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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 1, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A probable cause statement released by Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office has shed new light on the events surrounding the fatal shooting of University of Utah student ChenWei Guo.
The statement says that after being read his Miranda rights, Austin Boutain, 24, admitted to shooting Guo, in the victim’s vehicle on Red Butte Canyon Road with “intentions of taking his vehicle.”
The statement also says that Boutain admitted he fired two more rounds at a female witness as she ran away, with the intent to kill her so there were no witnesses.
“Boutain admitted to stealing three firearms from a residence in Colorado, one of which was recovered by police, ” the probable cause statement says. “Boutain post-Miranda said he had traded one firearm, a .38 cal. Smith and Wesson, for one ounce of marijuana. The other weapon used in the homicide was hidden in the crevice of a brick wall, near the homeless shelter. Boutin returned to retrieve the weapon, and found it missing.”
Boutain also took officers to the makeshift camp where he and his wife were staying in Red Butte Canyon, the statement said.
Once at the camp, officers found the holster and spent cartridges for a .44 caliber Ruger, which they said was used in the fatal shooting.
The statement also said that Boutain assaulted his wife with a firearm, causing injury to her.
Boutin was booked Tuesday night on suspicion of charges including:
- Aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Aggravated robbery with serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony
- Attempted criminal homicide, a second-degree felony
- Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
- Discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony
- Purchase, transfer, possession, use of a firearm, a third-degree felony
- Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
It was just after 8:30 p.m. Monday when police were alerted to a report of domestic abuse from Boutain’s wife, Kathleen, who said the two had been camping in Red Butte Canyon. Within 15 minutes or so, a call came in reporting a shooting in the canyon, according to information released by the Salt Lake City and the University of Utah Police departments.
International student Guo — a 23-year-old native of China who first came to Utah as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — had been killed in a carjacking attempt. Based on information from witnesses and Kathleen Boutain, Austin Boutain became the primary suspect.
Kathleen Boutain was treated for minor injuries and taken into custody.
More than 100 police officers from many different agencies descended on the University of Utah campus and the area near Red Butte Canyon. FBI agents responded, as did law enforcement officials in helicopters and armored vehicles. Police dogs tried to sniff out the suspect.
The manhunt continued into the night, and began again, full force, Tuesday morning. SWAT teams searched the canyon area through Tuesday morning, with snipers watching to make sure Boutain, believed to be armed and dangerous, did not threaten officials.
The SLCPD tweeted late Tuesday morning that the mountain search was complete and that Boutain had not been located.
But efforts continued on a lesser level; a helicopter was still searching east of campus when news came in that Boutain had been found.
The SLCPD tweeted at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday that Boutain had been arrested in the City Library at 210 E. 400 South.
SLCPD Chief Mike Brown revealed at a news conference that Boutain was spotted by a librarian who recognized the suspect after seeing his photo in media reports.
The librarian called the library’s armed security guards, Brown said, and Boutain was taken into custody without incident.
Salt Lake City and U of U campus police learned Tuesday that one or both Boutains are wanted in a homicide investigation near Golden, Colorado. Colorado law enforcement officials conducted a welfare check on a 63-year-old man — now identified as Mitchell Bradford Ingle — after Utah police informed them that a vehicle connected to the Boutains was registered to the man, who was found in his recreational vehicle.
Colorado police believe Ingle had been dead since late last week. The Boutains arrived in Utah two or three days before the shooting, according to SLCPD Chief Mike Brown.
Brown said on Tuesday afternoon that Colorado authorities would arrive within the hour to investigate for their own homicide case.
The green truck stolen out of Golden, Colorado, is still missing, Brophy said. Anyone who sees it is asked to call police.