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Manhunt For U Of U Shooter Ends, Charges Expected Soon

The manhunt that lasted through Monday night ended Tuesday when the suspect in a fatal shooting at the U turned himself in.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown credited good police work and a strong relationship between law enforcement and the public for the conclusion of the manhunt.

“In the communities we serve, there is not a better partner than the citizens of Salt Lake City,” Brown said at an afternoon news conference. “They are our ears and our eyes.”

He also thanked the librarian who recognized Boutain from the bulletins that were circulated throughout the community.

“We received a report from the Salt Lake City Library. The librarian had noticed somebody who matched the description of Mr. Boutain, called library security, who came over, confronted Mr. Boutain, was peacefully taken into custody.”

At the close of the day, University of Utah President David Pershing sent a statement to campus recognizing the victim, thanking public safety officers and reminding the university community of services available on campus.

It was a low-key ending to a fatal drama that began after Boutain’s wife called University police to say her husband had assaulted her. Within minutes, a shots-fired call came in, and a University of Utah student was found dead in his car near Red Butte Garden.

Credit Judy Fahys / KUER
SWAT teams leave the search area at Red Butte Canyon.

UPDATE - 1 PM 10/31/17 : The Salt Lake City Police Department said via Twitter they have the alleged shooter in custody.


UPDATE 8 AM 10/31/17 : Classes are canceled at the University of Utah today after an overnight shooting left one student dead.

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

Police are on the lookout for the suspect, 24-year-old Austin Boutain, who they believe fled into the surrounding foothills. 

University of Utah President David Pershing sent a letter to the campus community announcing classes would be canceled Tuesday out of respect for Guo, a pre-computer science major. He says they have contacted his family in China and are working to bring them to Utah as soon as possible. 

Campus services and the counseling center will be open to students on Tuesday.


University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy says an injured woman came to the school and reported that her husband, the suspect Boutain, had assaulted her while they were camping in Red Butte Canyon, on the east side of campus.  

Red Butte Canyon is closed Tuesday as officers continue to search campus and the general area, though Pershing says they believe the university grounds are secure.  

The first alert was circulated at 9 p.m. last night, with a shelter-in-place order.  An hour later, the suspect was named, described as white with brown hair and eyes, a beanie cap, in black clothes, with many tattoos, including a teardrop under one eye.

The campus alert that included dorms and adjacent hospitals was lifted around 3 a.m.

Gov. Gary Herbert and other Utah lawmakers extended their condolences online for Guo.


"Today I join the @UUtah community in mourning the loss a remarkable student, ChenWei Guo," he Tweeted. "My heart is with his family and friends."



Credit Facebook
ChenWei Guo

The Associated Students of the University of Utah is holding a vigil at 5:30 Tuesday afternoon in the Union Ballroom on campus. A tweet from ASUU says the gathering is to "provide a space for support as a campus community." Hundreds are expected to gather to remember university student ChenWei Guo, who was the victim of last night's fatal car jacking attempt on the eastern edge of campus.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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