Fatal shooting at U of U, lockdown in place as police search for suspect

Police searched the University of Utah campus for Melvin Rowland, the suspect in a fatal shooting on campus Monday night, Oct. 22, 2018. Photos: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict; Salt Lake County

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 22, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have flooded the University of Utah campus near the Medical Towers along Shoreline Ridge after a fatal shooting Monday night.

It is still considered an active shooting scene and the area is under lockdown. Students have been told to shelter in place, keep doors locked and be quiet, in case the suspect is in the area.

A U of U tweet said the suspect is a black male, 37 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds. He was wearing a gray beanie, black pants, white shoes and a white hoodie.

Officials have identified the suspect as Melvin Rowland, a registered sex offender. Police say there was a relationship between Rowland and the victim.

According to Utah court documents, Rowland was found guilty in March 2004 of attempted forcible sex abuse which occurred September 15, 2003. That charge was amended from a first-degree felony to a third-degree felony. He also was found guilty of enticing a minor over the Internet, a second-degree felony.

Police responded to reports of shots fired on campus around 9 p.m. Monday. They began searching the north parking lot and, a short while later, an officer was heard calling out that he had found a possible victim.

It appears that the victim, a female, was found in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds and is deceased.

The search was later expanded to include the entire campus, and officials continued to urge students to shelter in place.

Gephardt Daily will continue to update this story as more information is made available.


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