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


After six years leading USU, and an overall 32 year career with the school, President Noelle E. Coc...
Simone Seikaly

USU President Noelle E. Cockett will step down

USU President Noelle E. Cockett has been part of the college's community for 32 years.
3 months ago
A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
Simone Seikaly

Utah one of the leading states for low levels of drunk driving

SALT LAKE CITY — Forbes Advisor has ranked American states to determine which have the highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. Their results put Utah third in the nation for the lowest rate of drunk driving. The District of Columbia and New Jersey each ranked higher than Utah when considering this data. […]
3 months ago
free transit rides...
Elizabeth Weiler

Free public transit rides come to Heber Valley

HEBER CITY, Utah — In the summer of 2022, Wasatch County Council approved a sales tax which is now providing funding for free public transit rides throughout Heber Valley.  Wasatch County and High Valley Transit entered a three-year, $3 million agreement to offer public bus transit services between Wasatch and Summit Counties, along with micro-transit […]
3 months ago
nichole olsen was shot and killed outside a nightclub in dowtown salt lake city over the weekend....
Elizabeth Weiler

Man arrested for murder in weekend shooting outside nightclub in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — A Southern Utah man has been arrested and booked into jail in connection with the shooting death of a Salt Lake City woman over the weekend. Nichole Olsen, 29, was shot and killed outside a nightclub near 300 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police have […]
3 months ago
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside of a house in Layton. 
Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret Ne...
Adam Small

Salt Lake seeing highest drop in home sales, national report finds

Utah's home sales are dropping fast according to a new national report. Prices have dropped by 48% in the last 12 months.
3 months ago
Animal activists Paul Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung with two rescued piglets American food system....
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah animal rights case raising questions about the American food system

After a rare win in the court system, animal activists Wayne Hsiung and Paul Picklesimer look to the future.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
University of Utah on lockdown following reports of shooting