SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The University of Utah community is mourning the loss of Aaron Lowe. The 21-year-old football player was shot and killed at a house party in Sugar House. Another woman was also shot, and police said she was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Some in the community are asking questions about the multiple 911 calls about the party and if an earlier police response could have made a difference.
There were at least three 911 calls about the house party before shots were fired.
“There was about seven or eight of them. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” LaRue Dennis described the gunfire she heard. She lives in Sugarhouse, near where the shooting happened.
RELATED | Utah football player killed in overnight shooting at Salt Lake City house party
"I knew something bad had happened, because it was pretty scary with all the action," Dennis said.
Police said the tragedy started because uninvited people showed up to the house party on the 2200 block of South Broadmoor St.
"They were asked to leave by people who were hosting the party. That's when there was a disturbance and that is when there was the shooting that occurred,” said Brent Weisberg with Salt Lake City police.
Weisberg said police received the first 911 call about the party around 10:30 p.m. Saturday — it was a noise complaint. He said it is a common call on weekends, but at the time, no officers were available to respond.
"There were other priority calls, other in-progress emergencies that the Salt Lake City Police Department was handling at that time,” Weisberg said.
Then, around 12:20 a.m., came another 911 call about the party. This time, it was about a fight with weapons.
"That automatically elevated the priority from a noise complaint to an in-progress emergency, and that's when those officers were immediately dispatched,” Weisberg said.
About eight minutes later, as police were making a “technical approach” to the party, a third 911 call was made about shots fired.
21-year-old Lowe died at the scene, and the other injured adult woman was taken to the hospital.
RELATED | 'We are devastated,' friends, family and fans react to Utah player Aaron Lowe's death
Police said they don't know who fired the shots, but investigators suspect people who were at the party have information or even videos or photos that could help.
"This was a house party. And typically, at house parties, people are usually on their phones,” Weisberg said.
He said police understand that many people ran away after the shooting, but detectives still need to get information from them.
"It was a very scary, very chaotic situation," Weisberg said. "But we would like those people to come forward."
Investigators are also asking any neighbors with relevant security camera footage to please contact law enforcement.
MORE | Two Utah players killed by gunfire shared special bond
Police Chief Mike Brown issued a statement about the shooting, asking those with information to “not let fear silence you. “
As of Sunday night, police have not named any suspects or made any arrests.
Police said the University of Utah and the Utes football team are cooperating with their investigation.
“This is a tragedy. This is devastating for our community here in Salt Lake City, It's devastating for the University of Utah community, and our detectives are working this case as diligently as they can,” Weisberg said.
Memorials with flowers, balloons and messages were created at the scene where Lowe died, and at the university football office. Friends who came by said they called Aaron “A-Lowe,” adding that everyone who knew him knew what an extraordinary person he was.