CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Tooele man in custody after allegedly shooting his wife

Aug 19, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:28 am
Police in Tooele are looking for an armed robbery suspect that forced three schools into lockdown o...
A Tooele police vehicle is pictured in Tooele on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Police in Tooele searched the Pine Canyon area Thursday for a wanted fugitive. The search was unsuccessful. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

TOOELE, Utah — A 36-year-old Tooele man is in custody after police say he reportedly confessed to shooting and killing his wife Thursday night.

Tooele Police say Michael Patterson was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of murder. Patterson had called 911 to inform dispatch that he had reportedly shot his wife, the probable cause statement says. He informed dispatch that he was in the area of Emerald Street and Garnett Street in the industrial depot of Tooele.

According to the probable cause statement on the Tooele shooting, police were called, just before 7 p.m., to 870 S. 1050 W. for a report of an unconscious woman, who was not breathing.

Tooele shooting

Upon arriving at the scene, police discovered the woman deceased in the bathroom of the home. The probable cause statement says the woman suffered a bullet wound to the head.

Before being transported to jail, Patterson told authorities that he had discarded the victim’s broken cell phone, a firearm and a magazine in the area surrounding where he had parked his car. He led authorities to where he had parked. Later, police said the items appeared to have been hidden.

During interviews with neighbors, police learned that neighbors had heard screaming from the apartment at 6:40 p.m. According to the probable cause statement, when the neighbors left their home, they found a 9-year-old boy. The boy told them his mother was in the bathroom and not moving. 

The two neighbors went into the apartment and found the victim. The 9-year-old and his two siblings went with one neighbor as the other waited for police to arrive.

Upon being questioned by authorities, Patterson said he and the victim had been arguing and that she was planning to leave him. The probable cause statement further states that Patterson told police the victim went in to use the bathroom.  He said he took a Glock handgun and followed her in there. Patterson says he startled the victim, which caused the handgun to accidentally fire, the probable cause statement reads.

The children’s account of the incident

A 10-year-old child was interviewed by police and said the Patterson and the victim had been arguing while they went out to get something to eat. When they returned home, the 10-year-old said, they locked themselves in the bedroom and continued to argue.

According to the probable cause statement, the 10-year-old further states, that she was watching TV with her 2-year-old bother when she heard a loud boom. Shortly thereafter, she said she saw Patterson come out of the bedroom, grab his car keys and leave the house. 

The 9-year-old boy who had been playing at a friend’s house had come in to ask for permission to go swimming. He came out saying their mom was lying in the bathroom and needed help.

Both children ran and knocked on neighbors’ doors for assistance, according to the probable cause statement. 

Resources:

If you or someone you know are experiencing trouble linked to domestic violence, the following resources are available to you.

Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine
1-800-897-LINK (5465)

If LINKLine advocates are experiencing an increased call volume, calls will be forwarded to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

StrongHearts Native Helpline
1-844-762-8483

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Tooele man in custody after allegedly shooting his wife