University of Utah on lockdown following reports of shooting

Oct 22, 2018, 10:58 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2018, 7:30 am
Police scour the University of Utah campus on Oct. 23, 2018 following a deadly shooting near the sc...
Police scour the University of Utah campus on Oct. 23, 2018 following a deadly shooting near the school's medical towers. Photo: Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman died Monday night in a shooting on the University of Utah campus, sparking a police manhunt.

The situation started around 9 p.m., when emergency dispatchers received several calls reporting a disturbance between a man and a woman.

Police officers responding to those calls found a woman dead inside a vehicle. She appeared to have been shot.

The University then sent out an alert, advising students and faculty to secure in place as police from several agencies fanned out across campus.

At about 11:15 p.m., police publicly identified the shooting suspect as Melvin Rowland, 37.

Law enforcement teams, some in body armor or with K9s, were unable to locate Rowland.

University of Utah police Lieutenant Brian Wahlin said the victim was a student. Rowland was not.

“We know there was a previous relationship and that’s all I know. I don’t have any more details than that,” Wahlin said.

The search left some students unnerved. Wendy Joseph was in her dorm when she received the alert.

“I don’t know, based on how well we’ve responded to school shootings or campus shootings in the past, just how secure people can feel when a lot of the times we are scared for these situations,” Joseph said. “Yet none of the actions seem to be taken for our safety.”

Shortly before midnight, the University lifted the secure-in-place order, saying Rowland appeared to have left campus.

Rowland was last seen headed north on foot from the area of the medical towers (2030 E. Medical Drive) wearing a gray beanie, black pants, white shoes and a white hoodie. Police said he is about 6′ 3″ tall and weighs about 250 lbs.

Monday night’s shooting at the University of Utah came almost exactly one year after a similar campus shooting left a foreign student dead near Red Butte Garden.

On the night of Oct. 30, 2017, Austin Boutain, 24, shot and killed U of U student ChenWei Guo, 23. Boutain also fired shots at a woman who’d been with Guo as she fled.

That shooting also prompted a campus alert and all-night manhunt. Police believed Boutain managed to escape campus by crawling through the Wasatch foothills and into the Avenues. He was later arrested at the Salt Lake City Main Library.

In September, Bountain accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping. He received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Today’s Top Stories


Elizabeth Weiler

Middle schoolers represent Utah in national donation of quilts

The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project will provide nearly 500 quilts. Midvale Middle School is representing Utah.
11 hours ago
View of a wooden Nativity Scene on display at the Christmas Market on the Main Market Square in Kra...
AJ Willingham, CNN

Nativity sets are getting a minimalist makeover

Brooklyn Swenson, an artist in Utah, says she drew on this inspiration for her brightly colored minimalist nativity set.
11 hours ago
Pfeifferhorn Avalanche...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Utah Avalanche Awareness Week is underway

To promote safety while recreating at Utah's ski resorts, the Utah Avalanche Center is holding it's fourth annual Avalanche Awareness Week.
11 hours ago
bomb threat Utah Tech...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Tech student dies after falling from fifth-story balcony

A Utah Tech University student is dead after falling from a fifth-story balcony early Sunday morning. The death appears to be accidental.
1 day ago
This morning the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport o...
Waverly Golden

Snowball Express arrives at Salt Lake City Airport

On Dec. 3 the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport on its way to Orlando Walt Disney World. 
2 days ago
Cam Rising losing his helmet (Photo Credit, Wally Skalij, LA Times)...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: The long and winding road to the championship

Never give up, not on each other, the children, or life. We may be down, but never out. Keep fighting for the things we hold dear. We believe in each other.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
University of Utah on lockdown following reports of shooting