Early Friday morning, around 1:20 a.m., a shooting took place at NAU (Northern Arizona University) in Flagstaff, Arizona, according to CNN.
One of the NAU students involved in the shooting was fatally injured while three others suffered gunshot wounds. The victims of the NAU shooting were identified as members of the Delta Chi fraternity, as reported by the Washington Post.
The shooting took place near a Greek life dorm on campus, which is the residence to “the majority of NAU Greek students.” Though the four victims of the shooting were all members of Greek life, the shooter himself was not affiliated with the Delta Chi fraternity.
Steven Jones was identified as the gunman in the shooting. Jones, a freshman at NAU, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder as well as three felony counts of aggravated assault.
The NAU students who were injured during the confrontation were Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek, and Nicholas Piring. Colin Brough, an NAU freshman, was killed during the shooting. Delta Chi national headquarters confirmed that all four victims were brothers of the fraternity.
NAU Police Chief Greg Fowler explained what took place in the parking lot of the dorm. He said that “two separate student groups got into a confrontation” on Friday morning, just after 1 a.m. After the altercation turned physical, the gunman “produced a handgun and shot four other students.” The NAU Police Chief also noted that it was unknown what instigated the altercation and whether or not the NAU students involved in the shooting knew each other.
According to Fowler, when NAU police arrived on the scene of the shooting, the gunman went quietly and without conflict.
“He stopped his action; everything calmed down as our officer arrived.”
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Jones told police that the altercation started when he was approached by a group of people. A fight broke out and Jones was chased. He ran to his car where his gun was being kept and opened fire. Jones said that after he opened fire, he tried to help one of the victims he had shot.
The gunman, Jones, has posted pictures of himself with firearms on his Instagram page. One such photo is captioned, “It’s a full auto kinda day.”
Arizona Governor Doug Doucy made a statement after the shooting took place.
“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 NAU president also made a statement following the shooting.
“We awake this morning to a terrible tragedy on our Flagstaff campus. We are of course shocked and deeply saddened by the circumstances that bring us together this morning. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and our entire Lumberjack family…we have assured the NAU community the campus is secure and classes will go on as scheduled. We are sensitive to the tragedy and we are asking the faculty to be sensitive to the needs of our students…this is not going to be a normal day at NAU. Our hearts are heavy.”
The NAU shooting was described as “an isolated and unprecedented incident.”
[Photo Courtesy of Steven Jones/Instagram]