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South S.L. police seek teen in fatal shooting at apartment

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man was slain in his apartment in the early hours of Sunday, and police fear the boy who may have killed him will flee the country.

Police are searching for a 17-year-old boy they believe shot Evaristo Carlen Cardenas, 24, in the head about 2 a.m. at 3462 S. 300 East.

Police received information from the boy's friends that "his intention is to flee back to Mexico," South Salt Lake police officer Darin Sweeten said.

The three friends who came forward to police were with the 17-year-old when he allegedly fired the shots, Sweeten said.

Sweeten said Cardenas awoke from sleeping to answer the door after his doorbell rang. The woman Cardenas lived with heard gunshots and ran to the front room. "She finds him lying on the floor," Sweeten said.

A medical helicopter flew Cardenas to University Hospital, where staff determined he was brain dead. Twelve hours later, after family and recipients of Cardenas' vital organs had been notified, life support was pulled and he died.

Police set up a perimeter around the apartment and searched for people who could be responsible; but since nobody had seen anything, they didn't know what they were looking for, Sweeten said.

With a digital camera, they took photos of four young men they saw in the area but didn't detain them, Sweeten said.

Later Sunday morning, three of the boys told police what had happened, Sweeten said. Apparently, the 17-year-old boy was upset because Cardenas beat him up a week before. He wanted revenge, Sweeten said.

The three told police they knew their friend was upset but they didn't think he'd go through with killing Cardenas, Sweeten said.

Police believe Cardenas was killed with a .22-caliber rifle, which they found near a Dumpster several hours later.