A man apparently shot his wife and fled his house before surrendering to police at a nearby shopping center Wednesday night.
Todd Koolmo, 30, was taken into custody for investigation of his wife's death. Melissa Koolmo, 29, was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m. as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.A man, whose name was not available but who lives in a basement apartment of the couple's house, 2868 S. Dearborn St. (1460 East), told police Todd Koolmo came downstairs about 8:30 p.m. saying he had shot his wife and needed help, said Salt Lake Police Lt. Phil Kirk.
The neighbor administered first aid to the victim, who had been shot an unknown number of times in the head and was lying on a front room couch, Kirk said. Before police arrived, however, the distraught husband fled the scene on foot.
About 30 minutes later, Todd Koolmo called police from a pay phone at the Brickyard Plaza OfficeMax, 1180 E. 3200 South, saying he wanted to surrender.
Meanwhile, Melissa Koolmo was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
It is unknown what precipitated the shooting, but the couple had filed for divorce, Kirk said. However, the Deseret News could find no divorce proceedings on file with the 3rd District Court.
Police did find a handgun at the house. An initial police report says Melissa Koolmo was shot at close range and was bleeding from her face when police and paramedics arrived.
According to neighbors, the couple lived a relatively quiet life but were friendly enough to share bits and pieces about their lives.
Originally from Minneapolis, the couple had lived in California, where Todd Koolmo worked as a police officer, before moving to Utah several years ago, said next door neighbor Ken Staley.
Efforts by the Deseret News to contact family members in Minneapolis were unsuccessful.
Staley, his wife and three daughters occasionally socialized with the Koolmos, sharing front-porch conversations, beers over the backyard fence and sometimes watching movies together. He said he hadn't seen either of the Koolmos for several weeks.
"They really like our little girls. It's been hard to explain it to them," Staley said.
Todd Koolmo has been working at the Snowbird ski resort as a security officer and Melissa Koolmo had worked for Delta Airlines as a flight attendant, Staley said. Neither Snowbird nor Delta could confirm the Koolmos' employment Thursday.
Staley said he knew Todd Koolmo had a gun in the home, where the couple had lived for about two years. Staley said he was asleep on the couch in his living room when the shooting happened. He never heard a gunshot, he said.
"I may have heard something but passed it off as part of a dream or the TV or something. When I woke up, I went out and saw them taking Melissa out," he said.
The couple had no children, but a large dog was taken by an animal control officer.