Tucson, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – An interim complaint against the suspects in a deadly shooting on the University of Arizona campus provides new details about what happened before and after the incident on Wednesday, October 5th.
Murad Khan Derwish, 46, faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Professor and Head of Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Dr. Thomas Meixner was killed and one wounded in the attack. John W. Meixner was shot multiple times in the Harshbarger Building and taken to Banner University Medical Center, where he died, according to the complaint. Another person was also injured and treated at the scene and released.
“This is a very tragic incident. We feel incredibly sorry for the professor’s family, friends and colleagues, and our hearts go out to them,” said UA Police Department Chief P. Balafas said in a statement.
Dervish, a former graduate student, was recognized before the shooting when someone called 911 to report his presence in the building. Dervish was banned from campus after he was fired in February for alleged threatening behavior, the complaint said. Dervish was also the subject of an unrelated protective order prohibiting him from possessing a firearm.
While officers were on their way to respond to the 911 call, dispatch received another call about a shooting. Soon after, Dervish left the building and fled the area in a gold colored van.
Police found Dervish on Highway 85 heading into Mexico about three hours after the shooting. Police used “PIT” to stop his vehicle. Police searched Derwish’s vehicle and found a “9 mm handgun loaded with ammunition consistent with the approximately 11 shell casings found” at the campus scene, the complaint states. “Approximately four 9mm bullets” struck Meixner, according to the complaint.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Dervish was arrested in Gila Bend, about 120 miles from Tucson.
Dervish said in the complaint, “I hope he’s okay; Maybe wishful thinking”, “I felt disrespected by that whole department.” He said he was thinking of shooting himself.
All in-person classes were canceled Wednesday after the shooting, and all non-essential faculty, staff and students were asked to leave campus.
After the shooting, the UMC banner was locked down for an hour.
He received his PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona in 1999.
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