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Friends recall shooter in Logan murder-suicide as 'loyal' and 'kind'

Published July 15, 2014 9:07 pm

Logan • Jared Tolman killed woman, man she was with, then shot himself.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When Jordan Larson first heard Monday that his friend Jared Tolman had killed two people and then himself that morning in Logan, he didn't believe it.

"I am very sorry to everyone involved, and I don't want to defend his actions, but he absolutely was not that kind of person," Larson, who grew up with Tolman in Spokane, Wash., said in a Facebook message.

From the time they met in the fifth grade, when they were about 10 years old, Larson and Tolman were inseparable. They lived in the same neighborhood, were members of the same LDS Church ward and went on Scout trips together.

Later, they attended the same school dances, skied together at Mt. Spokane and worked together at a petting farm, where they rode horses together.

"We did everything together," Larson said.

The Jared Tolman who Larson knew was not a cold-blooded killer. He would not have — as police say happened — kicked down 19-year-old MacKenzie Madden's apartment door and, finding her on her bed talking with Johnathan Sadler, 25, shot both of them multiple times with an assault rifle.

Nor would he have left the crime scene to hunt down another man, Eric Larsen, 25, and, arriving at Larsen's apartment and finding him not home, turned the assault rifle on himself.

When Jordan Larson spoke with Tolman on the phone two weeks ago, Tolman said he liked Madden, but that things between them were not going well. He seemed "a little down, but overall happy," Larson said.

Tolman made no mention of other men with whom MacKenzie may have had relationships. He said nothing about jealousy, betrayal or rage.

But Tolman did not like that Madden was spending time with Johnathan Sadler and Eric Larsen, said Logan police Lt. Rod Peterson.

"Possibly she could have dated them. Certainly she hung out with them, and it appears that Mr. Tolman didn't approve of the relationship she had with Johnathan and possibly with Mr. Larsen, and that's why he did what he did," Peterson said.

"There's three boys that are interested in one girl," Peterson added.

In his wake, Tolman left a trail a carnage and loss. Madden was majoring in sociology at Utah State University, and Logan police Lt. Brad Franke, who worked with her when she held an internship with the department, described her as "an absolutely astounding young lady."

Several of Sadler's friends expressed their grief on his Facebook timeline. "I'll always remember the fun and loving teddy bear you are," wrote one friend.

"We love you John and I will miss you every single day," wrote another.

Reached by phone Tuesday morning, Sue Sadler, Johnathan's mother, said it was "a really rough time right now.

"If you want to call back a little later, that's OK," she said, "but we have to plan his funeral today."

In a suicide note police found at Tolman's apartment, he said he was sorry. "I'm being very selfish," Tolman wrote. But those who knew Jared Tolman intimately remembered him as anything but.

In a Facebook message, Kalie Larson, 25, said Tolman was "the most true, loyal, best friend anyone could ask for." Kalie met Tolman when they were teens and later married Jordan Larson, Tolman's best friend.

"No matter what, I always knew Jared was there for me and he would do anything for me or any of his friends," Kalie Larson said. "He was my shoulder to cry on, my husband's go-to man, the comic relief in any situation. He was a true friend and had the kindest heart."

Jessica Marie Arlint, 25, who had been Tolman's friend for five years, was also in a state of disbelief.

"I know what Jared did was horrific and a complete shock for the Jared I knew to do," Arlint said in a Facebook message. "I believe he lived a life that was good and those that loved him should know how Jared influenced his friends lives for good."

For his part, Jordan Larson remembered Tolman as someone who was "incredibly loyal to all his friends and to his country," a reference to Tolman's service in the Utah National Guard.

Travis Heiner, 28, worked with Tolman at an AutoZone in Logan a few years ago, when Tolman was in the ROTC. Heiner said that Tolman never seemed angry or exhibited unusual behavior.

"He was average. Like, he wasn't way out there, loud or obnoxious," Heiner said. "He was just a normal guy."

hstevens@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Harry_Stevens —

Vigil held for Logan shooting victims

Dozens of people gathered outside a Logan apartment to honor two young people killed there in a murder-suicide earlier this week.

Relatives joined Utah State University students and Logan police at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night in memory of 19-year-old MacKenzie Madden and 25-year-old Johnathon Sadler, according the Logan Herald Journal.

Authorities say 23-year-old Army National Guardsman Jared Tolman kicked down the door of Madden's apartment early Monday morning and shot the two dead. Police say Tolman fatally shot himself later at another home.

Sadler's mother told the Logan Herald-Journal that her son and Madden had gone on their first date that night, and that Sadler stayed with her to protect her after she received frightening text messages from Tolman.