(Reuters) – Police sniper teams and armored cars converged on a canyon near the University of Utah’s Salt Lake City campus on Tuesday to search for a gunman who killed a student and is suspected in another homicide in Colorado.
The victim of Monday night’s shooting was identified as ChenWei Guo, a student from China who authorities said was parked near Red Butte Canyon when he was killed during a failed carjacking attempt.
Police named the suspect as Austin Boutain, 24, and said he and his wife, Kathleen Boutain, 23, were wanted for a homicide committed last week in Golden, Colorado.
Boutain is believed to have fled on foot into the canyon’s thick brush after shooting Guo.
“We want to be sure we check all the nooks and crannies, anywhere this person might be hiding,” University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy told a news conference. He added that Boutain is “considered armed and dangerous.”
Red Butte Canyon is used for research and has a public botanical garden, arboretum and hiking trails in the Wasatch Mountains foothills.
Brophy said police were responding to a domestic assault complaint from Kathleen Boutain on Monday night when shots rang out in the canyon, where the couple had been camping after fleeing neighboring Colorado.
Kathleen Boutain was treated for minor injuries and held in jail on “unrelated charges,” Brophy said. Police found a rifle and ammunition in the canyon.
Police in Golden, meanwhile, said they found the body of a 63-year-old man after being asked on Tuesday by their Utah counterparts to conduct a welfare check at a trailer park.
That death is being investigated as a homicide and the Boutains are persons of interest in the case, the Golden Police Department said in a statement. They scheduled a news conference for later on Tuesday.
Classes were canceled on Tuesday at the university, where officials remembered Guo as “extraordinarily outgoing, creative, smart and extremely engaged.”
A pre-computer science student and peer adviser in the school’s International Student and Scholar Services Office, Guo was also an interpreter and technology supporter at the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a social media profile.
A campus gathering in his honor was being organized for Tuesday night, university officials said.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Bill Trott and Dan Grebler