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Man charged in fatal February shooting in Salt Lake

SHARE Man charged in fatal February shooting in Salt Lake

Esequiel David Torres, 18, was arrested for investigation of murder and aggravated robbery in the Feb. 1, 2020, shooting death of Ghorke Gwen, 20, of Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man accused in a fatal shooting at a Salt Lake apartment complex in February has been charged with murder.

Esequiel David Torres, who had just turned 18 a month earlier, was charged in 3rd District Court on Friday with the first-degree felony in connection with the Feb. 1 incident. He was also charged with aggravated robbery, another first-degree felony.

On Feb. 1, Ghorke Gwen, 20, was shot in front of the Solara Apartments, near 700 North and 900 West, according to charging documents. He suffered an “unsurvivable brain injury” and was declared dead at a local hospital the next day, the charges state.

Investigators later learned that Torres had arranged to buy drugs from Gwen, but he and another person planned on robbing him instead when they met, charging documents state.

In the parking lot, “Torres pulled out his gun, pointed it at Gwen and said, ‘Give me everything you got,’” the charges state.

Instead, Gwen tried to punch Torres, prompting Torres to shoot him, according to charging documents.

About an hour before the fatal shooting, two men were robbed at gunpoint, charging documents state. The suspect in that robbery fired a shot as he was leaving, the charges state. No one was injured.

Detectives used ballistics tests to match the shell casings from the two incidents as coming from the same gun, according to charging documents. The victims of the robbery were also able to identify Torres as a suspect, the charges state.

Torres also “made documented statements to multiple people, admitting to the shooting and killing of Ghorke Gwen,” the charges state.

While he had turned 18 just weeks earlier, making him eligible for charges in the adult system, a police affidavit states that Torres was already on probation or parole at the time of the shooting for prior charges filed in juvenile court.

Prosecutors have requested Torres be held in the Salt Lake County Jail on $1 million bail.