TUCSON, Ariz. — A University of Arizona professor was shot and killed on campus Wednesday by a former student, who has since been arrested, authorities said.
Arizona state troopers stopped Murad Dervish, 46, in a vehicle roughly 120 miles (193 kilometers) northwest of the Tucson campus, just a few hours after the shooting, University of Arizona Police Chief Paula Balafas said.
“We feel so incredibly bad for the professor’s family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts really just go out to them,” Balafas said during a news conference. “It’s just one of those things that sometimes you can’t even predict. I’m afraid I’m a bit at a loss for words because it’s just such a tragic situation.”
The incident began around 2 p.m. when someone inside the Harshbarger Building, which houses the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, called 9-1-1 and requested police escort a former student out of the building.
Officers were on their way when they received reports of a shooting that left one person wounded and that the gunman had fled, Balafas said.
Firefighters transported the victim to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. There were no other injuries reported.
Balafas declined to identify him, but she confirmed he was a professor of hydrology. She did not know what the history was between Dervish, who used a handgun, and the professor.
The building where the shooting occurred is just northwest of the university bookstore and student union. Campus alerts instructed people to stay away from the area, which was under lockdown.
Classes, activities and other campus events were canceled for the rest of the day. Classes will resume Thursday, Balafas said. But the building where the shooting happened may remain closed.
Tucson is where former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot and wounded while meeting with constituents outside a supermarket in 2011. Six people died, and 13 others, including Giffords, were injured.
It was also 20 years ago this month that a disgruntled University of Arizona nursing student shot and killed three nursing professors before taking his own life.
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