NAU shooting that left one dead, three injured featured on ABC News’ ’20/20′
PHOENIX — A shooting on Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus that killed one student and wounded three more in 2015 was the focus of a national ABC News show on Friday.
The death of Colin Brough, a 20-year-old NAU student from Colorado, and the subsequent murder trial of Steven Jones, a then 18-year-old freshman, was highlighted in an hour-long special on ABC’s “20/20” that featured exclusive interviews from several of the people involved.
Brough was shot and killed on Oct. 8, 2015, after Jones told police he shot at a group of fraternity members who had reportedly started a fight with him outside of a party before chasing him to his car.
Jones allegedly shot at the men with a .40-caliber handgun, court documents detailed at the time. The shooting left Brough dead and three other fraternity members, Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring, seriously injured.
’20/20′ reveals new details about NAU shooting
Piring told “20/20” that he and Brough were hanging out and drinking at a campus apartment complex with other members of their fraternity, Delta Chi, that night. Piring said he and several of his friends heard “what sounded like an argument and went outside.”
Zach Volpo, another member of the fraternity who was at the complex with Piring and Brough, said they heard a “verbal confrontation” in the street before hearing “three, four, really loud bangs.”
Volpo said he ran to the parking lot, where he found Brough and Piring bleeding on the ground after each being shot twice. Piring said he was in “so much shock” that he did not realize he was shot.
“I saw a puddle of blood next to me and I realized I was shot,” Piring told “20/20.” Volpo said it was then that he realized the shooter was Jones.
Miqui Scollard, then a sophomore at the university, said she ran to the parking lot from her dormitory and started rendering aid to Piring before hearing “more and more gunshots.”
“I remember looking to my left and the boys that I now know from the shooting were screaming, ‘Stop shooting, stop shooting.’ I remember one saying, ‘He dropped the gun, he dropped the gun,'” she told “20/20.”
Police body camera footage obtained by “20/20” showed NAU police handcuffing Jones, who “immediately identified himself as the shooter and appeared extremely distraught,” according to the show.
“I take all responsibility,” Jones reportedly told the officer before “repeatedly” asking for his mom. “I’m so scared. Can I call my mom?”
Piring said he saw paramedics put a blanket on top of Brough “and I knew that he was gone.” Brough’s parents, Doug and Claudia, described the moment that Flagstaff police informed them of their son’s death as a “bad dream.”
“I kept thinking, ‘This isn’t real, this isn’t — this can’t be.’ Everything stops around you. Everything,” Claudia told “20/20.”
According to “20/20,” Jones said in a videotaped police interrogation that he went to the apartment complex with three of his friends that night to find one of his friends who they lost track of.
Jones and his friends claimed that a group of drunk fraternity members chased them out of the complex and started fighting them. Jones told police he opened his car and pulled out his handgun after reportedly being chased by two of the members.
Jones told police that he yelled to the men that he had a gun, saying “I have a gun, stop right there,” before allegedly hearing from one of the men, “I’m going to kill you,” according to “20/20.” Jones then started shooting.
According to “20/20,” Jones attempted to perform aid on Brough before he was allegedly put in a chokehold by someone else while another person tried to grab the gun, he told police.
Jones told police he then fired his gun in the air several more times in an “attempt to scare away the men who were on top of him,” hitting Prato and Zientek.
Self defense — or murder?
The “20/20” special explored whether the witnesses’ and Jones’ accounts — and the subsequent reports that police detailed from the shooting — were evidence of self-defense or a murder.
Toxicology reports found that all four shooting victims were intoxicated at the time of the shooting, while Jones was not. Police reports also noted that Jones had “several injuries consistent with being attacked -– including a bloodied face,” “20/20” reported.
Thirty-eight witnesses — mostly college students — testified in Jones’ trial and a majority of them “gave slightly different accounts of what happened that night,” the show detailed.
The mistrial was declared on May 5, after a jury of six men and six women said they were deadlocked. One juror, Robert Nagle, told “20/20” that “most jurors believed Jones was guilty of a crime, but they couldn’t agree on what.”
“Ultimately, two jurors had voted to convict Jones of first-degree murder, four were struggling with which charge to choose and six had voted to fully acquit him of all charges,” “20/20” described.
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