OREM — An Orem man charged with murdering an acquaintance who knocked on his door turned himself in to police over the weekend — in California.
Elbert John Paule, 19, surrendered to officers in San Diego County on Saturday. He had apparently fled to his mother's house in California, according to court records.
Paule was charged Saturday in 4th District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, in the Thursday shooting death of Dominique Barnett. A judge signed a warrant on Sunday to begin the extradition process, according to court records.
Bail was set at $500,000 cash only and the extradition process could take "a few weeks," according to Orem police.
Paule shot Barnett, 26, at point-blank range without saying a word, according to charging documents. Barnett went to Paule's apartment that night, specifically to see him.
"Once he arrived to Mr. Paule’s apartment, Barnett knocked on the door. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Paule opened the door and, without warning, shot Barnett point-blank in the torso with a 12-gauge shotgun," the charges state.
"After throwing the shotgun off the apartment balcony, Mr. Paule fled from the complex."
A witness inside the apartment told police that Paule looked through the peephole before opening the door and exclaimed, “Ah, hell no!" according to the charges.
Barnett had arrived at the apartment complex, along with his girlfriend and their infant child, "to confront Paule regarding an ongoing dispute over a drug deal," according to the arrest warrant signed by the judge. Paule opened the door and shot Barnett without any words being exchanged, the warrant states.
"Prior to fleeing, another witness heard Mr. Paule state, 'I just shot that (N-word)!" investigators wrote in the charging documents.
After the shooting, Paule threw the shotgun off his third-story balcony, and then ran out the front door, stepping over Burnett's body as he ran away, according to the warrant.
Witnesses also told police that earlier in the day, Paule was "acting agitated" and threatened to "'blow Dominique away' if he came over there," the warrant states.1 comment on this story
The shooting prompted university officials to issue a "shelter in place" advisory for several hours Thursday and issue alerts to students as police searched for the gunman.
According to court records, Paule was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in January, convicted of misdemeanor drug possession in May 2018, and is scheduled to go to trial in April for charges out of Vernal. In December, Paule was arrested for investigation of failing to stop for a police officer, according to Utah County Jail records.