University of Arizona professor shot, killed by former student, authorities say
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD/Gray News) - A suspect is in custody after a University of Arizona professor was fatally shot on campus Wednesday
University President Robert Robbins identified the victim as Thomas Meixner, professor and department head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Meixner was shot at the John W. Harshbarger Building and taken to Banner University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
“It’s a tremendously tragic event. We feel so incredibly bad for the professor’s family, friends and colleagues, and our hearts just really go out to them” University of Arizona Police Department Chief P. Balafas said in a statement.
Police identified the shooting suspect as 46-year-old Murad Can Dervish, a former graduate student.
Officers said they got a call shortly before 2 p.m. from someone who reported that Dervish was in the building despite previously being barred. The caller asked campus police to send officers to remove him.
As officers were en route, dispatch received another call about a shooting. Shortly afterward, it was reported Dervish had left the building and fled the area in a gold-colored van.
Police said they were able to quickly identify Dervish.
Dervish was arrested by the Arizona Department of Public Safety during a traffic stop in Gila Bend, which is about120 miles from Tucson.
All in-person classes were canceled after the shooting, and all nonessential faculty and staff or students were asked to leave campus.
Banner UMC was placed on lockdown for about an hour after the shooting.
Meixner got his PhD in hydrology and water resources at the University of Arizona in 1999. He has been an associate professor or professor at the university since 2005.
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