Utah Shooter Was a Bosnian Immigrant

By Fred Lucas | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT


(CNSNews.com) - A man who shot and killed five people and seriously injured four others at a Utah shopping mall Tuesday before being shot dead by police was a Muslim refugee from Bosnia, according to immigration officials.

Police have said 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, a legal permanent resident living with his mother, had four minor incidents with police when he was younger, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

However, police did not know what the motive for the shooting was as of Wednesday. Also, he apparently did not know any of the people he had killed.

The paper quoted an FBI agent as saying the bureau had no reason to believe the shooter had been motivated by religious extremism.

Talovic was dressed in a trenchcoat carrying a shotgun, a .38 caliber pistol and a backpack full of ammunition, the city's police department told the paper.

Talovic wanted "to kill a large number of people," said Police Chief Chris Burbank.

Three of the dead were women, including one 15-year-old girl, according to the Tribune.

An off-duty police officer was reportedly having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife at the mall and was the first to go after the gunman.

A spokesman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement told the paper Talovic was a legal permanent resident who came to the U.S. in the late 1990s.

The 1990s saw a series of wars in the former Yugoslavia, including one in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 involving Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. More than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the city of Srebrenica in 1995.

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