SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Two men were charged Monday in connection with a fatal shooting that happened at the Riverview Townhomes in Salt Lake City.
The two men allegedly connected with the shooting are brothers — Oliver Spencer Avila, 30, and Julio Steven Cardona, 23.
Avila was charged with murder, felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, felony discharge of a firearm with injury, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, felony discharge of a firearm, and obstructing justice. Cardona was charged with the purchase, transfer, possession, or use of a firearm by a restricted person.
The police received a call about the shooting at approximately 6:40 p.m. on Feb. 1.
According to video surveillance, Avila allegedly entered the townhome and Cardona handed him a gun. Guthrie Serawop, 35, and the witness then arrived, and Avila and Serawop went outside. The two men were reportedly talking in the driveway when the conversation appeared to get heated. Avila and Serawop allegedly started punching and shoving each other. The video then shows Avila pulling the gun out and shooting at Serawop, nearly hitting Cardona and the witness who was standing in the doorway, the court document says.
When police arrived, Serawop was being treated for gunshot wounds in his abdomen and lower leg. He was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries, according to court documents.
After being confronted with the video evidence, Cardona reportedly said that Avila came home with the gun at least a week before and hid it from their parents. Cardona said he found the gun and took it, so Avila “couldn’t go cause trouble with it.” Cardona said on the day of the shooting, Avila asked him for the gun back, saying that people were looking for him, so Cardona gave him the gun back.
Cardona allegedly said Serawop came into the apartment “aggressively” and “looking for trouble.” After which Cardona said Serawop and Avila took the conversation outside. Then Cardona allegedly opened the door to see what was happening, and that’s when Avila fired the gun at Serawop.
A doctor with the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner said the bullet that entered Serawop’s abdomen traveled in a downward trajectory, which injured his small intestine and then hit his Iliac vein causing him to bleed internally. He declared the death as a homicide.
This reportedly marked the first Salt Lake City homicide in 2023.