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1 man, 2 teens arrested in Kearns murder and robbery case



KEARNS — Unified police have arrested a man and two teenagers in connection with the killing of another man in a Kearns parking lot that also injured two others.

Jonathan Montrail Johnson, 20, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Friday for investigation of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and 12 counts of shooting at another person. Two boys, ages 17 and 15, have also been taken into custody and booked into juvenile detention.

On Tuesday, three men in a black BMW got into a confrontation with the occupants of a red Saturn in the parking lot of a church near 5300 West and 5400 South, according to Unified police. The occupants of the Saturn opened fire on the BMW.

Alonso Gerardo Garcia-Mendoza, 32, the driver of the BMW, was killed. Two other men were transported to a local hospital in critical and serious conditions with gunshot wounds.

Four males from the Saturn approached the BMW, “two of which displayed firearms and began shooting into the deceased victim’s car,” according to a police affidavit.

Using surveillance video recorded by nearby security cameras and witness statements, police were able to identify Johnson as a suspect, the affidavit states.

“Witnesses reported Jonathan and three other Black males — also identified — planned to rob the victim after a drug transaction ruse was organized by an associate of Johnson’s,” police wrote in the affidavit.

The three men were shot after being lured into the church parking lot, police said. Investigators found a “large sum of money” in the BMW after the shooting, the affidavit states.

Officers located Johnson in Kearns and arrested him. Detectives believe he was one of the gunmen, Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler said Friday. The fourth suspect is also a juvenile, she said. Police know his identity but had not located him as of Friday afternoon.

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