A professor at Delta State University was killed Monday morning after being shot in an office on campus.
The Mississippi university was on lockdown as of 10:45 this morning; by midafternoon, classes were canceled, and students were told to stay inside and away from windows. Authorities say the gunman is still at large; law enforcement was seen in the air over campus shortly after the shooting took place. The public schools in Cleveland, Mississippi — where the campus is located — were also put on lockdown. Shortly after 3 p.m., administrators worked to move stranded professors, staffers, and students to the athletic complex, where they would have access to food and water.
The victim, Ethan Schmidt, was an assistant history professor at the university, which has a student body of about 4,000. He specialized in Native American and colonial history. He told the American History Association two years ago that he loved history because it allows us to “grapple with the very core of what it is that makes us human. Our triumphs, our tragedies, our flaws, and our strengths are all laid bare by the scholarly study of history and without this kind of inquiry there is little hope for mankind I think.”
The police are currently investigating whether a homicide earlier in the day — a woman was reportedly shot in Gautier, Mississippi, 300 miles away — may be linked to the campus shooting. According to the Clarion-Ledger, police are searching for suspect Shannon Lamb, a 45-year-old geography professor at Delta State University, for the Gautier murder.