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Midvale • A Midvale brother and sister died from gunshot wounds sustained late Wednesday, and two people including the alleged shooter were in police custody Thursday.
Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell confirmed that the victims, a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, were shot about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday outside their apartment in the Mill Creek II complex, 759 W. Center St. (7720 South).
The girl, Abril Izazaga, died at the scene; her brother, Jose Izazaga, was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead a short time later. Jose Izazaga was to have turned 17 on Friday; Abril Izazaga's 16th birthday was next week.
Bell said UPD officers, responding to a 911 call reporting shots fired, learned that a man and two other suspects had confronted the girl just outside her ground floor apartment over an as-yet-still-unclear disagreement.
"It apparently involved a T-shirt, or shirt, money owed, or missing property," Bell said, noting that the genesis of the dispute was still under investigation.
At some point, what had been a verbal argument became physical, with one of the men pushing the girl. "Her brother saw that and came out to her aid with a small knife; someone in the group opened fire," Bell said.
Abril Izazaga was "killed right in front of her apartment window, and her brother fell on top of her," Bell added.
The suspects fled, but several witnesses in the close-knit, predominantly Latino complex were able to provide detectives with good leads.
One person surrendered early Thursday an 18-year-old man, who was subsequently released from police custody.
A second man, who police believe is the shooter, was taken into custody about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
That man, Mario Cervantes-Angel, 28, of Mexico, remained in custody on Friday at the Salt Lake County jail, where he was being held without bail on suspicion of aggravated murder.
"It was quite a sad scene last night," Bell said Thursday. "There were a lot of people out crying and hugging each other."
That "sad scene" continued Thursday, as family members constructed a memorial for the two teenage siblings, with candles in the shape of a cross, a picture of Abril, a teddy bear, shoes and flowers.
Mariano Izazaga, one of the teens' older brothers, believed his siblings not only knew their killers but thought of them as friends. He said they opened fire on his little brother and sister "over a shirt."
"I just can't comprehend that," he said. "Something that's replaceable, you know? Something that gets thrown out after some time."
The two had "big hearts," family members said. Their sister-in-law Tilaima Lomu said she'll remember them as "happy, very loud, cheerful" people, two of the three youngest of nine siblings.
Abril Izazaga was "so smart," Lomu said, frequently bringing home A's from Hillcrest High School.
"She just had her quince [quinceañera] last year," Lomu said. "Jose was going to turn his life around."
Jose Izazaga had been shot before, Lomu said, and she believed that on Wednesday night, Abril tried to protect him from that happening again.
Their grandmother, Guillermina Serrano, said in Spanish that the two teens were good, respectful children, as she sobbed alongside family members.
Their mother's cousin, Marisol Salinas, said in Spanish while fighting back tears that when her own son died, Jose Izazaga made her feel loved, like she wasn't alone. On her son's birthday, she said these teens were always the first ones there.
She said God is the only one who knows what happened Wednesday night, but she hopes justice will be served for the person who shot her family members, so no one else will be hurt.
The children's mother, Salinas said, has been torn up about the whole thing, and did not want to speak to media outlets Thursday.
UPD said that anyone wishing to donate to the family may do so at any Wells Fargo Bank, under an account called: Benefit Memorial Fund for Abril Izazaga and Jose Izazaga.