Tooele man shot, killed wife in their apartment, police say

A Tooele man was arrested for investigation of murder after police say he shot and killed his wife in their apartment where three children were present.

A Tooele man was arrested for investigation of murder after police say he shot and killed his wife in their apartment where three children were present. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

TOOELE — Police say a 35-year-old Tooele woman was shot and killed in her apartment by her husband Thursday, and her body was discovered by her children.

Michael Patterson, 36, was arrested and booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of murder. The name of his wife has not yet been released.

Police were dispatched to the area of 870 S. 1050 West about 6:45 p.m. Neighbors reported hearing an argument and "loud screaming" coming from the apartment followed by one neighbor hearing a "loud boom," said Tooele police detective Colbey Bentley.

Two neighbors went to investigate and "located a 9-year-old male who stated that his mom was in the bathroom and was not moving," according to a police booking affidavit.

The neighbors then went to the apartment and located the woman "in the bathroom wedged between the tub and toilet," the affidavit states. She was not moving or breathing, according to police. Neighbors took the child and two of his siblings into their apartment until police arrived.

When officers entered the apartment, "it became immediately apparent" that the woman was deceased, according to a statement from police. Bentley said the woman appeared to have been killed by a single gunshot wound.

A short time later, Patterson called police from an industrial area on the west end of town and gave officers his location, Bentley said.

"Michael Patterson called 911 advising he had shot his wife. Patterson notified dispatch where he was located," the affidavit states.

Detectives located Patterson, questioned him and then arrested him. He said he and his wife had been arguing and she was preparing to leave.

"Patterson stated the victim was packing clothes to leave, and she went into the bathroom to use the bathroom. Patterson said he took a Glock handgun from his holster and entered the bathroom, which startled the victim. Patterson said he startled the victim, and the handgun was accidentally fired, hitting the victim," the affidavit states.

The children, however, told detectives that Patterson and their mother had been arguing while they went out to get food, and then locked themselves in their bedroom and continued arguing after they got home, according to the affidavit. One child said "she heard a 'boom' sound coming from her mom's bedroom. She stated that shortly after, she saw Patterson come out of the bedroom with an angry face," according to the affidavit.

Patterson then left the house and the children ran out of the apartment to knock on neighbors' doors for help.

"Mr. Patterson was interviewed and asked again whether the victim was lying in the bathtub when she was shot, and he was adamant she was sitting on the toilet. The evidence at the scene contradicts Mr. Patterson's claims," police wrote in the affidavit.

Patterson's vehicle was found in another location along with the woman's broken cellphone and a gun, police said.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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