Police investigate murder-suicide in West Jordan

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WEST JORDAN -- Police investigators said a man shot and killed a woman in her home early Saturday morning, then killed himself.

"What we have here is a murder-suicide situation," said Sgt. Drew Sanders of the West Jordan Police Department.

Police have identified the female victim as 54-year-old Michelle Welch, a former Salt Lake City Fire Department dispatcher who retired this past June after more than 30 years on the job,

Neighbors were shocked. "It is very sad for the whole neighborhood. This is such a nice neighborhood," said Amitpal Singh, who lives next door.

The West Jordan Police Department received a call just before 3 a.m. from a man who claimed his friend had just called him with terrifying news.

Michelle Welch
Michelle Welch

"He had received a phone call from a friend of his who said he had just killed his girlfriend and now was intending to kill himself," said Sanders.

When police negotiators arrived at the house near 6800 South and Triumph Lane (1000 West), they contacted the man by phone. He told officers the shooting was an accident and that he never meant for the shotgun to go off.

Investigators said they told him to come out of the house. "Those negotiations lasted until just after 7 a.m., at which time the man in the home opted to take his own life," said Sanders.

Police said the two had an on-again, off-again relationship for several years -- with a history of domestic violence.

"There was alcohol involved here," said Sanders, "but we don't know the fine details of what caused all this to happen yet."

No matter what happened, though, police said they just wish it would have ended differently.

"This is probably the most horrible outcome that could be imagined," Sanders said.

The name of the man has not been released yet.

Police said he was 43 years old, but they haven't been able to make contact with any of his family members.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com


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