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Samantha Hayes reportingThe victim, Midge Perkins-Uribe, was apparently chosen at random yesterday afternoon, by a man with a history of mental illness. The suspect then turned the gun on himself.
The big question police are trying to anwer is how 26 year old Jeffrey Mayer, a schizophrenic, was able to get a gun.
The more troublesome question for friends of Perkins-Uribe, though, is how this could happen to an innocent person just walking home.
Mona Garcia says, "She was an amazing person, happy all the time, loved everyone."
Midge Perkins-Uribe had just four blocks to go before she reached home, an apartment building on 6th East and 2nd South. She had taken a shuttle downtown from her work at the airport-- a company that provides employees for Aero Mexico. She started there only a few weeks ago.
"It's just unbelievable," Garcia says. "Still is. Just in shock."
Garcia was her roommate and mission companion. She wished to talk about someone who had become a dear friend.
"She was like our mom, always wanting to take care of us," Garcia recalls.
Midge didn't live in Utah long, about a year and a half, and most of that time she spent serving a mission on Temple Square.
"She took seriously what she was doing. She had a very strong testimony of what she was doing and she worked for it," Garcia says.
Not much is known about her killer. Detectives say Jeffrey Mayer lived at the Hotel Stratford and had a history of mental illness. A call to Valley Mental Health turned up one year of outpatient counseling for the shooter, Jeffrey Mayer back in 1999. At the time he was receiving medication management services, but was not considered a danger.
Vicki Cottrell says this is why a revised state law now makes it easier to unvoluntarily commit.
"So that we could deal with people so very ill they don't have the insight they need to stay on medications," Cottrell explains.
In practice that may work, but for now, friends of Midge Perkins-Uribe must find solace somewhere else.
"I'm comforted to know that maybe her Heavenly Father wanted her at this time, and had another mission for her to do," Garcia says.
The unvoluntary commitment law also requires a history of violent behavior, information police are looking for in this case.