A man died Saturday after being shot outside of a strip club, police said. (South Salt Lake police)
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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who confronted another man about his friend’s stolen cell phone was fatally shot inside a South Salt Lake strip club, according to charging documents.
Romalice Latrell Williams, 36, of Salt Lake City, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office with murder, aggravated robbery, and discharge of a firearm causing serious injury, all first-degree felonies; theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person and drug possession with intent to distribute, both third-degree felonies; and giving false information to a police officer, a class C misdemeanor.
On Dec. 18, three men were at Southern X-posure Showclub, 3420 S. State, when one of the men realized he had left his cell phone in the car, charging documents state. While the man went to the parking lot, Cherokee Soloman Aiko, 26, of Kearns, called his friend’s cell phone and someone else answered it, the charges state.
When the cell phone owner walked back into the gentleman’s club, he saw another man talking on his phone and confronted him, according to the charges.
“(The man) confronted the guy with his phone and the guy pulled out a gun and cocked it, and said, ‘What? Whose (expletive) phone?'” the charges state.
The cell phone owner then walked away. Aiko saw what was happening and walked over to the man, later determined to be Williams, and told him to give the phone back, according to the charges. That’s when three shots were heard. Aiko was shot twice.
Surveillance video from the club showed Aiko running from the building and collapsing in the parking lot, according to the charges. Williams and a second man then exited the club. Williams is seen in the video still holding a gun in his hand, the charges state. Aiko was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
“Two empty shell casings and one live round were observed in the front breezeway entrance where the shooting occurred,” the charges state.
Witnesses in the club were able to identify the second man who left with Williams. When that man was tracked down, he denied knowing Williams’ name but described him as having teardrop tattoos on his face, according to the charges.
The gold-colored BMW the men drove away in was located several hours later at The Ramada Inn, 1659 W. North Temple, which is being used by Salt Lake City as a temporary overflow shelter this winter.
As officers were keeping watch on the car, another car drove up and a woman got out and into the BMW and started to drive away, the charges state. Police quickly stopped the BMW and questioned the woman who told detectives that her mother had let a man named “T” borrow the car and she was picking it up, the charges state. The woman said “T” was staying in the shelter.
As officers approached the room he was allegedly staying in, a man with teardrop tattoos on his face walked out. The man, later identified as Williams, gave police a false name and was arrested.
“A search of Williams’ room at the Ramada yielded a .380 handgun, and ammunition similar to the empty casings and live round found at the homicide scene at Southern X-posure,” charging documents state. “Also found in Williams’ room was … a distributable amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, white shoes, and clothing that matched what Williams was wearing at Southern X-posure.”
Prosecutors noted in charging documents that Williams recently moved to Utah from Louisiana, but has seven convictions in Utah including an aggravated assault conviction from 2019.
“In addition, (Williams) is a multistate offender who’s had 17 incidents in Louisiana, including fleeing from an officer and armed robbery,” prosecutors stated in charging documents while requesting that he be held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail pending trial.