Witnesses testified Thursday that a Colorado man smiled strangely and said, "I've got you now," just before Tammy Snydergaard, 18, was killed by gunshots and two others also were shot.
Danny M. Gallegos "looked like someone in a horror show" and appeared "almost intensely happy" when he jumped out of a closet and pointed a gun on the evening of March 11, P. James Esquibel testified.Moments later, Snydergaard was killed when she was shot point-blank in the back of the head, and Gallegos' former girlfriend, Stephanie Groves, was shot once in the chest.
Third Circuit Judge Philip Palmer said he had heard enough testimony to order Gallegos, 32, bound over to District Court for trial in the shooting of Snydergaard in a South Salt Lake apartment. Gallegos was ordered to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
During a separate preliminary hearing Thursday, he also was bound over to face charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in connection with a Feb. 7 incident.
Groves told the judge that she, Snydergaard and Esquibel - whom she had met the day before - were watching a movie at her apartment the night of the shooting. After the movie, she said, she was talking to them about the many presents that Gallegos, her former boyfriend, had given her when Gallegos suddenly jumped out of a closet where he had been hiding and pointed a gun at them.
"I started to scream and said, `That's him!' " Groves testified. "He looked kind of crazy, just really wild. . . . And then he smiled and said, `I got you now!' "
Esquibel said Groves had told him earlier that Gallegos had kidnapped and sexually assaulted her the month before.Esquibel said he believed Gallegos was pointing the gun at him because Gallegos was jealous. He said he and Groves ran down a hallway into a nearby bedroom and he thought he heard a shot fired at them.
Once inside the bedroom, he stooped low against the door and held it shut while Gallegos tried to break through. "He said, `Let me in, I'm going to (expletive) kill you.' "
Esquibel said Gallegos then fired one round through the door. "Stephanie said, `Oh my God, I've been shot. You shot me! You shot me!' " He said Gallegos fired a second shot through the door moments later as they yelled for Snydergaard to call the police.
Esquibel said he was able to grab Gallegos, pull him into the bedroom and beat him until he finally calmed down. He said Gallegos then jumped out of the second-story window and fled on a bicycle.
"I ran into the living room and Tammy was lying in front of the couch," Groves told the judge. She said at first she thought Snydergaard was lying there because she was frightened, but then she noticed the blood on the floor by her head and realized she had been shot.
Assistant state medical examiner Sharon I. Schnittker testified the gun that caused Snydergaard's death was "held against the skin of the scalp firmly at the time it was fired."