A University of Arizona professor was killed by a former student on Wednesday after being shot inside their department’s building. The shooter entered the Harshbarger Building, which is home to the Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences departments at the university, around 2 p.m. Police were called from the building with reports of an individual who needed to be removed from the premises. But sadly, shots were reportedly fired before the police arrived and the suspect had fled the scene. Campus alerts quickly went out informing students to stay away from the area.
Campus police chief, Paula Balfas, declined to identify the victim, but the university professor died shortly after being taken to the hospital. Thankfully, a male suspect, Murad Dervish, was stopped by state troopers later in the day in the region of the university. Dervish is confirmed as being a former student of the deceased professor. Dervish used a handgun in the shooting and the exact motive or relationship with his professor is unknown.
In a press conference Balfas said, “We feel so incredibly bad for the professor’s family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts really just go out to them. It’s just one of those things that sometimes you can’t even predict.” All in-person classes were canceled on Wednesday at the University of Arizona and the Harshbarger building will remain closed for the remainder of the week. 20 years ago, this very month, a flunking nursing student at the University of Arizona shot and killed three of his professors.