Utah track athlete identified as victim in shooting

Melvin Rowland

Melvin Rowland

The University of Utah identified the slain student as Lauren McCluskey, a senior majoring in communications who was a member of the school's track and field team.

In the November 19, 2014 photo, Pullman High School senior Lauren McCluskey signs a letter of intent in Pullman, Wash., to compete in track for the University of Utah. They each donned a black wristband with the initials "L.M." in a heart.

"I heard her yell, 'No, no, no!" her mom said in a statement. McCluskey "will always be part of the track team family", he said. "She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed", the mother's statement said.

'It is with deepest sadness that we let you know that our daughter Lauren McCluskey, age 21, was the University of Utah student who was killed last night.

McCluskey was as fierce a competitor as she was lovely. Kyle Kepler, McCluskey's coach, described the pride he felt seeing her name semester after semester on the top 10 GPA board that hangs in his office.

The family states that after Lauren learned about Rowland's past, she ended the relationship on October 9.

The vigil was held at the Pullman High School track to reflect McCluskey's commitment to track and field. "The detective had been in contact with Ms. McCluskey, and they were working on the case with our suspect at that time". They went to dinner at a restaurant, drove by the state Capitol and went to her home downtown, where he took a shower.

Before attending the University of Utah, McCluskey had her pick of about five other schools, she told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in 2014.

McCluskey, a communications major at the University of Utah, also was a college track athlete, reported ABC News.

On the day of McCluskey's killing, Rowland spent several hours hanging out near her residence and attempted to lure her out of her dorm by sending a text message posing as a police officer, Brophy said.

McCluskey had dated Rowland, 37, who was not a student, for about one month, said McCluskey's mother, Jill McCluskey. She subsequently ended the relationship on October 9. McCluskey was shot and killed by a former boyfriend in Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 23, 2018.

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The woman later called police when she saw photos of the man being sought for the campus shooting. McCluskey's parents called 911 while leaving the line open on the phone call with their daughter.

"In a few minutes, a young woman picked up the phone and said all of Lauren's things were on the ground", she wrote.

Lauren's body was found in the backseat of a vehicle on the campus.

"We've got the campus secure at this point in time", he told reporters shortly after 11 p.m.

McCluskey, 21, apparently had a dispute with the man, identified as Melvin Rowland, 37, university Police Lt. Brian Wahlin said. Witnesses say he fled the scene on foot. Eve Fortenbery, a friend of the family, stopped mid-sentence to watch the feline near McCluskey's memorial wreath.

Lauren McCluskey is seen here in this August 30, 2017 file photo in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The only mention of any possible violent behaviour came during a 2016 hearing when an officer mentioned that Rowland had said he might become violent if he received another visit from a parole officer.

The suspect and the student had "a previous relationship", he said. "She loved to sing and had strength an determination".

Her hard work paid off.

"You just start thinking about what is really important". She had already passed away.

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