Former Pullman High track star killed in University of Utah shooting
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A former Pullman High School track star who was a senior at the University of Utah was shot and killed in Salt Lake City last night.
Police found 21-year-old Lauren McCluskey dead in a car on the Utah campus around 8:20 p.m. Monday. Investigators identified 37-year-old Melvin Rowland as the suspected shooter. He was not at the scene but was later found dead.
According to local news station KSL, McCluskey had dated Rowland for about a month before the shooting. Her mother said he lied to McCluskey about his name, age, and having a criminal history.
When a friend told Lauren McCluskey about her boyfriend’s criminal past on October 9, and the student ended the relationship. McCluskey also blocked Rowland and his friends’ phone numbers and told the police she was being harassed.
After the shooting, Salt Lake police heard Rowland was near a local church. When confronted by officers, Rowland ran. Officers chased him until he forced his way into the church through the back door. He was found dead inside from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
McCluskey graduated Pullman High School in 2015. She was described as an exceptional student and a stand out on both the Pullman and Utah track and field teams. She competed in the heptathlon, high jump, and at least 14 other events.
The University of Utah has canceled all classes today and has arranged for on-site grief counseling.
The university’s president released a statement about what happened, in which Lauren is described as a highly regarded athlete and an outstanding student as a senior majoring in communication. The Utah student association is planning a vigil for her on campus tonight at 5:00.
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