ARIZONA NEWS

Ex-grad student held without bond in fatal shooting of Arizona professor

Oct 7, 2022, 2:30 PM
Professor Thomas Meixner (University of Arizona Photo) Murad Dervish (University of Arizona Police Department Photo) (Instagram Photo/University of Arizona Police Department) Two people hug after a shooting at the John W. Harshbarger Building on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. University of Arizona police say one person was shot and wounded on campus and authorities are searching for the suspect.  (Rebecca Sasnett/Arizona Daily Star via AP) Law enforcement work at the scene of shooting at the John W. Harshbarger Building on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. University of Arizona police say one person was shot and wounded on campus and authorities are searching for the suspect.  (Rebecca Sasnett/Arizona Daily Star via AP) University of Arizona Police escort students from the scene of a shooting at the John W. Harshbarger Building on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. University of Arizona police say one person was shot and wounded on campus and authorities are searching for the suspect.  (Rebecca Sasnett/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A former University of Arizona graduate student arrested in the fatal shooting of a hydrology professor was being held without bond Friday after a judge ruled there was enough evidence to try him on charges of first degree murder and aggravated assault.

An interim complaint in the case released Friday says Thomas Meixner, who headed the school’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, was shot four times on Wednesday afternoon. The shooting happened inside the Harshbarger Building, which houses the hydrology department. Meixner was pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to the complaint, a second person, whose name was blacked out, was treated at the scene after being struck by a bullet fragment.

The complaint signed by a judge late Thursday at Pima County Justice Court said there was reasonable cause to proceed in the case against 46-year-old Murad Dervish. In Arizona, charges are not filed until a preliminary hearing takes place, and there was no word on when that would happen.

The Pima County Public Defender’s Office confirmed it received the case but has not yet assigned an attorney who can speak on Dervish’s behalf.

Campus police said a female called 911 around 2 p.m. Wednesday asking for police to escort a former student from the Harshbarger Building. Officers were on their way when they received reports that a man had shot someone then fled.

Campus alerts instructed people to avoid the area, which was under lockdown. Classes, activities and other campus events were canceled for the rest of the day.

State troopers arrested Dervish a few hours later about 120 miles (190 kilometers) northwest of the Tucson campus.

The complaint said officials found a 9mm handgun in the vehicle, along with ammunition consistent with the 11 casings found at the shooting scene.

The relationship between Dervish and Meixner remains unclear, but the interim complaint said a flyer with a photograph of Dervish, a former graduate student, had been circulated to university staff in February with instructions to call 911 if he ever entered the building. It also said he was “expelled” and “barred from being on University of Arizona property.”

“Dervish has been the subject of several reports of harassment and threats to staff members working at Harshbarger,” the complaint said.

Meixner was an expert on desert water issues. Faculty and former students described as a kind and brilliant colleague.

“This incident is a deep shock to our community, and it is a tragedy,” University President Robert Robbins said in a statement late Wednesday.

Meixner earned a doctorate in hydrology and water resources from the university in 1999 and joined the faculty in 2005 before becoming the department head in 2019.

Twenty years ago this month, a disgruntled University of Arizona nursing student shot and killed three nursing professors before taking his own life.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Chamber of Commerce president says Super Bowl could bring state up to $2 billion

Danny Seiden, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, projects the state to strongly benefit from the Super Bowl.
12 hours ago
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, left, wants to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayor...
KTAR.com

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona aims to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona plans to unveil articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of border security.
12 hours ago
Beyoncé (Carlijn Jacobs Photo)...
KTAR.com

Beyoncé announces Renaissance World Tour with metro Phoenix stop

Get ready for a royal visit, as Queen B herself, Beyoncé, is bringing her 2023 stadium tour to the State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
12 hours ago
Steven Ryan Michael (Peoria Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man arrested after allegedly sexually abusing jogger in Peoria

A Phoenix man was arrested Saturday, accused of sexually abusing a woman who was jogging in Peoria, authorities said.
12 hours ago
Linda Cain (Photo via Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for woman with cognitive issues missing from Phoenix

A Silver Alert was issued early Wednesday for a missing woman who has cognitive problems, authorities said.
12 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
Griselda Zetino

Empty seats: Chronic absenteeism spikes in Arizona schools in recent years

Chronic absenteeism is a problem in Arizona. The issue, defined as missing 10% of the school year, skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Ex-grad student held without bond in fatal shooting of Arizona professor