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Tooele man shot in head in murder attempt, police say

SHARE Tooele man shot in head in murder attempt, police say

TOOELE — A man was shot in the head early Thursday during an argument in front of the Tooele City Library.

"The wound is survivable, as far as we know. The last update we had was he's alive," said Tooele Police Lt. Paul Wimmer. "It was an obvious attempt at murder, no doubt about that. The shooter intended on killing him. He was very fortunate to survive that."

Police have not released the victim's name, but his girlfriend, Bernadette Pacheco, told KSL the victim is Levi Silviera, 20.

"He opened his eyes before I left the hospital. ... He squeezed my hand, so he's responding to that," she said. "He can hear us talking. He just can't talk because he has tubes down his throat and he's sedated."

Between 1 and 1:30 a.m., there was an argument near 128 W. Vine St. Silviera was involved in the argument along with possibly two or three other people, Wimmer said. The victim apparently lives near that area.

"Neighbors heard a loud verbal argument outside. The argument stopped suddenly with the sound of a gunshot. They found a 20-year-old male lying on the lawn of the library with a gunshot wound to his head," he said.

Detectives did not know if the initial argument started in the street or nearby and ended at the library. By the time police arrived, everyone else involved in the argument had left and neighbors were tending to the victim.

"They were wrapping a jacket around his head or something to stop the bleeding," Wimmer said.

Silviera was initially taken to a hospital in Tooele and then immediately flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Salt Lake City.

Police do not believe the shooting is gang-related, and Wimmer said he was unaware of the victim having any criminal history.

Thursday afternoon, police were looking for the alleged shooter.

"We have some leads but don't have a positive ID yet to where we're releasing a composite (drawing) at this point," Wimmer said. "We're trying to finish interviewing people to see if anyone saw or heard anything."

The area in front of the library is typically deserted at that time of the morning, Wimmer said, so there were very few, if any, witnesses.

e-mail: preavy@desnews.com