SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Police were searching Friday for the suspect in a fatal shooting at an apartment complex south of Salt Lake City that spurred a shelter-in-place alert for about two hours at nearby Utah Valley University.
Other people at the apartment complex in Orem, Utah, witnessed Elbert Paule, 19, shoot Dominique Barnett, 26, once in the stomach on Thursday night, said Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge.
Barnett died later that night at a hospital, Colledge said.
Paule had been charged three times in the last year with drug-related offenses, online Utah court records show. Paule had pleaded guilty in one case and served jail time, pleaded not guilty in another and had not issued a plea in the third case.
Colledge said Paule knew Barnett but didn’t elaborate. It’s possible the shooting was drug-related, but investigators are still gathering information, he said.
Classes resumed on Friday morning at Utah Valley University, a college of 40,000 students with a campus next to Interstate 15 tucked in between businesses, shopping centers and housing.
The university tweeted that students should “continue to use caution.”
University spokesman Scott Trotter said Paule was admitted to the college for spring 2019 semester but didn’t register for any classes.
Barnett was never a student and has no affiliation with the university, Trotter said.
The apartment complex is not owned or run by Utah Valley University but most of the residents are current or former students, Colledge said.
Paule’s criminal history shows he had been charged with possession of drug or drug paraphernalia in three separate incidents dating back to March 2018. His adult criminal record does not show any violent offenses.
He pleaded guilty in May 2018 to possessing marijuana and spice and was sentenced to 180 days and one year of probation. In August 2018, he pleaded not guilty to possession of marijuana and spice and drug paraphernalia. A trial was scheduled for April.
His most recent charge came in January, when he was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Orem. He has not yet issued a plea to that charge.
By BRADY McCOMBS
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