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North Salt Lake police investigating woman’s death; son arrested after posting live videos online

Jeffrey Langford
Jeffrey Langford
Davis County Jail

NORTH SALT LAKE — A man has been arrested for investigation of murder after police responded to what was reported as a possible suicide at a North Salt Lake apartment Saturday — and after the man posted several live videos on Facebook.

Jeffrey Antonio Langford, 24, was booked into the Davis County Jail after North Salt Lake police began investigating the death of Langford’s mother, Graciela Laura Holker, 45, according to a Davis County Jail booking affidavit.

Police arrested Langford for investigation of murder, obstruction of justice and carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the affidavit.

In interviews with police, Langford said his mother shot herself in front of him. Though Langford initially told police he never touched the gun, he eventually said he’d shot her because he “did not want her to be in pain or be a vegetable,” according to the affidavit.

At about 7:10 p.m. Saturday, officers were dispatched to an apartment at 55 W. Center St. after a caller reported they had received a social media message from a man inside the apartment indicating a female had just shot herself and that he was next, according to a North Salt Lake police news release issued Sunday.

“On preliminary investigation inside of the apartment officers found an adult female deceased with an apparent gunshot wound,” police said. “On further investigation it was determined that there was sufficient probable cause to arrest the adult male and book him into jail on charges of homicide and obstruction of justice.”

Officers were told Langford had posted three Facebook live videos from the apartment showing the woman apparently dying or deceased and that Langford had also made comments on the video saying he was not going to go to jail. Another caller also told police she had been talking to Langford on Facebook and he had said he was going to shoot himself, according to the booking affidavit.

After police spoke with Langford over the phone, he exited the apartment and was arrested.

“Jeffrey had a reddish brown substance on his face and clothing consistent in appearance to blood,” an officer wrote in the booking affidavit. “Jeffrey also exhibited signs of being intoxicated.”

After searching the apartment, officers found Holker dead between her couch and coffee table, as well as a revolver handgun.

“The handgun was in the victim’s right hand; however it was not consistent with a suicide,” the officer wrote, noting the revolver’s hammer was “in the cocked/ready position.” Its six-round cylinder also had three “live/unspent rounds and three empty chambers with nothing in them.” Three spent casings were also found in Langford’s room, away from Holker’s body in the living room.

Officers also found what appeared to be a suicide note from Holker, according to the affidavit.

“Based on my training and experience the victim was found with injuries consistent with at least one gunshot, and possibly more,” the officer wrote. “However the victim’s injuries have not been assessed by the medical examiners.”

In an interview with police, Langford initially said he didn’t touch the revolver that night. After he was told it was found with the hammer cocked, Langford then said he did move the hammer back because “he was going to kill himself,” but it stayed in his mother’s hand, according to the affidavit.

After police told him officers found casings in his room, Langford then said he removed the gun from Holker’s hand, unloaded the spent casings, and reloaded the revolver. Langford also told police he decided against killing himself after receiving a phone call from a family member, according to the affidavit.

Police also questioned Langford about three live Facebook videos, in which a man appearing to be Langford can be heard crying and a woman can be seen slumped over.

“The male in the video states that he didn’t do this and she shot herself right in front of me,” according to the affidavit. “The male keeps filming himself and says she’s not dead, I have to finish it.”

The officer wrote that based on what could be seen on the video, Holker appeared to still be alive, “but would be unable to manipulate a firearm and fire another shot to her head.”

Asked why he posted the videos on Facebook, Langford told police it was “a call for help,” according to the affidavit.

Police also asked what happened after the Facebook video, according to the affidavit.

“Jeffrey paused for a time but later admitted that he did shoot her after the video,” the officer wrote. “I asked him to tell me more. Jeffrey stated his mom did shoot herself in front of him. ... but she was still alive and in pain. Jeffrey stated he did not want her to be in pain or be a vegetable, so he shot her once in the back of the head with the revolver while she was still alive.”

North Salt Lake police are investigating the shooting.

Langford is being held in jail without bail.