Police identify couple in South Jordan murder, attempted suicide
Glenn Setterberg was irrigating his pasture Tuesday afternoon when two South Jordan police officers came walking through the field.
They asked Setterberg to return to the house with them for a talk. But Setterberg preferred to talk outside. That's when they told him his 46-year-old daughter had been shot and killed.
"Then from there on, I can't say what was said after that," he said.
South Jordan police Lt. Matt Evans said Douglas Irwin, 51, apparently shot himself in the head with a small-caliber handgun after having fatally shot his wife, Jana Lynn Irwin, at South Jordan City Park early Tuesday afternoon. Douglas Irwin remained in critical condition at University Hospital on Wednesday, Evans said.
Setterberg, his wife and other family members gathered at the park Wednesday and spent the day near the spot where Irwin died.
"This is the closest place we thought we could be near her," said her sister Valerie Baylor.
A bucket of colorful flowers and some yellow balloons sat behind them.
"She was just the sweetest thing ever," Baylor said.
The family described Irwin as outgoing, trusting and loving. She grew up in Draper, lived in California with her first husband before he died and then returned to Utah in 2001. She worked at Albertsons grocery store briefly before becoming an assistant manager at a Walgreen store in Riverton. There she was helpful to her customers, especially the older ones.
"Just like they were her own family," her stepmother Becky Setterberg said.
Irwin also loved dogs. Dachshunds specifically. She owned nine at one time.
Her family said she met Douglas Irwin years ago when he was a customer at the Al-bertsons where she worked. After they married in 2004, she helped raise three of his kids like they were her own.
But Jana Irwin's family described Douglas Irwin as a suspicious, even jealous man, who was often hard to get along with. She had mentioned getting a divorce for about a year, but it was Tuesday when she finally visited a lawyer and had the paperwork drawn up, her family said.
When she returned home from the law office about 11 a.m., her husband was in the driveway and the two went for a drive, the family said. That was the last time they heard from her.
On Wednesday, Evans, emphasizing the investigation was ongoing, said that early evidence suggests the breakup of the couple's marriage may have precipitated the incident.
"We know that Jana did file for a divorce yesterday morning," Evans said Wednesday. "Although we are still investigating, with the witness statements and what we have found on the preliminary side of things, it does seem to be a murder-attempted suicide."
Police rushed to the park near 11010 South and Redwood Road after 911 operators received a report of shots being fired. Officers found Douglas Irwin lying in a parking lot but still alive; Jana Irwin was found nearby, dead at the scene from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. A handgun was found nearby.
Douglas Irwin was flown to the hospital by medical helicopter.
The couple had been married for seven years, Jana Irwin's family said Wednesday. She filed the divorce complaint Tuesday in 3rd District Court.
Witnesses told investigators that the two appeared to be talking calmly in a park pavilion shortly before walking into a nearby grassy area near their pickup truck then two shots suddenly rang out.
Other than the Irwins and two witnesses, the park was believed empty; no children were in the area at the time of the shootings.
A search of Utah court records shows Irwin finalized his divorce from a former wife in 1997 after she filed two protective order requests against him. He had also filed a protective order request against her.
Irwin was the subject of protective order filings made by two other women in 1997 and 1998. He was never criminally charged in connection with those filings, but does have a criminal history for other offenses.
Irwin was cited for assault in April. That case is still pending in Draper Justice Court.
He was charged in Riverton Justice Court with domestic violence in the presence of a child, simple assault and disorderly conduct in 2002. The domestic violence and assault charges were dismissed and Irwin entered a plea in abeyance to the disorderly conduct charge. He served 12 months of unsupervised probation.
In 1999 in West Jordan Justice Court, Irwin pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and to use or possession of drug paraphernalia. He was ordered to serve six months of probation and pay a fine.
Jana Irwin's family spoke about her Wednesday evening with smiles on their faces and cheeriness in their voices.
"I think it's because we cried so much yesterday and this morning," Baylor said.
Elizabeth Neff contributed to this report.