Family members of John Sharp say they realized there was no changing his mind Thursday after they bailed him out of the Weber County Jail.

Intent on killing his ex-girlfriend, Sharp picked up a knife, told his older brother, Ralph, “I’m going to get her,” and stepped out of the house.

The family had earlier let his ex-girlfriend know the 37-year-old Sharp was out of jail, but now made a second frantic phone call to warn her he was heading her way. But by that time, Mellony Pursel could be heard on the phone yelling “you got to get out of here,” to Sharp.

The line went dead.

When police arrived Thursday at Pursel’s home at 1920 W. 4400 South around 6:30 p.m. they found her standing outside with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. With her was her 17-year-old niece and her niece’s baby. Inside the home, Sharp was dead from a gunshot.

A day after the shooting, police said Sharp had attacked Pursel and was strangling her when her niece ordered him to stop.

When the attack continued, the girl grabbed a gun. She fatally shot Sharp as he lunged for her, said Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham.

Sharp died from two gunshot wounds to the chest and the 32-year-old Pursel was hit by the same bullets that passed through Sharp, Whinham said. The niece fired the .357 caliber handgun while her 7-month-old baby laid in a carrier on a couch, just feet away in the living room.

Source: Cimaron Neugebauer for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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