Shooting on campus at Northern Arizona University leaves one dead, three injured

Oct 9, 2015, 5:58 AM | Updated: 4:58 pm
(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)...
(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)
(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Officials said one person is dead and three others were wounded following a shooting early Friday at Northern Arizona University.

Police identified the shooter as 18-year-old Steven Jones.

A physical confrontation between two student groups occurred around 1 a.m. Police first received a call about the gunfire at 1:20 a.m. Students were first alerted at 1:30 a.m. and about 20 minutes later the alert updated them that Jones had been detained.

Jones told police he shot the group of students with a .40-caliber handgun only after they hit him in the face and chased him, according to court documents.

Jones told investigators that several people approached him and two friends while they were outside a residence. A fight broke out between the two groups, and Jones said he was hit in the face.

He said a group chased him to his car, where he retrieved a handgun. Two of the victims had stopped following him but turned around when Jones yelled that he had a gun, court documents said.

Jones also said he tried to administer first aid to one of the victims.

Coconino Deputy County Attorney Ammon Barker alleged Jones left the fight, retrieved the weapon from his car and returned to the fight.

“There is no indication of self-defense here,” Barker said. “The defendant had retreated from the fight, he obtained a gun and then he went back into the fray.”

Jones faces one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault, NAU said. He is being held on $2 million bond. Jones will appear in court Oct. 15 for a Preliminary Hearing.

Just after 8 a.m. the school identified the student that died as Colin Brough.

This shouldn’t have happened, especially to him,” another student, Corissa Coe, said of Brough.

The victims being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center are Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring. Flagstaff Medical Center said it couldn’t release any information on the conditions of the victims.

The shooting occurred in a parking lot outside Mountain View Hall dormitory at the northeast side of the Flagstaff campus. The dormitory provides housing for many of the campus’ sororities and fraternities.

Brough was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

The Delta Chi Fraternity sent out a release Friday acknowledging members of their fraternity were involved in the shooting but that the gunman is not a member. The Associated Press reported Jones was a pledge for the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Delta Chi Fraternity was made aware of a shooting that took place early Friday morning allegedly involving some of our members.

We have investigated this matter and can confirm that members were victims of this tragedy.

We do not have any information on the victims nor do we know if the deceased individual is a member of the Fraternity.

At this time, we can confirm that this incident was isolated and not fraternity related.

The gunman, Steven Jones, is not a member of the Fraternity.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the victims as well as the entire community in Flagstaff.

“We awoke this morning to a terrible tragedy on our Flagstaff campus,” University president Rita Cheng said. “This is not going to be a normal day at NAU. Our hearts are heavy.”

Cheng said classes were expected to go on as scheduled but that the community would need to be sensitive during this time.

Gov. Doug Ducey released the following statement:

I join Arizonans from all across our state in praying for the victims of this morning’s tragic shooting, their families and the entire Northern Arizona University community. This heartbreaking incident will impact many of our fellow citizens, and I ask all Arizonans to keep them and the family of the individual lost in their thoughts and prayers as they cope with this tragedy. The state stands ready to assist local law enforcement and first responders in any way needed to ensure the recovery of those injured and the continued safety of NAU and the Flagstaff community.

The Flagstaff shooting comes on the same day that President Barack Obama visited Roseburg, Oregon, where eight students and a teacher were shot and killed last week at Umpqua Community College.

A GoFundMe page has been established for the victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Shooting on campus at Northern Arizona University leaves one dead, three injured