An overnight confrontation between two groups of students escalated into gunfire in the US yesterday when a first-year student at Northern Arizona University killed one person and wounded three others.
University police chief Gregory T Fowler identified the shooter as Steven Jones, 18, and said he used a handgun in the shootings at about 1.20am yesterday. Police were still interviewing Jones yesterday.
A university statement identified the student who died as Colin Brough. The victims being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center are Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek, and Nicholas Piring.
“This is not going to be a normal day at NAU,” said school president Rita Cheng. “Our hearts are heavy.”
She called it an isolated and unprecedented incident and said classes would go on as scheduled.
The shooting happened in a parking area just outside Mountain View Hall dormitory on the Flagstaff campus.
First-year student Cameron Sands, 18, said he was supposed to move into Mountain View Hall yesterday.
“It’s crazy. You don’t think this stuff happens. When I think of Flagstaff, I think safety,” he said.
Sands said he learned of the shooting in a phone call from his mother.
Student Maria Gonzalez told The Associated Press that she at first suspected firecrackers.
“I was studying for an exam so I looked out the window and see two people running, and that’s when I realised they weren’t fireworks, they were actually gunshots,” she said.
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