MILLCREEK — A Salt Lake man killed in Millcreek early Wednesday may have been trying to protect the actual intended victim, according to police.
Taylor Kauvaka, 31, was shot about 1:45 a.m. in the street near 3460 S. 700 West, Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said.
Alekzander Ethan May, 18, of Midvale, and Edgar Omar Esquivel, 19, were each arrested for investigation of murder.
The confrontation allegedly began as an argument on social media, Unified police reported.
According to a newly released Salt Lake County Jail report for Esquivel, he “threatened to rape, drown and kill” another man’s infant child. The threats were made on Facebook with Esquivel using the name “Jokie Dinero,” the report states.
The two sides agreed to meet in front of an apartment complex to settle their dispute. May and Esquivel arrived with four other people, according to the report. Esquivel got into an argument with the man he had threatened.
That’s when “Taylor Kauvaka intervened after (May) pulled a shotgun from a cardboard box. Taylor placed himself in front of said witnesses and slapped the gun, which was being pointed in his direction. (May) fired a single shot resulting in Taylor’s death,” the report states.
After the shooting, May found a police officer and confessed, according to police.
“A male identified as Alekzander May approached police in the area after the shooting stating that he knew what happened and could show police where the gun was. May took police to where the gun was, and made a spontaneous statement that he had just shot someone,” according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
Esquivel was picked up in the area by his family. He told family members that “he had information on the homicide,” the report states.
Family members took Esquivel to the sheriff’s office to be interviewed. While his family was speaking with Esquivel in a room at the sheriff’s office, he asked his mother “to delete everything on his phone,” according to the report. Investigators say Esquivel’s Facebook account was deleted shortly after the shooting.