Police: 2 students dead in UCA shooting
Associated Press - October 27, 2008 5:24 AM ET
CONWAY, Ark. (AP) - A shooting in the heart of the University of Central Arkansas' campus killed two students and wounded a third person.
Authorities are looking for four suspects. The campus is no longer under lockdown, but classes are canceled today and police are guarding the campus entrances.
UCA police Lt. Rhonda Swindle says the first report of shots fired came at 9:19 p.m. Sunday. An officer heard the shooting, which occurred near a male dormitory and behind the campus police station, and arrived to the scene in less than a minute, she said.
Witnesses described hearing as many as five gunshots ring out. One man fell to the sidewalk along the narrow alley between the Arkansas Hall dormitory and the Snow Fine Arts Center and died. Swindle said the two others rushed into the dorm, where paramedics later found them.
1 of the men died at a local hospital, while another who wasn't a student was treated and released.
Swindle had no immediate explanation for the shooting, though she said police questioned one "person of interest" into the early morning hours. She says detectives believe four people were involved in the attack, though no arrest or search warrants had been issued in the case. She says investigators are working on good leads. She says video from surveillance cameras will be examined.
Swindle declined to identify the victims of the shooting, saying their next of kin had not yet been reached. The bodies will be sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsies.
Interim UCA President Tom Courtway canceled classes Monday at the university, which serves 12,500 students. He stressed that every precaution was being taken to ensure the safety of the students who remained in their dormitory rooms.
Police used crime scene tape to keep people out of a large area around where the shootings occurred, including a nearby intersection. Pools of blood still stained the cold cement sidewalk early Monday morning. Firefighters worked to hose the blood away.
Courtway says he thought police officers and the university's emergency alert system performed well in the minutes after the shooting. However, he promised to conduct a thorough examination of shooting to ensure students' safety in the future.
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University of Central Arkansas: http://www.uca.edu