1 People dead, 4 arrested in Salt Lake drug deal gone bad

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One man is dead and four others are in jail after a shooting and car crash Sunday near the Rio Grande station in what police say was a drug deal gone bad.

The “pretty complicated situation” happened just before 7:30 a.m. when officers were called to a shooting at 550 West and 300 South, said Salt Lake Police Lt. Mike Ross. Shortly after, they received a report of a hit-and-run collision.

“They were all involved with each other, each event,” Ross said.

When they arrived, officers found Jesse Ray Rakes, 30, on the sidewalk with at least one gunshot wound to the torso. Rakes was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Police found a dark-colored vehicle flipped over after witnesses reported that it and a white vehicle “were hitting each other in the streets,” Ross said. Police found the white vehicle and took at least one man into custody at that time, Ross said.

Police believe Daniel Christopher Simon, 25, shot Rakes, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. However, he was only arrested for investigation of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. Police said they will discuss with prosecutors whether homicide charges should be filed in the case.

Simon told police he had a gun that was used during the shooting and knew that as a convicted felon he is not legally allowed to have a firearm, the report states.

Two men who were with Rakes were also arrested. Police booked Michael Sean Polk, 34, and Matthew Eyre, 35, into jail for investigation of aggravated robbery.

Rakes, Polk and Eyre were in a car together trying to rob Simon and his girlfriend who were in another nearby car, according to a report.

“The victim of the aggravated robbery (Simon) pulled out a firearm and shot and killed a person who was acting in concert with (Polk) during the aggravated robbery,” the report states. Polk fled in their car but collided with Simon’s car.

Simon handed the gun to his girlfriend, Natanni Namtha Xoumphonphackdy, who knew Simon was not allowed to have a firearm, police wrote. She handed the gun to an acquaintance “and told the acquaintance to take the gun away,” a report states. Police had not located the weapon as of Sunday night.

Xoumphonphackdy, 25, was booked into jail for investigation of obstruction of justice.

“We have a lot of witnesses, I would say half are cooperative and half are not. The ones that are cooperative we’ve transported up to the public safety building for interviews,” Ross said.

Simon pleaded guilty to third-degree felony aggravated assault in 2010 and was sentenced to six months in jail and 36 months of probation, according to court records. He violated probation in 2011 and was ordered to a one year in jail, records show.

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