'Horrific' shooting at Northern Arizona University prompts prayer

by Kelly Ledbetter, |

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Christian Examiner) – Police have arrested Steven Jones, 18, in the fatal shooting of another student, Colin Brough, yesterday at Northern Arizona University (NAU).

NAU police chief Gregory Fowler said two student groups became involved in a confrontation that got physical when Jones produced a handgun and fired into the group in the parking lot of a campus apartment complex, according to USA Today.

Jones, who remained at the scene, was arrested without incident and is cooperating with police.

The shooting also injured three others, Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring, who are being treated for multiple gunshots at a local hospital. All four victims were members of fraternity Delta Chi. Jones was not.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the victims, as well as the entire community in Flagstaff," the fraternity said in a statement, according to CNN.

Throughout the morning, students were woken by concerned family who wanted to be sure their children were safe.

Sophomore John Karter said he was a friend of Brough. "I lost a good friend today," he said. "I don't want to believe it's true."

Karter said he and Brough were members of different fraternities, although in his opinion the relationship among the campus's Greek organizations was amicable.

He said Brough was "a good guy."

University President Rita Cheng called the shooting a tragedy. "This is not going to be a normal day at NAU," Cheng said. "Our hearts are heavy."

Jones will be charged with first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.

Many people have used social media to express their sorrow at the shooting as well as memories of Brough.

The New York Times reposted a tweet from Rafael Adames: "Glad to call Colin Brough a brother, always smiling, always so energetic, bad things happen to good people. Im [sic] sorry this happened to you."

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, issued a statement: "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," he said. "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."