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Police believe W.V. man shot his ex-girlfriend, then committed suicide

Margaret Lui, Sophia Mercado and Jonni Behning have been best friends since the sixth grade.

"She (Jonni) was like our little sister," said Mercado.On Thursday morning, the 15-year-old Behning was found dead - lying on the living room floor of her former boyfriend's West Valley apartment. She had been shot twice in the back and twice in the head.

Johnny Gurule, 23, was lying next to her, also dead with a gunshot wound to his head.

Police believe Gurule shot Behning and then turned the gun on himself sometime early Thursday, West Valley Police Lt. Charles Illsley said. A 9 mm handgun and five empty shell casings were recovered from the apartment.

The bodies were found at 10 a.m. Thursday by Gurule's mother, Mary Gurule, who came to the apartment because she was worried about her son, Illsley said. She told police her son had called her at midnight Thursday and again at 4 a.m. saying he was despondent and wanted to kill himself.

The Utah State Medical Examiner is conducting autopsies.

Lui and Mercado, both 18, said their best friend had predicted as recently as Monday that one day Gurule would kill her and then himself.

The two had dated since Behning was 12 years old, and had lived together off and on, but broke up about a year ago because Gurule had repeatedly beaten Behning, Lui said.

Gurule, who was paralyzed in a car accident three years ago and had to use a wheel chair, was a jealous and possessive person who had never accepted the breakup, Lui said.

"He was possessed with her. She had a new boyfriend, but she said she knew that if (Gurule) found out, he would kill her and then kill himself," she said.

The two were together Wednesday night because Gurule had gone to the Magna home where Behning was living with a friend and asked to talk to her, Lui said.

"He told her he was moving to Colorado and that he had something of hers and a letter that he wanted to give her," Lui said. "She went because she wanted to say her goodbyes."

Behring called her roommate around 10 p.m. and said she would be home soon, but never showed, Lui said.

"After that, we don't know what happened," Lui said.

Gurule's family, at the apartment with police Thursday afternoon, declined comment.

With both Gurule and Behring dead, no one will ever know just what went on inside Gurule's apartment Wednesday night and early Thursday, Illsley said.

One neighbor said he heard Behring screaming profanities at Gurule Wednesday night, while another said he and his fiancee heard what could have been a gunshot around 7 a.m. Thursday.

"We were in the kitchen having coffee and watching the news and we heard something like a loud banging noise," said Hayley Southerland who lives in the apartment directly behind Gurule's. "We said what the (heck) are they doing?"

None of Gurule's neighbors seemed to know him well, even though managers at the Scottsdale Apartments, 4000 S. Redwood Road, said he had lived there for more than two years.

Police, however, had a handful of encounters with Gurule, Illsley said. Gurule had an arrest history that included four misdemeanor offenses, including possession of stolen property, disorderly conduct and driving under the influence.

Police had also been called to the home once before on a domestic assault complaint, but Behring declined to press charges against her boyfriend, Illsley said.

"That was before the mandatory prosecution laws, so there is no record of the call," Illsley said.

Had officers been aware of Behring's age, officers might have been able to remove her from the situation, Illsley said, especially if the two were sexually involved, which would have been a violation of Utah law.