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August 19, 2022

Confrontation between co-workers ends in fatal shooting in northern Utah

One man is dead and another in custody following a shooting in Cache County on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

MILLVILLE, Cache County — A man who claimed he fatally shot a co-worker in self-defense, even though he was the one who sought out the man and witnesses said the victim was sitting down and unarmed at the time he was killed, was arrested in Cache County on Thursday.

Lorenzo Tena-Vasquez, 59, was booked into the Cache County Jail for investigation of murder. The victim was identified as 19-year-old Yovani Nieto Arellano, of Logan.

Tena-Vasquez and Arellano were working at a home construction site in Millville, according to a police booking affidavit. The two got into a brief confrontation Thursday morning and Tena-Vasquez went home. But several hours later, Tena-Vasquez returned to the construction site with a gun.

He told police “he was fearful and angry” about allegedly being threatened by Arellano, the affidavit states. He found Arellano sitting in the basement and on his phone, when he approached and shot him six or seven times, according to the affidavit. He told police that “rather than waiting for (Arellano) to come to his home to harm him as (Arellano) had threatened to do, he felt it best to shoot (Arellano) on this occasion. Lorenzo maintained that he shot (Arellano) in self-defense, however, he described that when he contacted the victim, (Arellano) was in a seated, defenseless position, unarmed at the time of the shooting,” the affidavit states.

A witness told police that he could hear the victim screaming “No!” Investigators determined that the witness’ account of events “contradicts Lorenzo’s claims that he was in imminent danger at the time of the shooting,” according to the affidavit.

When deputies arrived at the job site, Tena-Vasquez was outside the home and admitted to the shooting, the affidavit states.

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