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2 dead following murder-suicide at U.'s Research Park

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City husband and wife are dead following an apparent murder-suicide shooting Thursday night outside ARUP Laboratories at the University of Utah Research Park.

Richard Peralta, 25, approached 23-year-old Katherine Peralta in the parking lot of the facility shortly before 5 p.m. and shot her multiple times, killing her, University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy confirmed.

Richard Peralta then shot himself, Brophy said. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in "grave condition," according to Brophy, where he later died.

Katherine Peralta worked at ARUP, the police chief said. She and her husband been experiencing "some marital issues," Brophy added.

"It appears there was a domestic situation and this was where he came to confront his wife and it ended up in a tragedy," he said. "It appears there was a short confrontation and then (it) ended in gunfire."

Multiple buildings in Research Park were locked down for less than an hour. Brophy called the ordeal "an isolated incident." The entire confrontation occurred in the parking lot, he said.

"There's no continuing threat to the rest of the community," Brophy said.

Investigators were speaking with witnesses to the shooting Thursday evening. Several friends of Katherine Peralta spoke with police and were "very, very shaken up," Brophy said. Salt Lake City police were also asked to assist at the scene.

The killing is the first murder on the University of Utah campus in about 10 years, according to Brophy.

The chief said he was unaware of any prior domestic issues between the couple that required police intervention. Court records show 26 misdemeanor theft charges against Richard Peralta were dismissed after he entered a plea in abeyance in January 2011. He had no other prior criminal history in Utah besides that case.

Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting the YWCA, Women in Jeopardy, 801-537-8600; or the Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-897-LINK (5465).

Contributing: Mike Anderson

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: benlockhartnews