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Man shot 7 times at birthday party has undergone 9 surgeries, charges say

SHARE Man shot 7 times at birthday party has undergone 9 surgeries, charges say

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A Salt Lake man was charged Wednesday with shooting a man he’d grown up with multiple times at a birthday party last month.

Since then, the victim has undergone nine different surgeries, according to charging documents.

On June 20, just as a birthday party for a woman turning 21 was coming to an end at 3:30 a.m. at a residence near 2400 South and 1300 West in West Valley City, Omar Cortez-Izarraraz, 21, shot Nicholas Lanzalaca seven times in the chest, arm and buttocks, according to charging documents.

Witnesses said just prior to the shooting, they heard Lanzalaca in the front yard saying, “If you want to get down let’s get down,” followed by gunshots and Lanzalaca calling for help, the charges state.

As of Wednesday, Lanzalaca had undergone nine surgeries. His injuries included “a shattered right wrist, shattered left elbow, several broken ribs, bruised lungs, shattered vertebra, and damage to his left kidney” as well as injuries that required his spleen and part of his large and small intestines to be removed, according to the charges.

“As of the date of this filing, Lanzalaca remains in the ICU on a ventilator,” investigators wrote in court documents filed Wednesday.

While Lanzalaca has been at the hospital, he was able to tell his mother that Cortez, someone he had grown up with, had shot him, the charges state.

After the party, Cortez posted on his Instagram page, “Just shot someone,” “Unloaded the whole clip on him,” and he “ain’t going home,” according to charging documents.

When interviewed by police, Cortez denied being at the party or knowing people who were there, the charges state, and said he didn't have an Instagram account. When police showed him a picture of the account, he admitted he had one, but hadn't used the account in months.

“Cortez continued to change his story throughout the interview,” the charges say.

Cortez was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with seven counts of shooting someone causing serious injury, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

Prosecutors have requested Cortez be held on $750,000 bail.