A Utah man wanted for the murder of a college student killed during an attempted carjacking was arrested after an alert librarian spotted him and tipped off authorities to his whereabouts, police said.
Austin Boutain, 24, is accused of shooting ChenWei Guo in an attempt to take the University of Utah computer science student’s car in Red Butte Canyon on Monday night.
Guo was with a fellow student, who ran away as Boutain allegedly fired two rounds at her, CBS News reported.
Police said Boutain told them he fired at the woman so there would be no witnesses.
Though she was unharmed, the woman was reportedly so traumatized that she has reportedly struggled to talk with police since the shooting occurred.
Authorities launched a massive hunt for Guo’s killer, who fled the scene and remained on the loose Tuesday.
That was when Boutain ducked into Salt Lake City Main Library, where he was greeted by a librarian who immediately recognized him as the man whose photo police had released.
The librarian waited until Boutain was out of earshot and called security, City Library Communications Director Andrew Shaw told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Within minutes, security officers apprehended Boutain in a restroom and held him until police arrived.
He appeared to be unarmed.
“A big shout out to a librarian,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
Boutain was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, criminal homicide, felony discharge of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and aggravated assault.
He was being held on $2 million bond.
Boutain was recently paroled from an Alabama prison, where he served a year and a half for being a convicted sex offender and failing to report his whereabouts to police.
Police said Boutain told them he recently stole three guns from a home in Colorado.
It was not clear whether the weapons were taken from the home of Mitchell Ingle, a 63-year-old man who was found dead in his Golden, Colo. trailer on Tuesday.
Ingle was believed to have been dead for several days before his body was discovered.
Boutain and his wife allegedly took Ingle’s pickup truck and were wanted for questioning in his death, CBS News reported.
Boutain's wife was taken into custody on Monday on unrelated drug and theft charges after she reportedly went to campus to report an assault by her husband.
News of Boutain’s arrest was bittersweet for those mourning the loss of Guo, a devout Mormon from Beijing who was remembered for his friendliness and generosity.
He would have turned 24 on Sunday.
“When I think about the kind of person I want to be like, I instantly think of you,” one friend wrote on his Facebook page. “I can’t stop crying every time I think about how you’re not with us. Tonight it really hit me. I am so blessed that I was one of the people who got close to you. We love you.”
The University’s Asian American Student Association held a candlelight vigil for Guo on Wednesday.
“This was a sobering, touching event,” a friend wrote. “To see the photo of his bright, smiling face lit by all the candles, surrounded by throngs of mourners, was powerful.”
A GoFundMe page created to help Guo’s family and to create a charity in his name had raised more than $28,000 as of Thursday.