Breaking: Suspect ID’d in Arizona school shooting; 1 dead, 4 wounded

A gunman is in custody after opening fire on the Flagstaff campus of Northern Arizona University and killing one person and injuring three others early Friday morning, officials said.

The shooting occurred after a confrontation between two groups of students erupted around 1:20 a.m. near Mountain View Hall, a dormitory used to house the school’s students involved in Greek life. Steven Jones, 18, pulled out a gun and opened fire, Northern Arizona University Police Chief Greg Fowler said during a press conference.

All of the victims were male. The three wounded were treated at the Flagstaff Medical Center following the attack, school officials said.

The college sent out its first alert about the shooting at 2:29 a.m., cautioning residents of the hall to stay indoors.     

According to unconfirmed posts on Yik Yak, a geo-location social media app frequently used by college students, a member of the Delta Chi fraternity was the victim killed in the shooting, though authorities declined to identify him pending notification of his family.

NAU allows guns on campus, but they must be in a locked compartment in a vehicle, Fowler said.

Arizona Sen. John McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey offered their condolences.

“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,” McCain said.

The Arizona shooting comes on the heels of a deadly mass shooting in Oregon last week and marks the 46th campus shooting in the country this year, according to gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. 

The shooting raises questions about how the terms “mass shooting” and school shooting are defined. The Arizona shooting, unlike the Oregon shooting, seems to have been the result of a confrontation and not a plan by a single gunman to kill as many people as possible, as is the case in other mass shootings. Both shootings – like the others highlighted by Everytown – occurred either on a campus or on satellite campus facilities, like a dorm.

Clarification: If the definition being used for a mass shooting is one where four or more people were killed, the Arizona shooting was not a mass shooting. The highly-cited Mass Shooting Tracker, however, defines a mass shooting as one where four or more people were shot in one setting, which would put the Arizona shooting in the category of mass shootings and one among close to 300 this year.