Police did not disclose how the three victims died
or their relationship to the gunman, if any. They said the victims
were found in two different locations inside the school in central
Tucson. Police did not identify the victims, though a university
spokeswoman said they included two female professors. The suspect
apparently committed suicide, Police Chief Richard Mirada said.
Three of the victims were apparently shot by a gunman who then may
have committed suicide, according to Tucson Police. Tucson Police and
University Police say the shooting happened at 8:40 a.m. (MST).
The suspect had earlier threatened to blow up the building in
Tucson, though it was unclear when the threat was made, Mirada said [
the Potentially Dangerous Student ].
Bomb squad members were called in after a backpack or package was
found underneath the suspect's body. A bomb-sniffing dog reacted to
the suspect's car in a nearby parking lot. Police officers were going
room to room at the school north of the university's main campus. [Crisis
Response Action Plan do
you have one?]
S.W.A.T. Police were evacuating the College of Nursing, the College
of Pharmacy, Life Sciences North and Basic Sciences buildings in the
Arizona Health Sciences Center complex northwest of Campbell Avenue
and Speedway Boulevard. They also were sweeping the building, looking
for any explosive devices, according to a Tucson Police spokesman.
University Medical Center - the hospital - remains open for business,
although Campbell Avenue has been sealed off north of Speedway to Elm
Street and people are asked to avoid the area.
A student, who was in the building during the shootings, said two
different students banged on her classroom door and told everyone to
get out. "We ran out of the building and there were police
telling us to run away," she said.
A 29-year-old graduate student said she and her husband were
outside the building waiting for a shuttle bus when a woman came out
of the building with a cell phone, trying to dial and screaming that
there was a man with a gun in the building. Police were at the scene
within seconds. A group of people were crying and running desperately
to get out of the building," she said. "They were crying,
tripping over one another, falling down." Her husband reported
seeing 50 to 60 people scramble to get out of the building, before
police swarmed in and shooed them away.
Police escorted groups of students, faculty and administrators in
shuttle buses to the Alumni Building, where counselors were being made
available. Dana Weir, a spokeswoman for the alumni foundation, said
students and faculty looked shaken, and people in her office were just
trying to make them comfortable.
University President Peter Likens called the shooting an isolated
incident. He said there were no immediate plans to change security
Site Safety Survey] at the 34,000-student university, which includes the
380-student nursing school.
"I don't now believe there's any reason to imply a deficiency
of security either in that building or on this campus," he said.
This shooting comes just a week after a similar event half a world
away in Melbourne, Australia. There, at Monash University, two people
were killed and five others were wounded during a shooting, which
occurred in the Humanities Department at 11:10 in the morning.
Police say a man walked into the Menzies building armed with a number
of handguns and went into a classroom on the sixth floor. He
reportedly shot dead two men and injured five others in the room.
That gunman was an economics student.