UPDATE: Alleged U. shooter arrested following search
Published at | Updated at
UPDATE 12:50 p.m.
Salt Lake City police said they have arrested the alleged shooter following a search in the foothills near the University of Utah.
Suspect in #homicide is in custody.
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) October 31, 2017
Details about where the alleged shooter was located have not been released. More information will be posted when it’s available.
The man wanted in a Monday night shooting, Austin Boutain, is still on the run. He and his wife are wanted in connection with a homicide in Colorado three to five days ago, University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Boutain’s wife, Kathleen Boutain, contacted police and said she was the victim of a domestic violence assault, Brophy said. She has since been arrested for an unrelated offense and is being held in jail until officials from Colorado can investigate further, Brophy said.
Officers have located what they believe to be the camp the couple had stayed in, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said during the press conference. He said a rifle was located, but it’s unclear if the rifle was used in Monday night’s shooting.
Officials believe Boutain was using a forest green truck, with license plate 460 DZX, that had been stolen out of Colorado. They do not believe he is with the truck any longer, but believe the truck is somewhere in the Salt Lake area.
Brown said officers will be searching the foothill area of Salt Lake City for Boutain, and will have two snipers above the search to provide protection.
SALT LAKE CITY — The search continued Tuesday morning for a suspected gunman following an attempted carjacking and shooting that killed an international student at the University of Utah Monday night.
In a statement Tuesday morning, University President David W. Pershing identified the shooting victim as ChenWei Guo, a pre-computer science major who worked as a peer advisor in the International Student and Scholar Services Office.
“We have been in contact with ChenWei’s family in China and they are understandably devastated by the loss of their son. We are working to bring them to Utah as soon as possible and will offer them all the assistance we can,” Pershing said in the statement.
Guo was sitting in a car close to a gate in Red Butte Canyon when he was shot by a man who was trying to carjack his vehicle, Pershing added.
“I wouldn’t call it an active shooter situation, but there is still a suspect who’s armed and dangerous that we would like to take into custody,” Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said late Monday.
Police said they are searching for Austin Boutain, 24, in connection to the shooting that happened about 9 p.m. just after a woman reported that he assaulted her. She told police he was in the canyon and that she believed he had a gun, said University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy. Detectives believe the pair had been camping in the canyon.
Suspect in U of U Homicide is Austin Boutain, 24. Considered armed and dangerous. pic.twitter.com/hL7dZu7D8v
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) October 31, 2017
Police believed Boutain was in the hills above Red Butte Canyon. More than 100 officers scoured the area overnight on the ground and in the air. The eastern half of the campus, including Primary Children’s Hospital were locked down.
Around 3 a.m., the university announced on Twitter that the lockdown was lifted but classes were canceled Tuesday. Facilities and services at the university remained open. Additional staff were available at the school’s Counseling Center, and the Employee Assistance Program was available to help with counseling for staff and faculty Tuesday.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski tweeted Tuesday morning that the foothills behind the Huntsman Cancer Institute are closed.
— Mayor J. Biskupski (@slcmayor) October 31, 2017
University officials and campus police planned a news conference to update the situation at 10 a.m.
The suspected gunman was wearing black clothes, a beanie hat and has a tattoo on his face with a cross and teardrop, Shearer said. Boutain also has a tattoo covering the front of his neck, and a tattoo down his left arm and onto his left hand, according to Salt Lake City police.
Police initially said he possibly was driving a forest green pickup truck with Colorado plates but later said it wasn’t clear if he still had access to that car Monday evening.
Today I join the @UUtah community in mourning the loss a remarkable student, ChenWei Guo. My heart is with his family and friends.
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) October 31, 2017
Boutain has no criminal record in Utah. But according to the Metro Gang Unit, he does have a criminal history out of state.
Two years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, Boutain faced charges of disrupting official business and disorderly conduct. According to court papers, he engaged in violent behavior when he ran from police through the 13th floor of Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, frightening patients and staff.
He later pleaded guilty to the disrupting charge. The disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.
Students hear gunshots
U. student Andrew Cleveland said his friends, who were in the Peterson Heritage Center near the canyon Monday night, sent him texts saying there was a suspected shooter.
“Right when I got that text message, I heard two gunshots right outside my window,” he said. Cleveland said his apartment is roughly 100 yards from the canyon. He hid and couldn’t see anything from his window, he said.
Boston Walch was nearby at a Halloween party in the LDS Institute of Religion as police combed the foothills for a suspect. Walch said officers told students there to stay inside and away from windows, and go upstairs. Some at the institute tried to leave the building to go to a dance.
“Police told them to go back inside,” Walch said.
Guo: Student from China
ChenWei Guo was born in Beijing, China and came to the U.S. in 2012, according to the International Student and Scholar Services website. He dreamed of one day having his own consulting company. He enjoyed skydiving, skiing, horseback riding, dancing, fashion and French bulldogs, the site said.
Guo’s social media includes photos of him travelling, spending time with friends and serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to his Facebook profile, Guo served his mission in Provo.
Anyone with information about Boutain is asked to call 801-799-3000.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Contributing: Annie Knox, Deseret News; McKenzie Romero, Deseret News; Jed Boal, KSL TV; Caitlin Burchill, KSL TV