Police: Carjacking suspect also shot at victim’s friend
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A gunman who killed a University of Utah student during a carjacking attempt also shot at a friend of the victim who witnessed the slaying that sparked a massive manhunt before the man was spotted by an alert librarian and arrested, police said Wednesday.
Suspect Austin Boutain, 24, who has also been linked to a killing in Colorado, told police he shot Chinese computer-science student ChenWei Guo and then fired two rounds at the woman as she ran away so there would be no witnesses, according to newly released jail booking documents.
The woman, a fellow student, wasn’t hurt but was so traumatized by the shooting that she has struggled to tell police what happened, said University of Utah police Chief Dale Brophy. Her name has not been released.
Boutain was booked Tuesday into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, robbery and other charges as police traced the cross-country movements of the longtime criminal who was recently paroled from an Alabama prison. No attorney has been listed for him.
The booking records say Boutain told police he recently stole three guns from a home in Colorado. He said he hid a .44-caliber Ruger handgun used to shoot Guo in a crevice of a brick wall near the Salt Lake City homeless shelter, but when he returned it was gone.
He traded a second gun, a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson, for an ounce of marijuana, the jail documents state. The third, a rifle, was found by police at a makeshift camp were he’d been living near the university.
Police would not immediately say whether the weapons were taken from the home of Mitchell Ingle, a 63-year-old Golden, Colorado, man who was found dead Tuesday in his trailer.
Boutain and his wife were wanted for questioning in his death. Police have said they took Ingle’s pickup truck.
Boutain has a rap sheet that includes drug, car theft and weapons charges in Minnesota and Alabama dating back to his days as a juvenile.