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Meixner Arizona 633f1fa88b484

Professor at University of Arizona shot to death on campus

Oct. 6, 2022
Thomas Meixner, head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, was killed, allegedly by a former student.

A former student is accused of fatally shooting a professor inside a building at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the shooting took place shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday inside the John W. Harshbarger Building. The victim has been identified as Thomas Meixner, professor and head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.

"This incident is a deep shock to our community, and it is a tragedy," University President Robert C. Robbins said. "I have no words that can undo it, but I grieve with you for the loss, and I am pained especially for Tom’s family members, colleagues and students."

University Police Chief Paula Balafas identified the suspect as Murad Dervish, 46. He was arrested a few hours after the shooting.

Balafas said that just after 2 p.m. police received a call from someone inside the building that a former student was there and that the ex-student was not allowed inside the building. Before officers arrived, another caller reported a shooting inside the building.

A faculty member who was in the building at the time said he heard seven to 10 gunshots. Police later said a handgun was used in the shooting.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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