(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — A fight that broke out between two groups of students at Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus left one person dead and three hospitalized after one of the students shot the others with a handgun.
The shooter has been identified as Steven Jones, an 18-year-old freshman at the school, who has been taken into custody by campus police, according to NAU police chief Greg Fowler.
The names and ages of the victims have not been publicly released, but Fowler said they were all male students at the school.
Fowler said that the altercation started at 1:20 a.m. when “several of our students, two separate student groups got into a confrontation.”
Campus police arrived at the scene and apprehended Jones “without further trouble,” Fowler said.
It is unclear what sparked the shooting, which took place near Mountain View Hall, a dormitory that houses most of the campus’ students involved in Greek organizations.
Fowler said that none of the violence happened inside any residence halls.
Fowler said that the school’s alert messaging was sent out “rather quickly,” but a student who was in the audience at the news conference Friday morning told Fowler that he received the text alert at 2:52 a.m., more than an hour and a half after the shooting. Fowler said that “sometimes it takes us a little bit of time to stabilize the information,” but added that the text was “a precautionary measure” as opposed to one telling students to actively take cover.
Fowler noted that the Arizona Board of Regents prohibits students form carrying guns around campus but students are allowed to store them in their car.
The state school’s Flagstaff campus has more than 20,000 students enrolled.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., released the following statement Friday morning:
“My thoughts and prayers are with families of the person who was killed and the three others who were wounded in the horrific shooting on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff early this morning. I appreciate the efforts of all state and local law enforcement officials, first-responders and school administrators, and continue to pray for the recovery of the injured, as well as all those in the NAU community who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
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