Shooting at Arkansas university kills two

A shooting in the heart of the University of Central Arkansas' campus killed two students and wounded a third person, authorities said today.





UCA police spokeswoman Lieutenant Rhonda Swindle said the first report of shots fired came at 9.19pm. An officer heard the shooting, which occurred near a male dormitory and behind the campus police station, and arrived on the scene in less than a minute, she said.



Witnesses described hearing as many as five gunshots ring out. One man died at the scene and another at a local hospital. A wounded man who wasn't a student was treated and released, Swindle said.



Swindle had no immediate explanation for the shooting, though she said police questioned one "person of interest" into the early hours. She said detectives believed four people were involved in the attack, though no arrest or search warrants had been issued in the case.



"We have really good leads we're following up on right now and we feel the campus is safe," Swindle said.



Swindle declined to identify the victims of the shooting, saying officers were continuing to try and reach their families. The lieutenant said their bodies would be sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsies.



Interim UCA President Tom Courtway cancelled classes today 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.



"It doesn't matter where this happens in the country — it's awful," Courtway said.



Police used crime scene tape to keep people out of a large area around where the shootings occurred, including a nearby intersection.



Student Aprille Hanson, 20, said the shooting was "definitely an eye-opener" in the quiet city of Conway, about 26 miles north of Little Rock.



"This campus is very safe. I've never felt afraid on this campus," Hanson said. "Everyone's going to be a little more tense."



The campus remained under guard this morning, with police cruisers circling its quiet streets and officers roaming the grounds in flak jackets and blue jeans.



"The UCA campus itself is not locked down, although officers are posted at every campus entrance, and access to campus is limited to residents and authorised personnel," UCA spokesman Warwick Sabin said in an e-mail today.



Faculty and students received phone calls and e-mails through an automated system at 9.38pm warning them of the shooting and encouraging them to stay inside behind locked doors. Sabin said it was the first incident to prompt use of the university's new emergency e-mail and phone call system, purchased last year after the Virginia Tech massacre.



Swindle said video captured by surveillance cameras also installed at the campus after the massacre would be examined.



Yesterday's shooting is the second at an Arkansas college this year. On 27 February, a man was shot and wounded at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Two suspects were eventually charged. The victim, James Earl Matthews, was hospitalised and had surgery before being released.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative / Forklift Driver

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Through a combination of excell...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are looking for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Service Plan Champion

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Service Plan Champi...

Recruitment Genius: Service Plan Champion

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a Service Plan Champi...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific