Incidents of youth violence continue in Salt Lake County

MAGNA — As the search for the alleged gunman in a fatal drive-by shooting over the weekend continued Tuesday, charges were filed in connection with another fatal shooting involving a juvenile.

Will Ryan, 17, was shot and killed about 10:45 p.m. Saturday while standing in front of his house at 8037 W. 3380 South, said Unified police detective Ken Hansen. A second boy, 17, was also shot. He has since been released from the hospital, Hansen said.

It’s the latest incident in a violent series of events along the Wasatch Front involving teen suspects and victims.

Unified police believe Saturday’s shooting was gang-related, they said. But authorities do not know whether it can be connected to any of the other recent incidents of violence involving juveniles.

But according to his Facebook page, Ryan was friends with a 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed in a gang-related shooting less than three weeks ago.

Romeo Rodriquez was shot in the face Aug. 3 while sitting in the back seat of a truck during a confrontation with another group at Kings Point Park near 1310 W. 3700 South, West Valley City.

On Monday, Frank Tsinnijinnie, who turned 18 in June, of West Valley, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; two counts of discharge of a firearm, a second-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony. All charges are subject to gang enhancements at sentencing if he’s convicted, according to charging documents.

Rodriguez and some friends, who police say belong to the same gang, ran into Tsinnijinnie, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy who are all rival gang members, charges state. Both sides said, "What’s up?" before Tsinnijinnie, who was on a bicycle, pulled out a handgun and fired several rounds, according to the charges.

Prosecutors requested that Tsinnijinnie be held on $1 million bail.

A 17-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting in Magna late Saturday night, police confirmed.

Ryan had two Facebook pages and paid homage to Rodriguez on both of them. A picture from Rodriguez’s funeral was the banner for one of the pages, and like Rodriguez, Ryan is wearing red in many of his pictures and flashing signs with his hands.

Many people posted messages on Ryan’s Facebook wall, recounting memories and offering condolences.

"You will be missed by so many people and everyone loves you," one person posted.

"Last night I lost my brother, my best friend, my everything," one girl posted. "You (were) taken so young, you didn’t even deserve this, you had so much ahead of you. School was just starting up, and you where on track to graduate. You had so many plans and dreams," one girl posted.

"I can’t believe you’re gone, Will. You’ll always be in my heart, and I’ll never forget you. … This cold world took such a great boy at the worst of times. You were (on track) to graduate early and do good in life. Never would I imagine you going out like this," wrote another.

The deaths of Ryan and Rodriguez are the latest in a series of recent violent episodes involving juveniles:

July 15 — A 15-year-old boy was arrested following a series of aggravated robberies at convenient stores in Midvale, Salt Lake City and West Valley City. In at least one case, a gun was held to a clerk’s head, according to police. Detectives say two other juveniles were also involved. June 5 — A 15-year-old boy shot another teen during a low-level marijuana deal in a parking lot at 4400 South and 1500 East in Salt Lake City. The teen, a documented gang member, was arrested by U.S. marshals in Idaho and returned to Utah to face charges. Prosecutors are attempting to have him certified as an adult. May 30 — Fernando Aranda, 16, of Kearns, was shot and killed near 4700 W. Thayn Drive (3935 South) following an argument between two groups. The shooting came four hours after a 15-year-old boy was shot in the abdomen at 3810 S. Redwood Road. The boy survived his injuries, according to police. Feb. 6 — A 16-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly stabbing a 53-year-old man multiple times in his apartment, 204 W. 200 North, Salt Lake City. The man survived. Jan. 26 — A 15-year-old boy was paralyzed after being shot in the back near 3740 W. 3240 South during a confrontation between two groups that had been feuding, according to police. Detectives believe that incident had ties to the shooting of a 14-year-old girl in the parking lot of Valley Fair Mall five days earlier.

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