University Of Utah Track Star Killed In Shooting, Suspect Found Dead In Church

Left, SHUTTERSTOCK/ Action Sports Photography/ Right, Screenshot/ Utah Department of Corrections

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A student was killed in a shooting at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Monday with the suspect found dead in a church on Tuesday morning.

The school will have a vigil for 21-year-old senior and track student-athlete Lauren McCluskey on Wednesday.

“Around 8:20 p.m., university police received a report of a possible abduction in a parking lot outside a residence hall,” University of Utah’s President Ruth Watkins said in a statement on Tuesday. “Police responded and as they searched the area, they discovered Lauren deceased in a parked car near the south tower of the Medical Plaza, a residential hall on campus.”

Suspect Melvin Rowland, 37, was found dead in a Salt Lake City church, according to Good4Utah on Tuesday. He was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A school spokesperson confirmed Rowland was not a student at the university.

Utah’s sex offender registry shows that Rowland was convicted of attempted forcible sexual abuse and enticing a minor in 2004, USA Today reported. (RELATED: Retired Drama Teacher Accused Of Molesting Children Dead In Apparent Suicide)

McCluskey dated Rowland for a month, according to a statement from her parents, tweeted by KUTV2 reporter Morgan Saxton.

“He lied to her about his name, his age and his criminal history,” the statement said. “Lauren was informed by a friend about his criminal history, and ended the relationship with her killer on Oct. 9, 2018.”

Utah’s campus will remain open on Tuesday, though classes are canceled for the day, according to the statement.

A university spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation the investigation is ongoing.

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