UPDATE: Court document reveals new details about shooting death of University of Arizona professor, Dr. Thomas Meixner

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 2:37 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 8:35 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Interim Complaint against the suspect in a deadly shooting on the University of Arizona campus provides new details about what happened in and before the incident on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

46-year-old Murad Can Dervish faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Dr. Thomas Meixner, Professor and Department Head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, was killed in the attack and another man was injured. According to the complaint, Meixner was shot multiple times at the John W. Harshbarger Building and taken to Banner University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The other man was also struck, and was treated at the scene and released.

“It’s a tremendously tragic event. We feel so incredibly bad for the professor’s family, friends and colleagues, and our hearts just really go out to them” UA Police Department Chief P. Balafas said in a statement.

Dervish, a former graduate student, was recognized before the shooting, and someone called 911 to report his presence in the building. Dervish was barred from campus after being expelled in February because of alleged previous threatening behavior, according to the complaint. Dervish was also the subject of an unrelated order of protection prohibiting him from possessing a firearm.

As officers were en route in response to the 911 call, dispatch received another call about a shooting. Shortly afterward, it was reported Dervish had left the building and fled the area in a gold-colored van.

Police found Dervish on Highway 85 about three hours after the shooting, headed toward Mexico. Police used a “PIT” maneuver to stop his vehicle. The complaint said police searched Dervish’s vehicle and found “a 9mm handgun loaded with ammunition consistent with the approximately 11 shell casings found” at the campus scene. The complaint said Meixner had been struck by “approximately four 9mm bullets.”

Murad Can Dervish is accused of fatally a professor at the University of Arizona on Wednesday,...
Murad Can Dervish is accused of fatally a professor at the University of Arizona on Wednesday, Oct. 5.(University of Arizona)

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Dervish was arrested in Gila Bend, which is about 120 miles from Tucson.

The complaint said Dervish said, “I hope he’s OK; probably wishful thinking” and “I just felt so disrespected by that whole department.” He also said he considered shooting himself.

All in-person classes were canceled Wednesday after the shooting and all nonessential faculty and staff or students were asked to leave campus.

Banner UMC was placed on lockdown for about an hour after the shooting.

Meixner got his PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona in 1999. He has been an associate professor or professor at UA since 2005.