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Man wanted in Taylorsville killing arrested in Palm Springs

Shaun Eugene Fleming
Shaun Eugene Fleming
Unified Police Department

TAYLORSVILLE — A man wanted for the killing of a Taylorsville man was arrested Tuesday in Palm Springs, California.

Shaun Eugene Fleming, 36, of Salt Lake City, was wanted in connection with the shooting death of Toussaint "TJ" L'Ouverture Tyler Jr., 30, on Dec. 10 in an apartment complex at 742 W. Sunny River Road. Tyler was killed in front of his 4-year-old daughter.

Fleming is charged in 3rd District Court with aggravated murder, four counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, child kidnapping, obstruction of justice and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

About 8:45 a.m., Palm Springs police were called to a motel to check on the welfare of a woman.

"The caller believed the female was in danger and that the male she was with may be wanted for murder," according to a statement released by the department. Police did not say who gave them the tip.

Fleming and the woman initially refused to come out of the room, police stated. After several minutes, the couple came out and Fleming was questioned. When detectives were able to confirm his identity, he was arrested.

Fleming was with Tonita Vianay Rico, 49, on Dec. 10 when Rico knocked on Tyler's door while two men hid. When Tyler's girlfriend opened it, the men allegedly forced their way inside. Fleming put Tyler's girlfriend in a chokehold and pointed a gun at her head, charging documents state. Police say the men then bound her and another couple with duct tape and threatened to shoot Tyler's 4-year-old daughter if the woman lied about who else was in the apartment.

Fleming and another unidentified man then found Tyler in the shower.

"While they were holding the 4-year-old, the men told Mr. Tyler to open the safe. A struggle ensued and Mr. Tyler was shot," according to the charges.

A roommate told police Tyler was shot when he held his hands up in defense. An autopsy determined that Tyler was shot at close range to the chest and the back of his head, the court documents say.

Officers found "large" amounts of cash and marijuana and two shell casings in the home, the charges state.

Rico, who also goes by Tonita Vianay Espinoza, told police that Tyler owed her money and that she had only intended to intimidate him. She is charged with murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.

Tyler played college basketball for Central Washington University.