clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Police identify gunman as 18-year-old Bosnian

Police Tuesday identified the gunman accused in Monday night's Trolley Square shooting as Sulejman Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian refugee who lived in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said Talovic drove his car to the mall, parked in the west parking terrace and encountered two people who he shot before entering the mall.

There, he encountered a female who also was shot right away, then went into a gift shop where there were five people, all of whom the young man shot. Moving through the mall, the gunman tried to shoot others, Burbank said. The chief said he could not say now how many shots were involved in the entire episode.\

Burbank praised an unnamed Ogden police officer who took action at the mall to intervene in the incident, and praised the many law enforcement and other agencies that responded quickly and professionally to the crisis.

Until Salt Lake police arrived, it was "basically a shoot-out between the Ogden individual and this individual," Burbank said.

"As you can see, this individual was well-prepared," Burbank said, apparently referring to the young man's backpack filled with ammunition "He had one purpose."

Six individuals died and four others were hospitalized. Currently, four Salt Lake City police officers are on administrative leave, as is the Ogden police officer.

"This is something in our community that is really unheard of," Burbank said.

At a news conference Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson extended his sympathies to families of victims of Monday's shooting at Trolley Square and reassured the community that, "This is a safe place."

"We want to do everything we can to help," Anderson said. "At times like this, there is an enormous sense of helplessness. There is help available."

Anderson said counseling is available at Valley Mental Health and people can call its crisis line at 261-1442.

The mayor said managers at Trolley Square were meeting with employees to provide any needed counseling, the city was offering help to police and firefighters, and Anderson especially singled out the "particular effect felt by children" after going through or viewing such a frightening episode.

"We urge everyone with children — let them know they can talk about this openly, they don't have to hide their feelings."

Anderson said it is important for adults to do what they can to provide assurances to children that this was an isolated and very rare incident. "Notwithstanding what happened last night, this is a safe place," the mayor said.

Anderson said the city is experiencing the lowest serious crime rate in 14 years.

A memorial fund for victims has been established at Wells Fargo Bank.