$2M bond set for suspect in NAU deadly shootingPosted: Updated:
A $2 million bond was set for the suspect in a deadly shooting at Northern Arizona University early Friday morning.
The alleged gunman, Steven Jones, 18, who made an initial court appearance Friday afternoon, faces one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
NAU said Colin Brough was shot and killed. Three others who were wounded were identified as Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring. Their ages and conditions are not known.
“Two separate students groups got into a confrontation," NAU Police Chief Greg Fowler said at a morning news briefing. "The confrontation turned physical. One of our students, Steven Jones, 18, produced a handgun and he shot four of our other students.”
Prosecutors said Jones left the fight, retrieved a 40-caliber handgun, and opened fire from a distance, prosecutors said. There was no evidence of self-defense, they added.
Jones was taken into custody without incident.
“We don’t know what caused the confrontation,” Fowler said.
The shooting occurred in a parking lot outside Mountainview Hall dormitory at the northeast side of the Flagstaff campus.
Fowler said police got the first call about the gunfire at 1:20 a.m. Friday.
NAU police said they sent four smart phone alerts. After the initial text alert was received by 700 people, a residence hall director at Mountain View Hall called NAUPD at 1:24 a.m., verified the incident and then activated the public address system within minutes, telling all Mountain View residents to stay inside and lock their doors.
However, an error during the deployment of the NAU Alert system resulted in limited distribution of the initial alerts, which were sent as a precautionary measure to notify campus of the situation, officials said.
"(The dispatcher) was managing a dynamic, developing situation which included fielding multiple, simultaneous 911 calls and communicating with the officers responding to and arriving on the scene," NAU said in the statement."The error was discovered well after the scene was secured and updates were sent to the entire campus community. That all-clear notification was sent at 2:52 a.m."
"Redundancies in our communications led to the residence hall director securing the area where the immediate threat was identified," NAU stated.
"Sometimes it takes us a little bit of time to stabilize the situation before we can get the information out in the alert and to call in the other people, Fowler said.
He added the situation was stabilized right away by the officers. "They knew what they had," he said. "They put the alert out as a precautionary measure."
The university said in a posting on its Twitter account that the situation on campus was stabilized and the campus was not on lockdown.
“We are of course shocked and deeply sadden by the circumstances that brought us together this morning,” NAU President Rita Cheng said at the news briefing.
"Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and our entire Lumberjack family," Cheng said.
She called it an “isolated” and “unprecedented” incident.
“We have assured the NAU community that the campus is secure and classes will go on as usual,” Cheng said. “Our hearts are heavy.”
"We are sensitive to the tragedy and we are asking the faculty to be sensitive to the needs of our students and their families," Cheng said.
Be there for all those around you! We are a family. Be grateful for another day. #NAUStrong— NAU (@NAUCO2019) October 9, 2015
Some members of a campus fraternity were involved in the incident, according to a statement from Delta Chi in Iowa City:
"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 there were members involved. 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 not a chapter related incident.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the victims as well as the entire community in Flagstaff. At the time, no further comments will be provided."
The Deer Valley Unified School District confirmed that Zientek and Jones attended Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale. Zientek attended the school beginning in August 2009 through his graduation in May 2013. Jones started there in January 2014 and transferred out in April 2014.
Cody McGinley said he attended a Christian home school co-op with Jones in Phoenix. He said he remembers the alleged shooter as a "cool jock" and said he "never would have guessed that this would have happened."
Parents may call 928-523-0007. A Family Assistance Center has been set up in the ballroom of 1899 Bar & Grill, 307 W. Dupont Ave., in Flagstaff.
The Hot Spot in the University Union opened Friday at 6 a.m. to offer a place for students to gather.
NAU's Counseling Services will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Health and Learning Center.
The police investigation is just beginning. The campus police department is working closely with Flagstaff Police Department on this ongoing investigation.
“A great many people are involved and need to be interviewed,” Fowler said.
Students attending the news briefing hugged each other. Some were wrapped in blankets.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey posted this message on twitter:
Arizona Board of Regents Chairperson Jay Heiler released this statement:
“On behalf of the board, I extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the person killed and the three individuals who were wounded in the senseless and appalling shooting that took place at Northern Arizona University earlier this morning. We offer our prayers for recovery of the injured as well and the entire NAU community in the wake of this horrific tragedy. As well, we extend our sincere appreciation to President Cheng and university and local law enforcement for their efforts in this situation.”
Statement from Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ):
"Those of us who call Flagstaff home know that NAU is the heart of our community. And today, our hearts are hurting from the news of a fatal shooting on campus. I've lived here for over three decades, raised two daughters, and built a life in this wonderful place. And I can say without a doubt that Flagstaff will only grow stronger in difficult moments like these. Today, my thoughts are with the victims and their families and our entire community. And I offer my gratitude and full support to the university and local officials as they deal with this tragic situation."
Statement from AZ Moms Demand Action & Everytown Survivor Network:
"In response to reports of today's early morning shooting at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus in which a freshman fatally shot one person and injured three others near a dormitory, the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements. There have been at least 47 school shootings in America this year and at least 144 school shootings since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Just this week, Everytown for Gun Safety released a new interactive school shootings index that maps each school shooting since 2013."
Statement from Mary Reed, Tucson shooting survivor:
"My prayers are with the Northern Arizona University community today. I survived the 2011 shooting in Tucson where six innocent lives were taken. I was shot three times protecting my daughter with my body. She is now a college student, and my son is a high school senior applying to NAU. I will not accept the state of gun violence in this countryespecially on our college campuses. While we don't yet know all the details about what happened in Flagstaff, it appears the shooting took place by the dorms on campus. My daughter's dorm is her home, not a place where she seeks refuge from a gunman. We can barely make it a week in this country without news of yet another school shooting. I know there is not a single solution that will stop all gun violence, but there is a lot more we can do to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. I am a responsible gun owner and I stand with the majority of Americans who say we need our leaders to help reduce gun violence by passing common-sense laws."
Statement from Geneva Haber, volunteer with AZ Chapter of Moms Demand Action:
"Our thoughts are with the students, faculty and families affected by the shooting that occurred early this morning in Flagstaff. Although details are still unfolding, we know that this is at least the 144th school shooting since the tragedy at Sandy Hook---and at least the 47th in 2015 alone. As a mother, I already worry about sending my child off to college and now, given the appalling state of gun violence in this country, I also worry about potential campus shootings. I know that for myself and for moms across Arizona, we will stop at nothing until our leaders in Congress and in our statehouses across the country take meaningful action to reduce gun violence. There is much more we can do to keep guns from getting into the hands of people who should not have them in the first place."
Statement from Sen. John McCain:
"My thoughts and prayers are with families of the person who was killed and the three others who were wounded in the horrific shooting on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff early this morning. I appreciate the efforts of all state and local law enforcement officials, first-responders and school administrators, and continue to pray for the recovery of the injured, as well as all those in the NAU community who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy."
Family Assistance Center has been set up in the ballroom of 1899 Bar & Grill, 307 W Dupont Ave. Long distance parents may call 928-523-0007.— NAU (@NAU) October 9, 2015
NAUAlert: Details confirmed 4 victims, 1 fatality, 3 wounded. Shooter is in custody. Situation is stabilized. Campus not on lockdown.
— NAU (@NAU) October 9, 2015
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