TOOELE, Utah (ABC4) — A 17-year-old was shot in an alleged drug deal robbery yesterday, Apr.1, and one witness willingly rushed to his side to hold him in what would be some of the final moments of his life.
Ashlee Sartori was leaving the Pit Stop Bar and Grill when she said she heard three loud pops. Seconds later she heard someone scream, “He’s been shot!”
She then jumped out of her car, got down on her knees, and held an injured teenager before help could arrive.
Just after midnight, Tooele City Police received a call regarding an attempted robbery.
Dispatch told officers that one individual had been shot, but before officers arrived, one woman and her girlfriend heard what Sartori says sounded like fireworks. She then said she heard someone scream.
“I went to go put my car in drive and that’s when I heard somebody screaming ‘He’s shot, he’s shot, he’s shot!’ So I put my car in park, jumped out, and ran over there,” Sartori said. “He had a gunshot wound at the back of the head that I could see, just the one.”
Officers say that a 17-year-old boy had been shot twice after he and two other teenagers allegedly attempted to rob a man and his girlfriend selling THC cartridges outside of a bar.
The man, later identified as Deyvis Velasquez-Galeas, says he, his girlfriend, Maricela Raburn, and his 4-month-old child were in his vehicle when three teens approached them. He reported that one teen was holding a gun.
Velasquez-Galeas says he felt like he was under attack, so he pulled out his gun, shooting the 17-year-old after the teenager had allegedly opened the vehicle door and lunged at him.
Sartori says that’s when she rushed to the boy’s side.
“Some guy was screaming just leave him there, just leave him there, just leave him there and I was like no. I’m not gonna just leave him there,” Sartori said. “I just sat there, it seemed like hours went by before EMTs rolled up and I just sat there with his head in my lap with my jacket wrapped around him and a towel just holding his head, talking to him, trying to keep him breathing.”
Sartori said she was not a hero for staying with the boy, rather, she stayed in hopes someone would do the same for her if she was in a similar situation.
“I would have wanted somebody to do the same thing for me if I was in that situation. I didn’t want to be left in a parking lot and I could not just leave him there,” she said.
First responders took the boy to a hospital where he died from his wounds.
Sartori says her part ended when the EMTs took over but that this isn’t the kind of incident you can just walk away from unaffected.
“I did what I could,” Sartori said between tears.
Velasquez-Galeas and his girlfriend were booked in the Tooele County Jail facing charges of murder, endangerment of a child, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and a felony discharge of a firearm.
The other two males with the teenager were booked into juvenile detention facing aggravated robbery charges.