Overall crime in Ogden is down, but homicides are increasing

Sunday , December 03, 2017 - 5:00 AM5 comments

JACOB SCHOLL, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — The weekend after Thanksgiving brought three shootings in 28 hours in Ogden, concluding a violent October and November for Northern Utah. 

There were at least 10 shootings, homicides and suspicious deaths in the region during those two months, and while police say the homicides have been solved, some of the other events remain under investigation.

Even so, Ogden Police claim the city is continuing to see a fall in crime.

“Unfortunately recent events over the weekend may send the wrong perception about Ogden,” said a news release issued by the department in the hours following last weekend’s string of shootings.

Ogden’s overall crime rate is down 10 percent from last year, according to the release.

Statistics provided to the Standard-Examiner by Ogden Police for Part I crimes, which include burglary, homicide, sexual assault, rape, vehicle theft, robbery, arson and aggravated assault, indicate Ogden has seen a decrease in some crimes and increases in others so far in 2017 compared to 2016. 

According to the preliminary numbers — which were totals as of Dec. 1 — overall Part I crimes are down 2.1 percent from last year and 18.1 percent from 2012.

Burglaries of residences are down more than 25 percent, and burglaries of businesses have has fallen by almost 35 percent. The rate of sexual assaults and rapes are down 22.2 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The robbery rate is down nearly 18 percent.

However, aggravated assault, arson and theft are up 6.8 percent, 16.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Vehicle thefts are up more than 8 percent.

And since 2012, homicides in Ogden have steadily increased every year except 2016. Ogden Police report five homicides in Ogden so far this year compared to just one homicide in 2012. 

Ogden’s violent fall

On Saturday, Nov. 25, at 11:44 p.m., police say a drive-by shooting took place at the 200 block of 25th Street, where someone fired 12 shots at three people before fleeing the scene by vehicle. No injuries were reported, but three businesses and two parked vehicles were damaged by gunfire.

Hours later, on Sunday, Nov. 26, police responded to a shooting near 769 Canyon Road in Ogden. Police say an 18-year-old was shot multiple times and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

In the early hours of Monday, Nov. 27, police were once again called to a shooting, this time in the 900 block of 16th Street. A 28-year-old man was shot in the head and taken to a hospital, according to a press release from Ogden Police. The man was last known to be in critical condition.

RELATED: Ogden leads the state with 8 reported hate crimes in 2016

Ogden Police Capt. Danielle Croyle told the Standard-Examiner Friday morning that police are still investigating the string of Ogden shootings, and it is unclear whether or not they are connected.

Croyle said police do not have any suspects in custody in the three shootings. 

Ogden police were unavailable to answer questions regarding updates on two other recent death cases.

One is the death of William Torrence, who was found unresponsive following a fight at a Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 28. Police have not determined if Torrence’s death was a homicide, but many believe Torrence — who was black — was killed because of his race. Police did not answer a request for an update on the Torrence investigation by Friday evening.

Police also did not provide a requested update on the Saturday, Oct. 21 death of Adalberto Sarias-Diaz, the subject of a “suspicious death” investigation. Sarias-Diaz died from gunshots, and police initially called an “unattended, suspicious death.” Police found signs of self-defense and interviewed a suspect, but it was unclear as of Friday whether charges had been filed in connection with the case. 

Area homicides

Ogden isn’t the only city in Northern Utah to see violence recently. Cities in Box Elder and Davis counties have been the sites of homicides this fall. 

Hunter Woodson, a 19-year-old Sunset man, was allegedly gunned down Tuesday, Nov. 21, by 17-year-old Seth Carreras after a drug deal, court documents say. Carreras, taken into police custody about 30 minutes after the shooting, has been charged in adult court with first-degree murder. 

On Sunday, Nov. 5, 30-year-old Salt Lake City area resident Scott Barney was found shot dead in a West Point home. Robin Lundin, a 28-year-old who lived in the home where Barney was found, was arrested in connection with the shooting and charged with one count of first-degree felony murder. 

And on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in Willard, a 27-year-old Ohio man named Cody Henderson was found dead in the garage of a home due to apparent blunt-force trauma. Idaho police arrested Chay L. Blair, a 25-year-old man from Willard, who has been charged with first-degree felony murder in a Utah court. 

Other shootings

On Thursday, Oct. 26, police responded to calls of a shooting in Layton. When they arrived, they found a 32-year-old man shot multiple times, according to Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman. The man was treated at a Salt Lake City hospital and released. Following the shooting, police began looking for 31-year-old Eddie Angelo Samora, whom they considered a suspect. 

Police arrested Samora in Sparks, Nevada, following a Nov. 21 police chase. 

And on Tuesday, Oct. 24, police responded to a call of shots fired at the Cherry Creek Apartment complex in Riverdale. Witnesses reported seeing multiple people firing shots. Additional information has not been released by police.

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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