United States

Shooting kills one at Utah university

A student is dead after a shooting on Monday evening instigated an overnight manhunt and put the University of Utah’s campus on lockdown for several hours.

The Salt Lake City Police Department took their key suspect Austin Boutain, 24, into custody Tuesday afternoon.

The manhunt had continued until early Tuesday morning with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and seven other agencies on the scene.

Around 8:15 pm local time on Monday, a woman had arrived on campus saying her husband had assaulted her while they were camping in the nearby Red Butte Canyon, said the university’s police chief Dale Brophy.

As she was being treated for an undisclosed injury, her husband killed an individual in a carjacking at the gate of the canyon.

The university’s president sent out a letter to faculty and students Tuesday morning disclosing that an international student ChenWei Guo was the victim Monday night.

Mr Guo was parked near the gate of Red Butte Canyon when Boutain made an attempt to steal his vehicle and shot him in the process.

“ChenWei was a pre-computer science major with a promising future and worked as a peer advisor in our International Student and Scholar Services Office,” said David Pershing.

Mr Pershing said that the university has contacted the victim’s family and they are attempting to fly Guo’s relatives to Utah from China.

While authorities moved their search deeper into the woods and away from campus, the university lifted the “secure in place” warning set up when the shooting was initially reported late on Monday.

Classes are cancelled but the campus remains open, the university said in a tweet.

Students have access to the University of Utah Counselling Centre and staff to counselling through the Employee Assistance Program, said Pershing.

Reb Butte Canyon is a protected research and study area with a public botanical garden, arboretum & hiking trails.


More details to follow. Image 1 of the scene from Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune. 

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