A Student At University Of Utah Was Shot & Killed Outside Her Dorm

Lauren McCluskey, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Utah was shot and killed on-campus Monday night. The school has canceled classes, though the campus will remain open, and has offered counseling services to all students, staff and faculty. 

At around 8:20 p.m. on Monday, University Police responded to a report of a possible abduction, called in by the victim's mother. Following reports of gunshots, they discovered McCluskey's body in a car parked outside the south tower of the Medical Plaza. 

The suspected gunman fled into Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church where he shot himself in the pastor's study, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. According to police, Melvin S. Rowland, 37, not a student at the university, had been in a "prior relationship" with McCluskey and after a dispute, he shot and killed her. 

University officials issued an all clear at 1:47 a.m.

According to Jill McCluskey, Lauren's mother, “Lauren [had] previously dated her killer for about one month. He lied to her about his name, his age, and his criminal history.” When she found out the truth, she broke off the relationship. 

Rowland had previously been convicted of attempted forcible sex abuse and enticing a minor over the internet in 2004 – he was released from prison in 2013.

A vigil for McCluskey organized by the Associated Students and the athletic department will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Park Building on campus.