Police arrest man for allegedly shooting, killing 14-year-old girl in St. George

ST. GEORGE — A man is in jail after police responded to a shooting Thursday night in St. George where authorities say a 14-year-old was shot and later died at the hospital from her injuries.

The incident that led to the arrest was reported shortly before 9 p.m., when officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a housing complex in the 600 block of North 2450 East, a few blocks south of Deseret Industries.

Officers on scene learned that the teen girl sustained a gunshot wound to the head. From there, they were provided a description of the suspect, later identified as 18-year-old Anthony Vega, and a manhunt ensued that would continue for several hours and extended several miles beyond the complex.

The 14-year-old girl was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead less than two hours later.

According to charging documents filed in 5th District Court following the arrest, prior to police arriving, “most witnesses involved had fled the scene.”

Anthony Vega, 18, of St. George, Utah, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, July 10, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

During the initial investigation, witnesses still on scene provided information that led officers to pursue Vega as the suspect who had “shot the female in the head and had fled,” the report said. The suspect would allegedly later admit to the shooting during a telephone call to a juvenile before his arrest, according to court records.

Multiple units responded and began scouring the area in search of the suspect, while a Washington County K-9 unit also responded to the scene, along with St. George Police Detectives and Dixie State University police officers as well.

At 10:45 p.m., SWAT was called in and began staging in the parking lot of a nearby church.

By 1 a.m., the suspect was located by police, and after identifying himself as “Tony Jones” multiple times, he was later identified as Vega and arrested by police.

During an interview, the report states, Vega allegedly admitted to pointing the gun at the teenage girl and then he “pulled the trigger, shooting her.”

The statement was later corroborated by two juvenile witnesses who confirmed that Vega was “playing with the handgun” and pointing it at several individuals while pulling the trigger. The officer noted in the report that after shooting the girl, Vega fled, allegedly taking the handgun with him.

Vega was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing one first-degree felony count of murder, along with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, as well as a third-degree count of being a category II restricted person in possession of a firearm. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for giving false information to a police officer.

This is a developing story.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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