SALT LAKE CITY — A man who killed a woman and her son in a suburban Utah shooting that left two other children injured was seen arguing with the victim shortly before he gunned them down, police said Friday.

Another woman saw the verbal argument near a Mormon church next to an elementary school and pulled over to check on Memorez Rackley, 39. Rackley asked for help and climbed into the car with her two sons, Sandy Police Sgt. Jason Neilsen said. They drove away but only made it a couple of blocks before Jeremy Patterson rammed the SUV with his truck, then got out and opened fire, Neilsen said.

Police have not publicly identified the driver, citing her request for privacy. But on Friday, Neilsen released new details about what investigators have learned from interviews with the driver.

The driver’s 8-year-old daughter was injured in the Tuesday shooting. Rackley’s 11-year-old son Myles was hurt and her 6-year-old kindergarten son, Jase Rackley, was killed. Patterson killed himself after firing the shots.

Patterson, 32, had been in some sort of relationship with Rackley, police said. She was married to another man, and Patterson wasn’t the father of her children. Police are still investigating the extent of the relationship between the two who have both been described as avid gym-goers interested in bodybuilding.

Patterson confronted Rackley as she walked her two boys home from school, neighbor Natalie Hansen told The Salt Lake Tribune. When Rackely climbed into the woman’s car to get away from him, Patterson tried to pull her out, but she swatted him away.

“You could tell she did not want to have anything to do with this guy,” Hansen told the newspaper. Patterson got into his car and followed them on the street busy with parents taking their children home from school.

One of those was parents was Will May, who was headed to pick his son up from school when he saw a body in the street after what appeared to be a car accident, May told the Deseret News. He got out to help and rushed up to a man dressed in dark clothing nearby. The man appeared dazed and wouldn’t answer his questions — then raised a gun and shot himself, May said.

“I just can’t even believe he didn’t shoot me,” May told the newspaper.

Author photo
LINDSAY WHITEHURST
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.