Drugs, Money Blamed for Slaying! 

Drugs, Money Blamed for Slaying! 
Posted by FoM on December 28, 1998 at 15:24:49 PT
Another Victim of the WoDs!
   The teenage boy shot to death Saturday in front of his little brother and two other young people was killed over dope and money, police say.
   Jesse Rojas, 15, died of a shotgun blast to the head after two men entered the third-floor apartment, 649 E. 800 South, that Rojas shared with his brother and mother.   Rojas' mother, Angela, told investigators she was asleep on the couch when she was awakened by a commotion in the bedroom a little before 9 p.m. Her two sons, a female friend and another young boy were allegedly in the back bedroom smoking marijuana, police said.   The woman told officers she rushed to the room to see what was going on and arrived in time to see her son shot. She then told police she was knocked to the floor as men rushed out.   Salt Lake Police Detective Sgt. Jerry Mendez said investigators recovered a safe with dope and a "significant" amount of money in the driveway of the apartment complex.   Investigators believe the assailants grabbed the safe from the apartment and then dropped it in their haste to get away. Its contents were scattered in the driveway, and Rojas' mother was scrambling to gather up the items just after the shooting, police said.   A neighbor saw a red sports utility vehicle leaving the area just after the shooting. Mendez said officers believe it was the suspects' getaway car because no one in the apartment complex owns that type of vehicle.   Friends and relatives of Rojas have told police they don't know why anyone would want to kill the teenager. Mendez said the homicide investigation is looking into allegations that drugs had been sold from the apartment."The motive in the shooting was robbery, robbery for narcotics and money," Mendez said.Police said neighbors report that marijuana was being sold out of the Rojas apartment.   Investigators were concentrating on information that would lead them to the suspects, but Mendez said detectives were dealing with a variety of contrasting descriptions that can make coming up with solid information difficult.   Despite the motives for Saturday's slaying, the teenager's death is a tragedy, Mendez said.   "It is tragic. Anytime you have a 15-year-old kid shot, for whatever reason, you're talking about someone who hasn't even lived a third of his life . . . it's sad that anyone that young had to die," he said.
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