Family, friends hold vigil for victims of apparent double murder-suicide

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jul 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-16 17:13:24-04

LOGAN, Utah -- Family, friends and fellow Utah State Aggies gathered Tuesday night to remember the victims of a double-murder suicide near Utah State University.

Roughly 50 people lit candles outside the Stilts Apartments at 636 E. 500 North in Logan, the scene of Monday's shooting that killed 19-year-old USU student Mackenzie Madden and her 25-year-old friend Johnathon Sadler.

The shooter, 23-year-old Jared Tolman, who was a Utah Guardsman, recently broke up with Madden, police say.

Investigators think he snapped in a jealous rage and targeted another young man, 25-year-old Eric Larsen, who was also involved with Madden.

Tolman was friends with Larsen and his roommates. He had a key to Larsen's West Logan apartment and police say he let himself in just before 1 a.m. Monday, after killing Madden and Sadler.

Larsen wasn't home and that's when the shooter committed suicide, while the roommates hunkered down in their rooms until the crime spree ended.

At Tuesday's candlelight vigil, John Sadler's parents asked for prayers for the victims and their families and encouraged fellow Aggies to help and question friends if they believe their lives are in trouble.

Stephanie Powers was Mackenzie Madden's roommate. She moved out in May, at the end of the school year and believes Madden broke up with Tolman in June.

Powers said Tolman was possessive. She regrets not encouraging her friend to call the relationship off sooner.

"I feel like he was constantly texting her," Powers said. "It did get to a point where he wanted to know where she was and what she was doing."

Police say Tolman texted Mackenzie Madden some time before the shooting.

"Asking her to say she was sorry. I don't know (why)," said Lt. Rod Peterson with Logan Police.

Police say the third potential victim, Eric Larsen, is not speaking to the press, shaken up that he was potentially targeted.

The shooter left a suicide note, saying he was sorry and knew that what he was about to do was selfish.

Friends say there will be a memorial service next Tuesday for Mackenzie Madden in her hometown, Idaho Falls. Johnathon Sadler will be laid to rest in Logan Friday, July 18.