Homicide detectives are leaning toward a theory that a South Central City man killed himself during a fight at a gang house Thursday.
Raul Gonzales, 19, was shot about 4:45 a.m. when he returned to his home at 1592 S. Major St. to find people having a party. A fight subsequently broke out between two women, shots were fired and the fight grew and spilled into the back yard.Gonzales was killed when a .38 caliber gun was pressed against his head and fired.
"It appears as if he did commit suicide," Salt Lake Police Lt. Jim Bell said Friday. But detectives still planned to conduct several more interviews and gather more evidence before making an official determination.
"We haven't closed it out as that (suicide)," he said. "There's a lot of loose ends we've got to clean up."
Several witnesses told police the man shot himself, while others said he was shot by someone else.
A gunshot residue test indicated that traces of gunpowder were on Gonzales' hands, indicating he likely fired the weapon.
"There were some indications he was upset with everything going on at his house when he came home," Bell said. At some point before the shooting, Gonzales also made the comment: "I'm tired of all this."
Other evidence about the location of those involved in the altercation leads investigators to believe it would have been difficult for anyone to shoot him in the manner that he was shot.
Investigators confiscated two weapons after the shooting but aren't yet sure who owns the weapon that killed Gonzales.