by Bronson Winslow
A former University of Arizona student allegedly shot and killed a professor Wednesday at the university’s Tucson campus.
The suspect, 46-year-old Murad Dervish, has been charged with killing Dr. Thomas Meixner, the head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, according to University of Arizona Police Chief Paula Balafas in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses placed Dervish at the scene of the crime and reportedly saw him running out of the building moments after the shots were fired.
Dervish, who allegedly used a handgun, was later apprehended during a traffic stop, Balafas said. Meixner died in the emergency room of the Banner University Medical Center later that day.
University of Arizona President Robert Robbins revealed to the college’s community that Meixner had been murdered, calling it a “tragedy.” At this time, the police have not released a motive or connection between Meixner and Dervish.
I am in complete shock. We just submitted a grant last week. I can't think of a nicer or more supportive colleague/mentor/human. This is devastating and senseless. How sorry I am for so many people now in pain.
— Laura Meredith (@DrLauraMeredith) October 6, 2022
“I have no words that can undo it, but I grieve with you for the loss, and I am pained especially for Tom’s family members, colleagues and students. I encourage you to have compassion for one another and to care for yourselves and those around you during this difficult time,” Robbins said.
Following the shooting, the campus was closed for the day and students were told to return to their dorms, Fox News reported.
The University of Arizona referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to a press conference in response to a request for comment.
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Bronson Winslow is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Murad Dervish” by University of Arizona Police Department. Background Photo “University of Arizona Campus” by HH Studio. CC BY 2.0.