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Kanab man charged with killing woman after fight at Salt Lake club

A Kanab man kicked out of a downtown Salt Lake nightclub following a fight later shot and killed a woman in a nearby parking lot, according to murder charges filed Friday.

A Kanab man kicked out of a downtown Salt Lake nightclub following a fight later shot and killed a woman in a nearby parking lot, according to murder charges filed Friday. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Kanab man was charged Friday with shooting an unarmed woman while her boyfriend was involved in a fistfight with another man who had earlier been kicked out of a downtown Salt Lake nightclub.

Dustin James Pedersen, 37, is charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony.

On Nov. 20, Nichole Olsen, 29, was shot in the chest and killed near 300 S. West Temple about 2 a.m.

Detectives investigating the case learned that Olsen, her boyfriend, and another couple had been at a downtown club when they got into a fight with two men. Club security kicked the two men out while Olsen and her group remained at the club until it closed.

They then decided to go to an after-party and drove to a parking lot near 300 S. West Temple. But just as they parked their car, a BMW pulled into the stall in front of them and the driver, Pedersen, exited while stating, "'You are the people from the club!' or words to that effect," according to charging documents.

Pedersen and his passenger were the two men who had been kicked out of the club earlier, police say. Olsen's boyfriend and the passenger in the BMW then got into a fight in the parking lot. A woman who was with Olsen went over to the men to try and calm them down, but noticed that Pedersen was "constantly reaching into his waistband and described him as lifting his shirt exposing his belt line," the charges state.

A shot was then fired, followed by Olsen telling the other woman that she had been hit. The two men who were fighting stopped and Pedersen and his friend fled in the BMW, according to the charges.

Based on cellphone and surveillance videos, Salt Lake police were able to identify the BMW as being recently sold in Murray, and after checking with the dealership learned that it was purchased by Pedersen, according to the court documents.

Before Salt Lake police could arrest him, however, he was encouraged by a family member to contact police on his own. The next day, Nov. 21, Pedersen went to the Kane County Sheriff's Office and told deputies that he "had shot a round from his gun to scare everyone fighting when the female was hit by the bullet," the charges state.

Prosecutors have requested that Pedersen be held without bail pending trial, noting that he "used deadly force in response to a fistfight in which he was not involved and impulsively fired a handgun which killed an unarmed victim. Given the impulsive nature of the defendant and the fact that he fled the county and remained at large for a period of time immediately after the shooting," he should not be allowed to post bail, prosecutors 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 at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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