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Mother of Pullman track standout, shooting victim says gun owner should be prosecuted

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McCluskey_Lauren, Utah Cross Country and Track and Field August 30, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The mother of a University of Utah track athlete who was fatally shot by a sex offender parolee she had briefly dated says the person who loaned him the gun should be prosecuted.

Jill McCluskey made the comment in a tweet Tuesday in which she said “it is a great responsibility to own a gun.”

The 21-year-old Lauren McCluskey of Pullman, Washington, was killed on Oct. 22 by Melvin Rowland in a University of Utah parking lot in Salt Lake City.

Rowland, a 37-year-old convicted sex offender, lied to McCluskey about his age and criminal history. She broke up with him after learning the truth and had filed complaints with police about Rowland harassing her.

University police chief Dale Brophy said on Oct. 25 that an acquaintance let Rowland use a gun after Rowland said his girlfriend wanted to learn to shoot. Brophy said the person had been duped and was cooperating with investigators and not facing charges at that time.

University of Utah spokesman Chris Nelson said nothing has changed and that the investigation is ongoing.

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