Suspect sought after shooting at University of Utah

Violet Powell
November 1, 2017

At least one person is dead after a shooting at the University of Utah.

The suspect, Austin Boutain, is also suspected of being connected to a homicide in Colorado, police said Tuesday.

ChenWei Guo, an worldwide student from China, was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking near Red Butte Canyon on Monday night, according to police.

The Salt Lake City Police Department tweeted at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday that the suspect, who has been identified as 24-year-old Austin Boutain had been arrested.

Kathleen Boutain, 23, is in custody in the Salt Lake City Jail on unrelated theft and drug charges, jail records show. He has a brother who lives in Alexandria and other family in Minnesota. Guo was an global student at the university.

At least eight law enforcement agencies are on the scene, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Authorities now believe Boutain may be also be connected to a murder in Colorado. Brophy said at the Tuesday afternoon news conference that a helicopter was still searching east of campus when news came in that Boutain had been found.

A criminal background check did not yield immediate results for Austin Boutain, though police distributed mugshots indicating he had been arrested in Marion County, Alabama, in the past. Authorities believe the two had been in Utah for days and were camping in the foothills near the university. Brophy said police believe Austin Boutain had killed the driver of a vehicle and fled the scene.

The university was placed on lockdown around 9 p.m. Monday after reports of shots fired. "#UteFamily", said the Mighty Utah Student Section on Twitter. An extensive search of upper campus and the hills above Red Butte Canyon is still on going. SWAT teams searched the canyon area through Tuesday morning, with snipers watching to make sure Boutain, believed to be armed and risky, did not threaten officials.

Classes were cancelled on Tuesday at the university, where officials remembered Guo as "extraordinarily outgoing, creative, smart and extremely engaged".

Utah Transit Authority said there will be limited light rail service and that buses won't service the campus for the rest of the night.

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