Monday, June 27, 2022

Utah teen shot in head by ex-boyfriend in apparent murder-suicide, police say

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A Utah high school softball player was not expected to recover from her injuries days after her 19-year-old boyfriend allegedly shot her and then himself.

Lily Conroy, a 17-year-old junior at Springville High School in Utah, broke up with her boyfriend and neighbor, Masao Kaanga, on Tuesday, just a day before the shooting, local police told Fox News Digital.

The two were discovered slumped over in a car near Hobble Creek Park Wednesday, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, and although she was not expected to survive, she was airlifted to the hospital to keep her on life support because she was an organ donor, police said.

Lily Conroy, a 17-year-old junior at Springville High School, broke up with her boyfriend, Masao Kaanga, on Tuesday, just a day before the shooting, local police told Fox News Digital.
(Springville High School/FOX 13 Salt Lake City)

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A department spokesperson said he had not received an update on her condition as of Friday, but according to a letter to parents from the school’s principal obtained by Deseret News, she has succumbed to her injuries.

Mourning neighbors wrapped trees in blue ribbons in honor of Conroy around town.

Mourning neighbors wrapped trees in blue ribbons in honor of Conroy around town.
(FOX 13 Salt Lake City)

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic news of our Springville High student,” Lana Hiskey, the Nebo School District’s communications administrator, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Springville High has a crisis team here at the high school that includes grief counselors to help any student or faculty member that may need help and resources. We ask parents to take time to visit with their children during this difficult time. We will continue to have resources available, even after graduation, if at any time students and faculty members need them. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and school community as we mourn alongside them.” 

Kaanga had no significant criminal history, Springville Police Lt. Warren Foster told Fox News Digital Friday. 

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“We don’t have anything major on him,” he said. “From what we understand, he was going to school… There’s nothing there that would raise an eyebrow by any means.”

But police were on the lookout for his car Wednesday after receiving a call from his family requesting a welfare check, he said. A legally purchased firearm was also missing from their home.

Authorities from Springville, nearby Mapleton, and the Utah County Sheriff’s Department were searching for the vehicle when they came upon the tragic scene.

Conroy was a junior at the school and had two younger sisters. Kaanga graduated from there last year and lived nearby. 

“Lily was full of life and love,” according to a GoFundMe set up to help her family with funeral expenses. “Everyone in the community is shocked and saddened by this tragedy.”

Community members turned out for a vigil for both slain teens Thursday evening, FOX 13 Salt Lake City reported. And they wrapped trees in blue ribbons in honor of Conroy around town.

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On Thursday, in the first game since her slaying, her teammates on Springville’s softball team defeated Box Elder 11-4, records show.

Before the game, the team asked supporters to turn out in Conroy’s honor as they took part in the “super-regional” round of the State Tournament.

“Her smile and positive attitude were contagious,” the team wrote in a Facebook post. “She will be missed.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255. For those who don’t want to speak to a counselor, there’s also a national Crisis Text Line available 24/7 by texting “home” to 741741.

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