1 killed, 3 injured in ‘surprise’ assault in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY — An early-morning assault in downtown Salt Lake City left one person dead and three others injured Tuesday, police said.
KSL.com reports just after 7 a.m., an assault was reported near 500 South and 500 West in Salt Lake City. Kepedro Kegler, 42, allegedly assaulted two men near 500 South and 600 West in an “unprovoked attack” before walking east and assaulting two other individuals, according to detective Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City Police Department.
The fourth victim, Kevin Joseph McCann, 55, was sitting on the sidewalk when he was assaulted. Wilking said Kegler walked up to McCann and struck him with a paving stone in the head, which ultimately led to his death.
The assault was a random, “surprise attack,” Wilking said, as none of the individuals involved knew each other. What prompted the attack is still unknown, he said, but Kegler was known by police and had been involved in past incidents.
“By all accounts, they weren’t known to each other,” Wilking said. “This does appear to be a random situation.”
According to court documents, Kegler has a history of assault and other offenses. This year, Kegler has been charged with two different incidents of assault, including assault against a police officer.
Kegler was arrested and questioned by police and will be booked in the Salt Lake County Jail Tuesday.
Wilking said the paving stone was only used against McCann. The other victims were either physically assaulted or assaulted with a smaller object, but Wilking said the investigation is still ongoing. He added that no knife or gun was used in the attacks.
The three other victims were transported to a hospital. Two are in stable condition and the third is in good condition, Wilking said.
Kegler and the victims were all experiencing homelessness, according to Wilking, and frequented the area. Rio Grande Street, which is near where the attack occurred, has a large homeless population.
Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to address the issue of homelessness Wednesday morning following several recent initiatives to clean up the Rio Grande area and to help the homeless population.
Wilking said he expects Tuesday’s attack to be discussed during Herbert’s meeting.
“I’m sure that’s a factor in all of the discussions surrounding that area, that there is a certain level of violence that is taking place,” he said.
Wilking added that it’s “unfair” to lump the entire homeless population in the same pool as those frequently involved in criminal and violent acts, but that to “sensationalize this one event” to highlight homelessness should be discouraged.