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Couple identified in apparent murder-suicide

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TAYLORSVILLE — A woman was shot to death early Saturday by her live-in boyfriend, who later fled their home and killed himself on the playground of an elementary school, police said.

"This was a very, very tragic situation," said Unified Police Department detective Levi Hughes.

Alida Dalton and Zak Cabell were arguing at their home, 3000 W. Valley Heights Drive (5055 South) in a heated exchange that prompted a female roommate to call police just after 2 a.m., Hughes said.

"She was very scared, afraid for her safety and whispering on the phone," he said.

Officers tried to make contact with anyone who may have been inside, but were met with silence. When they entered the home, the found the body of a Dalton, 28, who had been shot and later died from her injuries.

By the numbers
2011 domestic-violence homicides
33 deaths
In 20 cases, guns were used
19 cases turned suicidal
9 were murder-suicides
Victims ranged from ages 19 to 82

Victim services: 1-800-897-LINK.

Information: Utah Domestic Violence Council

While still on the scene, officers heard a gunshot and tracked it to a nearby elementary school, Arcadia, where they found the body of her boyfriend, Cabell, 30. He died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hughes said officers are still investigating the sequence of events that led to the shooting, but added, "it was an argument that clearly got of hand."

Granite School District released a statement to reassure parents of students who attend Arcada Elementary School, where the man shot himself.

Police say the victim has children but they were not in the home at the time. They were with their father.

"This tragic incident was not related to the school and no employees or students were involved," the statement said. "However, it appears that a student may be related to the victim in the case. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this situation."

The district added it is working to prepare the school for classes Monday morning, when they will have grief counselors to assist students or other patrons if necessary.

The two Taylorsville deaths continue a trend in Utah all too familiar to law enforcement officers and domestic violence counselors.

In 2011, the Utah Domestic Violence Council reported that 33 people died as the result of domestic-violence homicide. In 20 of those cases, guns were used and victims ranged from ages 19 to 82.

Across the state, officers investigated 19 deaths in which nine assailants killed 10 victims before turning the gun on themselves.

The council has a statewide help line for victims of domestic violence, offering advice on shelter, counseling and other victim services. The number is 1-800-897-LINK.

Contributing: Roger Cary


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Amy Joi O'Donoghue


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