Friends Mourn Triple Homicide Victims

By: Auburn Huttno Email
By: Auburn Huttno Email

The triple killing happened on Heatherridge Lane in a normally quiet suburban neighborhood.

The home where the party took place was being rented by a few UNR students. Police responded to the home just after 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning after hearing reports of gunshots fired. They found three victims upon arrival.

Police believe there was some kind of altercation on the dance floor, one that got quickly out of hand.

"Somebody bumped into somebody. People got upset about that and it deteriorated. A verbal argument turned into a physical fight and escalated to some shots being fired," said Lt. Bob McDonald of Reno PD.

Two suspects are now behind bars, both charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Samisone Taukitoku and Saili Manu were arrested a few blocks from the party.

Friends and house mates cleaned up what was left of the tragic Halloween party, saying they only wanted to move out of the home and forget about the night their friend was killed. One victim was local UNR student Derek Jensen...friends called him "DJ."

"I just want people to know how much he'll be missed, the amazing person that he was," said Ken Leeper, friend and frat brother of DJ.

DJ was a member and past president of the TKE fraternity in Reno. Brothers flew their flag at half mast, as a tribute to their close friend. Leeper says he'll remember DJ as a big guy with a heart even bigger.

"He would always, when we went to play football he always wore his jersey with such pride. He'd be the biggest guy out there and running faster and harder than anybody. He was a big sports guy. As soon as the Dodgers started playing, the world would stop."

Leeper says he doesn't know exactly what happened the night his friend was killed, but he's calling it a senseless tragedy where innocent people were hurt. He says he believes his friend DJ was only trying to calm the situation down.

"DJ would be the absolute last person to be involved with anything like that. It would be an insult to his memory to think he'd be involved with something like that."

The shooting is still under investigation. Police are urging witnesses who were at the party to call 322-4900 if they have any information about what happened.


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