Professor shot and killed at Delta State University; active shooter sought

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Ethan Schmidt

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CLEVELAND, Miss. — A Delta State University Professor was shot and killed on campus Monday morning.

Bolivar County Deputy Coroner Murray Roark said history professor Ethan Schmidt was killed inside an office in Jobe Hall around 10:30 a.m.

He was shot in the head.

Schmidt directed the first-year seminar program and specialized in Native American and colonial history, said Don Allan Mitchell, an English professor at the school, who called him “a gentleman in every sense of the word.”

“Dr. Ethan Schmidt was a terrific family man, a good friend, a true son of Peabody, Kansas, and his beloved Emporia State University,” he said.

A university employee is a suspect in the shooting.

According to the Sun Herald, that same employee is a suspect in another murder in Gautier, Mississippi.

Police are looking for Shannon Lamb in relation to a murder there and say he left and drove to Delta State, 300 miles away.

Detective Matt Hoggatt told the Sun Herald Lamb called police Monday morning saying there was a shooting at a home on Santa Cruz Street in Gautier.

There are numerous social media postings about students and staff locked in classrooms and auditoriums.

Numerous law enforcement agencies are on the scene.

Freshman Noah Joyner, 18, said he was shaken by the lockdown. Joyner hunkered down in a bathroom of his dorm building and heard others desperate to get in when reports of the active shooter spread.

“There were like people banging on the doors to have somebody let them in,” said Joyner, a swimmer at the college. “It was pretty terrifying to hear people banging on the door.”

There are approximately 4,000 students enrolled at the school from about 20 countries.

About 30 percent of students live on campus.

Classes have been cancelled for the remainder of the day.

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