31 felony charges for suspect who allegedly shot two women, sparked SWAT standoff

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SALT LAKE CITY – Authorities have filed 31 felony charges against a man who allegedly shot two women including his estranged wife and sparked a SWAT standoff in August, and the charging documents reveal additional details about the ordeal the victims suffered.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office issued Friday, Valentin Dulla Santarromana, 37, faces charges for allegedly kidnapping and attempting to murder two women while armed with a handgun and meat cleaver. One of the women is his estranged wife, who he is also accused of sexually assaulting.

The incident occurred August 22 in Salt Lake County, and, according to charging documents, the suspect and his estranged wife, “J.A.” had separated about a week earlier and neither were consistently staying at the home where the incident occurred. When the woman went to the home to care for her dogs, she encountered and was confronted by Santarromana.

The charging documents state J.A. ran outside and called for her friend, “J.J.H.”, to call 911.

At that time J.J.H. was shot 15 times by the suspect while on the phone with police. A gunshot wound to her chest severed her spine and penetrated both lungs, and she was also shot in numerous other places including a wound to the left hand that nearly amputated two fingers.

SWAT officers ultimately breached the home, which was blocked by furniture. They could smell a strong odor of natural gas and heard gunshots from the basement. Officers contacted the man, who said he shot J.A. in response to officers entering the residence. The man ultimately let J.A. leave the basement, and he followed after and was taken into custody.

The press release states the man allegedly sexually assaulted J.A. and shot her five times.

Santarromana faces 15 first degree felony charges, all of which carry a sentence of up to life in prison. The other counts, 16-31, are second and third-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 or 5 years, respectively. The charges include attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault, felony discharge of a firearm with bodily injury, and aggravated assault.

Santarromana is in the Salt Lake County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million cash-only bail, according to the press release.

Police said Santarromana had been hospitalized a week prior to the SWAT incident after he made threats.