Thursday, July 24, 2008

3 injured in Phoenix college shooting

PHOENIX - A man shot three people Thursday in a computer room at a Phoenix community college, injuring two of them critically, authorities said. The gunman fled but a suspect was arrested nearby.

A witness said the shooter had been fighting with another man in a computer building at South Mountain Community College. The gunman seemed to be directing his shots and not firing randomly, said student Yessenia Lara, 18.

"I saw someone get punched and then I heard three shots after that. Everybody basically ducked, and the shooter got away," Lara said, adding that the victims were yelling in pain.

The suspect was arrested at a home about three to four miles away, Phoenix police spokesman Ruben Gonzales said. He had no details on the shootings or the arrest.

The suspect's identity wasn't released.

A 25-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were in critical condition, while a 17-year-old boy was in stable condition, said Mark Faulkner, a division chief for the Phoenix Fire Department. No other information on their injuries was available.

The victims were taken to a county hospital, Faulkner said.

College spokesman Robert Pryce said the school was in lockdown for about an hour.

An electronic sign outside the school said all classes were canceled Thursday, and students could be seen leaving the campus calmly after the lockdown. Pryce said the campus would be closed on Friday, which is typical during the summer.

Situated at the base of Phoenix's South Mountain, the college has more than 8,000 students. Most students are seeking associate degrees and certificates of completion.