedding in Midvale Saturday evening.
According to a police statement, 22-year-old Daniel Brando Garcia and two other suspects entered the wedding and “were causing trouble.” Garcia and the suspects were identified as gang members. When they arrived at the party, they were asked to leave and were escorted out. As they were being escorted out, a fight broke out and Avila was shot.
Witnesses told police they saw one of the suspects brandishing a firearm from his waistband just before the fight. A male suspect who was dressed in all black and who was later identified by police as a fourth suspect appeared to be the instigator of the fight. Garcia, along with the first two suspects were involved in the fight as guests were trying to get them to leave.
Detectives obtained video surveillance of what happened at the wedding. Police said the fight broke out after Garcia and the suspects were seen arguing with a man and a woman at the wedding. Once Garcia and the three other suspects were outside, one of them shoved someone who was off-camera and they started to wrestle which caused the fight to break out, arresting documents indicate.
As several of the party-goers and the suspects got into the fight, police said Avila ran in and started fighting with the first suspect, who took a swing at him The first suspect continued to hit Avila and after a while, it looked like he wasn’t getting up from the ground, arresting documents show.
In a separate video obtained by police, two gunshots can be heard going off within three seconds of each other. The timing of the gunshots aligned with when the fight at the party occurred. The autopsy on Avila showed he suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.
Police were able to locate Garcia at his home where he was arrested. A search warrant of his home found a firearm in his bedroom closet wrapped in a green shirt. The search of his bedroom also found a sweatshirt that matched what Garcia was allegedly wearing the night Avila was killed. Police did not say that it was Garcia’s gun that was used to kill Avila.
When interviewed by police, Garcia denied being at the wedding or being involved in the fight with other gang members. Despite being identified by witnesses and police as an active participant and the surveillance video showing him at the wedding party, Garcia continued to deny his involvement, arresting documents show.
Garcia was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice with an additional felony riot charge. He was booked at the Salt Lake County Jail where he is being held without bail. The other suspects involved in the fight at the wedding are still at large.