Man Worked Security Prior To Shooting, Killing U of U Student, Self
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The man police said killed a University of Utah student before turning a gun on himself early Tuesday had been employed in the weeks prior to the incident as a security worker, according to the owner of the bar where the man had been stationed.
The bar’s owner said he had contracted with Black Diamond Security to provide security services, and Melvin Rowland was there under that arrangement.
Rowland was never employed directly by the bar, the owner said.
It was in that capacity as a security guard that Rowland had met his victim, Lauren McCluskey, according to McCluskey’s former roommate Seran An.
The woman’s family, in a statement Tuesday, said McCluskey had dated Rowland for about a month before learning the man had lied about his name, age and criminal history.
Rowland had been convicted of enticing a minor over the internet and attempted forcible sexual abuse, and was a registered sex offender who had spent nine of the past 14 years behind bars.
At a hearing before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole in January, Rowland also admitted to leading a “double life” with women he met online and at school.
“I understand I haven’t been the best model citizen,” Rowland told the board. “I just hope — taking in consideration of giving me this chance — I can redeem myself.”
How Rowland secured a job working security with his criminal history remained unclear.
KSL’s multiple calls and messages left with Black Diamond Security had not yet been returned as of late Tuesday night.
The bar owner said he had severed ties with the security firm as of Tuesday afternoon.
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