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Sports

Individual admits guilt in the murder of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe

The individual accused of fatally shooting University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe entered a guilty plea to murder charges on Monday, marking more than two years since police allege he killed the cornerback outside a rowdy house party in Salt Lake City.

Buk Mawut Buk, now 25, admitted guilt to Lowe’s murder and the attempted murder of a woman injured in the shooting on Sept. 26, 2021, according to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. Authorities say Buk fired multiple shots at the two during a heated dispute after the football player requested Buk’s friends to move their car.

As Lowe, 21, and Fuamoli Pomale, 20, lay injured on the ground, witnesses recounted horror as Buk continued firing at them, per court documents.

Buk is set for sentencing on April 29 and could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life in Utah State Prison. As part of the plea deal, additional charges of obstruction of justice and possession of a weapon by a restricted person were dismissed since he was already on probation.

“While perfect justice would mean Mr. Lowe was alive and the other victim didn’t have to endure lifelong injuries, we trust this conviction provides some solace to Mr. Lowe’s loved ones and the second victim,” said Gill on Monday.

Lowe’s death occurred less than a year after his teammate Ty Jordan’s accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound on Christmas night in 2020. Both were childhood friends and football teammates from Mesquite, Texas, before joining the Utah team. Lowe honored Jordan by switching his college jersey to Jordan’s No. 22 and became the first recipient of a scholarship established in his memory.

Approximately nine months following Jordan’s passing, the Utah community grieved another loss after an off-campus house party, intended to celebrate a victory over Washington State, turned violent. Uninvited guests, including Buk, disrupted the private gathering, leading to chaos, according to police.

Attempting to leave the party, Lowe and Pomale encountered their car blocked by another vehicle. As they engaged in a confrontation with a group of men refusing to relocate their vehicle, Buk retrieved a gun from across the street and began shooting, according to court records.

Lowe succumbed to his injuries at the scene, with the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office retrieving four bullets from his body during the autopsy. Pomale survived after undergoing emergency surgery for gunshot wounds to her neck and chest.

Buk, arrested the following October in Draper, was previously on probation for two robberies, one involving the armed robbery of a father and daughter. Salt Lake City police stated at the time of his arrest for the shootings that Buk had a history of violent crimes dating back to at least 2017.

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