Utah police look into fatal shooting in busy park

AP News
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Posted: May 06, 2011 4:06 PM
Utah police look into fatal shooting in busy park

Authorities on Friday were investigating the fatal shooting of a man who was gunned down in a busy city park packed with families watching Little League baseball games.

Francisco Alvarez, 55, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of homicide and illegal possession of a weapon by a restricted person, said police Detective Dennis McGowan.

McGowan said Alvarez and another man were arguing Thursday evening just before Alvarez shot him at least once and sped off on a bicycle. The suspect was chased down by witnesses, some of whom were off-duty police officers, and tackled to the ground.

"There were a lot of people in the area for Little League games when the shooting happened," McGowan said. "We are still asking the public to help us identify the victim, who was found with no identification."

The victim died a short time after the shooting at a nearby hospital.

Witnesses at Riverside Park, a few miles northwest of downtown Salt Lake City, told television stations they heard screaming from the crowd as gunshots rang out, and many dropped to the ground for cover.

McGowan said there were so many witnesses that several dozen of them were taken by bus to the police station for interviews.

Alvarez was convicted in Utah of second-degree murder in 1980 for running over a man with his truck, according to court records. He was sentenced to five years-to-life in prison and was paroled in 1986.

It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.