SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The suspect in the murder of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe last month has now been formally charged, and a probable cause statement reveals previously unknown details in the case, including the existence of cell video phone taken during the shooting.
On Wednesday morning, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office filed the following charges against Buk Mawut Buk:
- Criminal homicide, aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Attempted criminal homicide, attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
- Obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony
The statement says that on Sept. 26, multiple officers responded to a report of a shooting in the block of 2200 block of Broadmoor Street in Salt Lake City.
“As they neared the residence, officers encountered several people leaving the area in vehicles and on foot,” the statement said. “Multiple people shouted that someone had been shot. When officers arrived at the residence, they observed two people, Aaron Lowe and a woman, lying on the ground across the street from the house. Both had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
“Police and fire department personnel rendered aid to both individuals; efforts to assist Lowe were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The woman was transported to an area hospital where she underwent surgery for her injuries.
“Investigating officers identified multiple named witnesses. All the witnesses had been attending a party at the residence at the time of the shooting. One witness provided officers with a cell phone video captured at the time of the shooting. The video showed Lowe and the woman standing on the parking strip across the street from the residence.
“The camera panned to the right, and captured a male, wearing a dark shirt and light pants, walking across the street toward Lowe and the woman,” the statement said. “As he walked, the male lifted his left hand to his midsection and appeared to be holding a dark object. The male walked out of the frame, and the sound of the first two gunshots was captured. The camera began moving rapidly and captured a few frames showing that the male who had crossed the street was now standing next to the parking strip, immediately in front of Lowe and the woman, who had fallen to the ground. The person holding the phone began running and the sound of at least five more shots was recorded.”
Multiple witnesses stated that, prior to the shooting, they observed a verbal altercation
between Lowe and a group of Black males, the statement said. The argument took place near Lowe’s vehicle.
“One witness stated that they had decided to leave the party because there were too many
people,” according to the statement. “As the witness was walking to their vehicle, they heard the woman yelling. The witness approached and saw that Lowe was arguing with a group of males, at least one of whom was familiar to the witness. The witness and the woman tried to deescalate the conflict between Lowe and the males. As they were doing so, a tall dark-skinned male, whom the witness did not know, walked across the street and began shooting at Lowe and the woman. The witness described the shooter as tall and dark-skinned. The witness believed the male was Sudanese.”
One witness stated that they were standing on the side of the road and saw a group of
people fighting, the statement said.
“Another male approached from the other side of the road. He described the male as about mid-20s, 6 feet 2 inches tall, with dreadlocks. The male was holding a black handgun with an extended magazine, the witness told police. The witness then stated “that the male fired two rounds at first.”
The witness told police he began running and heard more gunshots, according to the probable cause statement.
Two witnesses stated that immediately prior to the shooting, they were in the detached garage of the residence where the party took place. A male was seated on a couch in the garage,” the statement said.
“The witnesses observed another male approach the man who was sitting on the couch and reach into a sling bag that was hanging in front of the man’s chest. The male removed a handgun from the bag and began walking out of the garage and down the driveway,” the statement said.
“One witness identified the male who removed the gun from the man’s bag as Buk. Both witnesses stated that the shooting occurred within seconds of the man who was allegedly Buk removing the gun from the other man’s bag.”
Two witnesses stated that they directly observed the shooting, and identified Buk, with
whom they were familiar, as the person who shot Lowe and the woman, the statement said.
According to the probable cause statement, one witness said, “following the shooting, Buk returned to the vehicle in which he had traveled to the party and was driven away from the residence. The witness did not see the firearm after the shooting.”
On the same day, SLCPD detectives interviewed the woman who had been critically wounded and was recovering in a local hospital.
“She had been shot in the neck and the chest and was unable to speak. She communicated by typing text on her phone or providing non-verbal responses to questions,” the statement said. “She stated that Lowe had been trying to move his vehicle. A group of four males would not move out of the way. She said there were a bunch of shots fired, and the shooter came to ‘finish them off’ after she and Lowe had fallen to the ground.”
According to the results of a Sept. 27 autopsy, conducted by the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, Lowe had been shot four times. It was “preliminarily determined the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death to be homicide.”
Buk was arrested in Draper on Oct. 3. After being read his Miranda rights, he denied being at the party, investigators said. The firearm used in the crimes has not yet been found, they said.
Buk is being held without bail at the Salt Lake County Jail.
Gephardt Daily reporters Daisy Blake, Nancy Van Valkenburg, Patrick Benedict and photojournalist Monico Garza contributed to this report.