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 a man once in the stomach on Thursday night, said Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge. The man, who isn’t being identified until his family is notified, 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 the man who died but didn’t elaborate. It’s possible the shooting was drug-related, but investigators are still gathering information, he said.
Classes resumed as normal 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 he couldn’t say if the suspect and man are students at the college, deferring to police.
Colledge said he didn’t have that information.
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.