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High school student on life support, ex-boyfriend dead from gunshot wounds

By Kelcie Hartley - | May 19, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

A Springville police vehicle is pictured Saturday, May 26, 2018.

Two Springville residents were found Wednesday with gunshot wounds to their heads.

The victims have been identified as 19-year-old Masao Kaanga and 17-year-old Lily Conroy. Both were alive when law enforcement found them, but Kaanga died at the scene, according to Springville Lt. Warren Foster. Conroy was flown to Utah Valley Hospital where she is currently on life support. Foster said she isn’t expected to survive.

The two were found by local law enforcement at Hobble Creek Park. Assumed to be  a murder-suicide, that determination was not officially made by Thursday morning, according to Foster. The investigation is still ongoing, however, in a release late Thursday Foster called it an “apparent murder/suicide.”

Police had been looking for the pair when they received a welfare check request on the female around 3 p.m.

“We were told that the female victim had broken up with her boyfriend but had gotten back in conversation with him again,” Foster said. “There were some concerns because of possible threats that were being made. We later found out he was in possession of a firearm and obviously that changed things for us. We take that very seriously. We had every available officer out looking for the vehicle.”

The victims were in a red Chrysler PT Cruiser that belonged to Conroy’s family. Officers from the Springville and Mapleton Police Departments and Utah County Sheriff’s Office took part in the search.

“We all converged at Hobble Creek Park only to find both individuals hunched over in the front seats of the vehicle, both with gunshot wounds to the head,” Foster said.

Both victims were alive when officers arrived at the park, approximately at 3:45 p.m.

“When officers got there, they didn’t know the situation,” he added. “We knew a firearm was mentioned so we had to be very careful of our safety and the surrounding community. They had to secure the scene and the car. They got both victims out of the vehicle and officers initiated lifesaving measures on both of them.”

Officers lost the pulse of Kaanga, and by the time a medical team got there, he was pronounced dead, according to Foster.

Conroy is a student at Springville High School.

“She was a high school student who was fairly well known,” said Foster. “This is going to have a deep effect on a lot of people. We want everyone to know our hearts go out to the families and other students. This is going to be a difficult situation for them, and we understand that.

“We have made phone calls for resources and assistance for students, family, neighbors or close friends. We have made sure they know this is deeply affecting to many and we are very sorry. Our hearts go out to all of them.”

People throughout the community are already reaching out trying to offer assistance to those affected by the incident.

Lana Hiskey, communications administrator for the Nebo School District, released a statement reminding parents and students that help and additional resources are at their disposal.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic news of our Springville High student,” Hiskey said. “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.”

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