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Sandy police this morning say they are no closer to solving yesterday's fatal shooting of a beloved college hockey coach in the parking lot of a Village Inn restaurant.
"We're kind of back to square one in figuring this thing out," said Sgt. Victor Quezada, a police spokesman.
Kenneth G. Dolezsar, 50, an assistant coach for the Utah Valley State College hockey team, was shot to death just before 7 a.m. outside the Village Inn, 150 W. 10600 South, in Sandy.
A man who saw the shooting from about six feet away said the shooter took off in Dolezsar's Lincoln Navigator, which was later found dumped at Lake Hills Cemetery, at 10055 S. State St, Quezada said.
So far, the shooting appears to random, possibly a car-jacking, according to police accounts. But Quezada said detectives are not ruling anything out.
From the witness's account, it appears Dolezsar did not know his shooter and was trying to back away from an armed man without angering him, Quezada said.
"I think it was more like, 'You know what I don't want no problems with you, whoever you are," Quezada said of Dolezsar's reaction to the gunman.
A postal worker later spotted a man matching the gunman's description running from the cemetery toward State Street but lost sight of him. A police dog lost the scent on State Street, Quezada said.
Quezada said police are still trying to figure out who Dolezsar was meeting for breakfast at the Village Inn. Dolezsar told one friend he was meeting someone but did not say who it was, Quezada said.
A native of Canada, he played junior hockey in Canada for 12 years before moving to Utah and becoming a businessman and assistant coach for the UVSC Wolverines.
"There was never a time that anybody who met him didn't feel like he was [their] best friend from day one," said assistant coach Erik Olsen.
The loss of Dolezsar, a Springville resident, comes in the midst of an particularly successful season for the Wolverines, who are ranked second in the wester division, Olsen said. The team held an emergency meeting Thursday morning upon learning of the shooting, Olsen said.
"It was pretty somber," Olsen said. "He meant a lot to a lot of people."
The Wolverines plan to hold a moment of silence in Dolezsar's honor during their game against the University of Utah, Olsen said. The team has memorialized Dolezsar at http://www.uvschockey.com.