A Chinese student who had been studying at the University of Utah was killed on Monday when a carjacking near campus turned fatal.
Guo Chenwei was found dead after being shot inside his own car on Monday night. The 23-year-old student was a freshman at the university majoring in pre-computer science. He came to the US in 2012 and dreamed of one day owning his own consulting company and helping people feel good about themselves, local news reports.
We're absolutely heart-stricken by the loss of student ChenWei Guo. He was "extraordinarily outgoing, creative, smart & extremely engaged." pic.twitter.com/cOqkRzu91t
— University of Utah (@UUtah) October 31, 2017
Born in Beijing, Guo was a member of the Mormon church and served as a missionary in Provo. According to a friend, he was devoted to his faith and also loved to show off his hip hop-style dance moves. The university’s dean of students described him as “extraordinarily outgoing, charming, creative, smart.”
In a statement, University President David W. Pershing called Guo’s killing a “senseless, random act of violence,” adding that the university was working to bring Guo’s family to Utah as soon as possible.
Here's what U President David W. Pershing is saying about shooting victim ChenWei Guo pic.twitter.com/x2VGQQdZBZ
— Brittany (@BJohnsonABC4) October 31, 2017
The suspect in Guo’s murder, 24-year-old Austin Boutain, turned himself in to police on Tuesday after managing to evade a manhunt in a canyon outside of campus on Monday night. Along with his wife, he is also wanted for questioning regarding the killing of a 63-year-old man in Colorado on Tuesday who had reportedly driven past Boutain.
Boutain has a lengthy rap sheet which includes charges as a juvenile for possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, car theft and drug offenses. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2015 on charges of being a convicted sex offender and failing to properly report his whereabouts to police, but was released early on parole in May.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Guo’s family which has already received $15,000 in donations. However, Guo’s mother has insisted that her family does not need the money, instead deciding to use the donations to set up a charitable fund in her son’s name.
Guo’s murder follows the high-profile disappearance of Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying who went missing from her University of Illinois campus in June. Zhang is presumed dead but her body has not been found. Meanwhile, her alleged kidnapper awaits trial.
In September, a recent Chinese graduate was found dead inside her Georgia apartment, allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend.
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