Police tape blocks the apartment complex in Logan, Utah, on July 14 where two gunshot victims were discovered. Police say three people have been found shot dead in two different locations in Logan. (Amy Macavinta / AP)
A Utah Army National Guardsman killed a Utah State University student and one other person early Monday at an apartment near the college before fleeing and fatally shooting himself at another home, police said.
Jared Tolman, 23, sent a series of unanswered text messages to Mackenzie Madden before he kicked down the door of her apartment two blocks from the university shortly after midnight.
He then fired an assault rifle multiple times at Madden and a 25-year-old man, both people he knew, police said.
Madden, 19, was a sociology major at the university in Logan, a city of about 48,000 people 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Officers responding to 911 calls found her and Johnathon Jacob Sadler dead inside the unit.
The gunman then went to another apartment a few miles away to look for a man he believed was involved with Madden, Lt. Rod Peterson said. However, the man was not home because he was staying with family.
At that point, “Tolman turned the gun on himself,” Peterson said.
Two other people were in that apartment at the time and called 911.
Police said the relationship between Tolman and Madden was unclear. No motive was released, and investigators gave no further details about the text messages he sent her.
Phone messages left by The Associated Press with a household in Washington state believed to belong to Tolman’s family were not immediately returned.
Tolman graduated from Utah State University in May with a degree in political science, university spokesman Tim Vitale said.
Logan police said the same gun was used in all three shootings. They did not confirm whether Tolman owned the assault rifle, but said it was not a government-issued weapon.
Tolman joined the National Guard in 2009, guard spokesman Steven Fairbourn said. He was assigned to a support battalion for the 19th Special Forces Unit, where his chief duty was handling laundry.
Tolman had no history of disciplinary issues, Fairbourn said.
Madden interned with Logan police in fall 2013, where she compiled research on active shooter situations, Lt. Brad Franke said.
She was registered for classes this fall and was set to graduate in December, Vitale said.
“She wanted to save the world. I’m personally just shocked and saddened by this terrible loss,” he said. “She was a great kid.”
Sadler had no relation to the school.
The university functioned as normal Monday, Vitale said.