A Northern Arizona University student was shot after he rushed to dying friend’s side during an early morning gun attack next to a campus dorm, a family friend said.
Nick Prato underwent surgery Friday after he was shot as he cradled his Delta Chi fraternity brother Colin Brough, who died in the gunfire, Prato’s girlfriend’s father said. Two more Delta Chis ? Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring ? were also wounded after a fight between two groups of students escalated into gun violence.
Suspected shooter Steven Jones, an 18-year-old Sigma Chi pledge, was charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Earl Norcutt ? the father of Prato’s girlfriend, Abbey Norcutt ? rushed to the hospital after the 1:30 a.m. Friday shooting, he wrote on Facebook. He said Prato was "A-ok" after surgery.
Norcutt said the gunman initially shot just two students, and stopped shooting when he stumbled. Prato ran to Brough’s side as his girlfriend tended to the other injured student.
“Nick ran to help his friend. Shooter had apparently fallen, then turned and shot Nick as he was holding his friend,” Norcutt wrote. “Our Abbey was holding the other, second one shot, and was calling 911 as Nick was shot.”
Abbey Norcutt was not injured. It’s not clear when the third Delta Chi brother was shot.Facebook Colin Brough was fatally shot during a shooting outside a dorm at Northern Arizona University on Oct. 9, 2015. Mark Henle/AP Mourners attend a candlelight vigil in support of the Northern Arizona University shooting victims on the university campus in Flagstaff, Ariz. Mark Henle/AP An overnight brawl between two groups of students escalated into gun violence Friday when a freshman at Northern Arizona University opened fire on four fraternity members, killing one and wounding three. Josh Biggs/AP Two people embrace outside a Northern Arizona University student dormitory, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Flagstaff, Ariz., after an early morning confrontation between two groups of students escalated into gunfire. (AP Photo/Josh Biggs) Previous Next Enlarge
Thousands of students and staff members, many dressed in black, gathered on the Flagstaff campus, around a lighted podium displaying poster-sized photos of Brough, the Arizona Republic reported.
“Colin Brough, I know you are watching right now. I want you to know we will always love you,” said Chris Schmit, the president of the Delta Chi chapter at NAU. “We will always miss you. We will never forget you. Please rest in peace, my brother.”
NAU Dean of Students Cynthia Anderson asked the mourners to light candles and shine their cellphone lights.
“Even when the dark comes, it can't overcome the light of you,” she said.
The fraternity collected donations in memory of Brough and in honor of the three wounded brothers.HANDOUT/REUTERS Steven Jones Enlarge Facebook Steven Jones Enlarge Freshman Steven Jones was charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
Panicked NAU students called 911 early Friday when they spotted a gunman shooting outside of a campus residence hall just before 1:30 a.m.
“Someone's shooting a gun. Someone got shot outside Mountain View Hall,” said one caller. “There’s two people laying on the ground who got shot.”
“I first thought it was a joke but people started screaming,” another called said as he breathed heavily on the phone.
Dispatchers instructed callers ? some of whom watched the shooting from their dorm room windows ? to stay inside, lock their doors and turn off the lights while advising help was on the way.
Jones told investigators that several people approached him and two friends while they were outside Mountain View Hall, which houses many of the school’s fraternity and sorority members. He opened fire only after they hit him in the face and chased him to his car, where he kept his gun, he claimed.
Prosecutors said Jones was the aggressor.Michael Schennum/AP Police officers investigate a shooting at Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff, Ariz., Friday.
“There is no indication of self-defense here,” Deputy Coconino County Attorney Ammon Barker said in court on Friday. “The defendant had retreated from the fight, he obtained a gun and then he went back into the fray.”
Jones appeared in court via a video feed from the local jail and was charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault. He bowed his head as he listened to the charges.
The Flagstaff shooting comes on the same day that President Obama visited Roseburg, Ore., where eight students and a teacher were shot and killed last week at Umpqua Community College.
In Texas, a student was killed and another person was wounded in a shooting outside a Texas Southern University student-housing complex on Friday. A brief panic broke out in Kentucky hours later when there were reports of shots fired on a college campus. The reports turned out to be unfounded.
Northern Arizona University is a four-year public university that has more than 25,000 total undergraduate students at the campus in Flagstaff, a city about two hours north of Phoenix that is surrounded by mountains and ponderosa pines. The city of 70,000 people has a reputation for being a safe place and typically records only one murder per year.
With News Wire Services.