Utah man is charged with killing another man over child custody battle, police say

The 25-year-old suspect is being held without bail.

A Utah man who admitted he shot a man to death on the victim’s front porch reportedly told police he did it because he didn’t think the victim deserved custody of his children.

Hunter Ryan Lamoreaux, 25, of Orem, was charged Wednesday in 4th District Court with murder, a first-degree felony.

According to Springville police, Gregory Shaffer was shot multiple times shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday. Witnesses described a man who left the area just after the shooting as well as the car that he was driving, and both the man and the vehicle were seen on a neighbor’s surveillance video.

A short time later, Springville investigators were notified that Lamoreaux, who said he had information about the shooting, was in the lobby of a police station. According to detectives, Lamoreaux matched the description of the suspect and drove the same make, model and color of car.

According to a probable cause statement, Lamoreaux — an acquaintance and former neighbor of Shaffer’s — told police he had been planning the shooting for about two months.

He told investigators that he was upset about an upcoming divorce and custody battle between the victim and his estranged wife, adding that “he did not feel the victim deserved custody of his children and that he had decided … that the victim needed to die.”

According to court documents, Lamoreaux told police he went to Shaffer’s home and knocked on the front door. When the victim opened the door, the suspect said his first shot misfired, so he “cocked it again and just started firing. ... I wanted to make sure he was dead, so I just kept shooting.”

The suspect told police he put the gun in a trailer in the victim’s driveway, where it was later found, and then drove to the police station, according to a probable cause statement,

The suspect is being held without bail in the Utah County jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 16.