Lauren McCluskey Identified As Victim Of University Shooting
Oct 23, 2018, 7:48 AM | Updated: 9:49 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah student killed in the campus shooting Monday night has been identified as Lauren McCluskey.
Her mother, Jill McCluskey, released a statement saying Lauren “was an outstanding student” who was excited for her graduation in May of 2019.
Jill wrote that her daughter was an honors graduate from her high school in Washington, where she was a state champion in the high jump and the school record holder in the 100-meter hurdles.
She also noted Lauren loved to sing and had strength and determination.
“She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed,” her mother wrote.
Following news of the shooting, officials at the university immediately began communicating with students, faculty and staff about McCluskey and her accomplishments.
In an email sent to the university, President Ruth Watkins wrote that “Lauren was a highly regarded member of the university’s track and field team and an outstanding scholar, a senior majoring in communication.”
The university’s director of athletics, Mark Harlan, tweeted a message about Lauren, noting that she was a track standout.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of those dear to her,” he wrote.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lauren’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/H5q3EKqYUo
— Mark Harlan (@MarkHarlan_AD) October 23, 2018
The U of U track and field coach, Kyle Kepler, also released a statement regarding Lauren, saying everyone associated with the program was devastated by the loss.
“There are no words to express the emotions and grief we are experiencing right now,” Kepler wrote. “Lauren was a wonderful person, an excellent student and a dedicated member of our track and field team.”
He also wrote that Lauren had a relentless drive to improve every day and she was always kind and supportive of her teammates.
“Those are just some of the reasons why her loss has hit us so hard,” Kepler wrote.
Two vigils have been scheduled in Lauren’s honor, one at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church, 239 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Salt Lake City; and another at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the steps of the Park Building on the University of Utah campus, 201 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City.
“As a campus community, we share grief over this tragic loss of life,” Watkins wrote in her email. “Our deepest sympathy is extended to Lauren’s family and friends.”