Utah Killing at Nexus of Domestic Violence and Guns
A University of Utah student who was shot and killed on campus by a former boyfriend had filed a police complaint against him after she learned he was a sex offender and broke off the relationship, authorities said Tuesday.
Lauren McCluskey, 21, was found shot in a car Monday night near on-campus student housing. Her attacker, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, killed himself overnight at a church when police tracked him down after linking him to the killing through a description, clothing and evidence at the scene, authorities said.
The killer was on parole and legally prohibited from owning a gun, and it’s unclear how and where he got one. The murder comes just a month after another ex-convict pleaded guilty to killing a different University of Utah student with a stolen gun.
On average, 50 women in the US are shot and killed by a current or former partner. While Utah prohibits convicted felons from possessing weapons, it lacks an extreme risk protection order law, and weapons prohibitions related to domestic violence do not extend to crimes committed against boyfriends or girlfriends.