Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET
Police in Cleveland, Miss., have identified a “person of interest” in a shooting at Delta State University on Monday, which forced the school into lockdown and left a history professor dead.
Speaking at a news conference, Cleveland Police Chief Charles Bingham named Shannon Lamb, an employee at Delta State, in connection with an investigation. According to the university’s website, Lamb is an instructor of geography and social science education.
The victim, identified as Ethan Schmidt, was found in his dead in his office when authorities arrived on the scene, according to Bingham.
“At this time we don’t think [Lamb is] on campus, but we’re not taking anything lightly,” Bingham said.
“We’re at the process stage now. We went into lockdown. We made sure that the students, faculty, staff and administration were safe,” he said. “And at this time we are methodically going building to building to get the students out and let them leave and go home safely.”
Bingham said no students were injured. He did not provide any details on how the person of interest and the victim might be connected. However, Bingham did say that police had some information that Lamb could be linked to another homicide in Gautier, Miss, some 300 miles south of Cleveland.
Bolivar County Deputy Coroner Murray Roark tells NPR that Schmidt was shot in the head.
The campus remains in lockdown and there are hundreds of officers from around the state, according to the university’s Twitter feed. Classes are canceled the rest of the day and tonight.
Earlier in the day the school issued emergency alerts that people should take shelter and stay away from windows.
As Paul Boger of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports:
“Shortly before 11 a.m., campus officials issued an alert saying an active shooter was seen in the vicinity of the school’s history department.
“Rolando Herts is a professor whose office is located across the street from where the shooting took place.
” ‘I think everyone is reflective right now, thinking how can this happen here? We’re in shock. This is not the place, Cleveland, Mississippi, Delta State University, where you would think something like this could happen.’ ”
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Gov. Phil Bryant “was in communication with [University] President LaForge and with Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz. The governor has offered the full support and assistance of DPS, including the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Mississippi Highway Patrol,’ a police spokeswoman was quoted by The Clarion-Ledger as saying.
Delta State is a four-year, public university with an enrollment of more than 4,000 students, according to its website. The city of Cleveland is located near the Arkansas-Mississippi line, about 125 miles north of Jackson, Miss.