Ravell Call, Deseret News
Law enforcement officials comb the hills near the mouth of Red Butte Canyon in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in search of the person responsible for shooting and killing a University of Utah student.
SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah has released the name of a student shot and killed near campus Monday night as police continue searching for the man suspected in the attack.
ChenWei Guo, 23, died after police say was shot in an attempted carjacking in the foothills bordering the university about 9 p.m. Monday. The shooting prompted a lockdown of the campus as a flood of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies responded, searching campus buildings and warning students that they believed the shooter remained armed and dangerous.
The suspected gunman, Austin Boutain, 24, was still at large early Tuesday when the campus lockdown was lifted. University of Utah police believe he fled into the mountains above the university.
University of Utah President David Pershing said in a statement sent to students that Guo, from Beijing, China, was “one of our international students.”
“We have cancelled classes today in respect of ChenWei and the impact this violent event has had on our campus community,” Pershing said. “ChenWei was a pre-computer science major with a promising future and worked as a peer adviser in our International Student and Scholar Services Office.”
The university is arranging to bring Guo’s family from China to Utah as soon as possible, Pershing said.
According to his bio on the U’s International Student and Scholar Services website, Guo was born in Beijing and “has lived in many different places growing up as well as traveled to Europe and Asia.” He came to the U.S. in 2012 and would have turned 24 on Sunday.
“His dream is to one day have his own consulting company to help more people feel good about themselves,” the bio says. “During his spare time, Chen likes to have adventures like skydiving, skiing, horseback riding, and working with ISSS peer advisers. He also likes dancing and modern fashion. Oh, and French bulldogs!”
Guo’s social media includes photos of him travelling, spending time with friends and serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to his Facebook profile, Guo served his mission in Provo.
His Facebook page became a memorial on Tuesday as friends posted tributes.
“You’re not only one of the brightest guys I know, but also one of our family’s dearest missionar(ies). As a missionary serving in our area, you came a lot to our home. Your testimony often moved us, and eventually helped my nonmember cousin to get baptized,” wrote Rachel Tam.
“I am in total shock. Elder ChenWei Guo, you will be missed. You have touched the lives of so many people and I believe you will continue to do so,” wrote Jake Jung while posting a picture of Guo with his missionary companions.
“Please keep his family in your prayers. We love and miss you,” wrote Brant Fuhriman who said he was a former roommate.
Guo was shot just after a woman reported that Boutain had assaulted her and was in the canyon with a gun, U. Police Chief Dale Brophy said. Detectives believe the pair had been camping in the canyon.
Police believe Boutain shot Guo while attempting to steal his car. Additional details about the encounter have not been released.
Law enforcement continued combing the hills above the campus as day broke Tuesday and a Department of Public Safety helicopter kept up the search from the air.
Boutain is described as white man with tattoos of a cross and a teardrop and his face, with additional tattoos on the front of his neck and on his left arm down to his hand. At the time of the shooting, police say he was wearing black clothes and a beanie hat.
Anyone with information about Boutain is asked to call 801-799-3000.
This story will be updated throughout the day.
Contributing: Pat Reavy