The Justice Files: Breaking the silence

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) –  Tomas Gallegos believes his son is in a better place.
“He’s in a place of rest,” said Gallegos. “He’s in a place of rest.”

In February 2018, Deven Gallegos’ life ended.  He was in the back seat of a vehicle that was parked on a street in Clinton.  According to a police warrant, the driver was attempting to return stolen items to the person at the home. The driver’s daughter was also in the vehicle while Gallegos watched from the back seat.

“I think he just wanted to get to know the girl a little more so he went with them,” said the elder Gallegos.  “I think he wanted to party with her later.”

But that plan was shattered when people in a black SUV started shooting.  One of the bullets went through the windshield and hit Gallegos in the back of the head.

“(I was in) disbelief, you don’t want to believe something like that because it hits so close to home,” said Gallegos. 

Clinton police found multiple bullet casings on the ground. Witnesses who heard the gunfire spoke with ABC4 the day after the shooting.

“I heard about eight gunshots and came out to see what was happening,” said neighbor Deron Weaver in 2018.  “All I saw was a black SUV take off in that direction and that’s all I saw.”

According to a 2018 Clinton police search warrant, it was a black Honda Pilot that “began shooting at multiple vehicles” and one of the bullets went through the “windshield striking Deven Gallegos.”
Tomas Gallegos spoke with one of those inside the vehicle with his son.  He recalled what they told him.

“(He said) you know it was an accident right?'” Gallegos said.  “You know the guys that did it didn’t know your son was in the vehicle.”

Clinton police are unsure of the motive but in their 2018 investigation they come across two possible suspects.

In the search warrant it stated “witnesses” claimed two (suspects) were in a black Honda Pilot and “bullet casings” found in the SUV “matched bullet casings” found at the crime scene.
Back then, Deven’s father called them out on social media.

“I just put their names out and said ‘hey you know what, you know you were there and you were involved you need to talk to me or talk to the authorities and let us know what’s going,'” said Gallegos.

According to Clinton police, the two were members of an Ogden gang and were brought in for questioning, but they were never arrested.  Sgt. Matt Fawbush said one of the suspects denied he was even there and the other refused to talk with detectives.

“We don’t have anybody else that’s willing to tell us anything about it,” said Sgt. Fawbush.  “The Davis County attorney’s office doesn’t … and I agree, we do not feel like we have enough just based off of circumstantial evidence or hearsay.”  

The two men are already in prison on unrelated charges.  Sgt. Fawbush said a different detective has been assigned to the case and is reviewing it with a fresh set of eyes.  But he also hopes the public can help out.

 “Maybe something’s changed, maybe something’s transpired in the last two years where somebody’s willing to come forward with information.  We’re going to continue on to find justice for Deven.”

It has disappointed Deven Gallegos’ father who said police have never communicated with him after their initial contact in 2018.  

“Not one word, nothing,” he said.

But he said he’s willing to wait it out in hopes of finding justice for his son.

“In my mind’s eyes, he’s in a better place,” Gallegos said..  “I’ll just put it in God’s hands man and hopefully justice will be done for my son, I got to let the detectives do what they can do.”

Clinton police can be reached at 801-614-0800 or through the Davis County sheriff’s dispatch 801-451-4151.

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