A high school teacher was arrested Sunday evening for reportedly shooting and killing her ex-husband’s girlfriend.
Officers arrested Chelsea Watrous Cook, 32, in relation to an investigation of the aggravated murder of 26-year-old Lisa Williams.
The shooting happened near the Station at Midvale apartment complex at 7690 S. Center Square, said Sgt. Brandon Shearer with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Cook reportedly entered an apartment just before 7 p.m. Sunday night to drop off cold medicine for one of her children, according to a probable cause statement from the Unified Police Department.
Police reported her ex-husband was in the parking lot when Cook entered the apartment.
“(Cook) was told to leave the apartment, but she refused to listen. (She) remained unlawfully inside of the apartment during this time,” the probable cause statement reported.
Cook also locked herself in the bathroom while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.
She then reportedly left the bathroom, walked to her coat, pulled out a handgun and fired three to five shots at Williams.
Williams fell back on the couch and the ex-husband, who had returned to the apartment, grabbed the handgun from Cook, police said.
“(Cook) then walked over to their children and sat on the recliner chair” as the ex-husband tried to help Williams, the probable cause statement reported.
Cook reportedly stood up and walked back to her coat before the ex-husband pinned her against the wall until police officers arrived.
Police reported the couple’s children, 3-year-old twins, were in the room the entire time.
Williams suffered at least two gunshot wounds to her chest, according to the probable cause statement. She died from her injuries soon after being transported to a local hospital.
Unified Police initially responded to the incident but the Salt Lake City Police Department will take over the investigation. One of the people involved in the shooting is related to a Unified Police employee, Shearer said.
Cook is being held at the Salt Lake County Jail on a $1 million bail.
She had been employed by Alpine School District for four years, according to district spokesperson Kimberly Bird.
Cook had taught health at Skyridge High School in Lehi at the time of her arrest and had previously worked at Lehi High School.
“First and foremost, we are heartbroken and our prayers go out to those who are impacted by this tragic event,” Bird said.
Due to the magnitude of the crime, the district will terminate Cook’s employment. The district will send a letter notifying her of the decision.
Cook’s information and picture had also been removed from Skyridge High School’s website as of Monday.
Counselors will be on hand at the school for both employees and students throughout the week. The district also sent a letter to parents explaining what happened and requesting for parents not to contact the school unless it’s an emergency so the school can focus resources on students.
A message read to students from Principal Joel Perkins encourage students to talk to an employee if they are having difficulties with the news and encourages students not to speak to news media.