Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shootings at South Mountain Community College

Kat saw multiple police cars on her way home and now we hear a bunch of helicopter action nearby, and it appears there has been a shooting incident at South Mountain Community College, with three victims and a suspect in custody.

UPDATE (5:08 p.m.): The shooting apparently took place at the campus Technology Center around 4 p.m., and the campus was quickly locked down, but the suspect had already left. The suspect was arrested at around 23rd Ave. and Grove, near his home. The news is reporting four victims admitted to the Maricopa Medical Center, two men aged 17 and 19, one 20-year-old woman, and one possible additional victim not confirmed. At least one male victim was aware and speaking as he was admitted, and the woman spoke with her father, Otis Williams, by cell phone after she was shot.

One news report claims the suspect was known on campus, and that was apparently why he was quickly apprehended.

Students are now being permitted to leave campus. Classes for the rest of today and tomorrow are cancelled.

UPDATE (5:22 p.m.): Apparently the suspect, a black male driving a white truck, drove home where his father persuaded himself to give himself up to police, which he did. Police and fire department officials were on site at the campus within about five minutes after the first reports of a shooting (both police and fire stations are quite close by).

UPDATE (6:04 p.m.): The ages of victims have been changed--the woman, a pharmacy student, from 22 to 20, and the 25-year-old male to 19. The 17-year-old has been identified as Christopher Taylor, by his brother Jay. A student reports that the shooter was one of two men who had been fighting in the computer center. The 19-year-old victim is reported in critical condition, while the other two victims are in stable condition. (Yet CNN reports that the woman was shot in the abdomen while the other two victims were shot in the leg. It describes the males as aged 17 and 25.)

The alleged fourth victim apparently didn't exist, and was incorrectly reported by one of the news reporters on the basis of watching people being brought in to the hospital. Or perhaps there was a 25-year-old shot in the leg and a 19-year-old who received more serious injuries?

UPDATE (8:24 p.m.): CBS News 5 reports that there was a long-running dispute between the shooter and one of the victims, and police say that the shooting was gang-related.

UPDATE (July 25, 2008): The shooter has been identified as 22-year-old Rodney Smith, a former SCC student and known as a regular at the computer lab, who came to campus to pick a fight with 19-year-old Isaac Deshay Smith, who was shot in the leg and was still in critical condition last night. The other two victims caught in the crossfire were 20-year-old Charee Williams, who was shot in the hip, and 17-year-old Christopher Lee Taylor, who was also shot in the leg. Five family members and friends of Rodney Smith were also taken into custody last night for interfering with the investigation and disobeying police officers. The most recent report does not mention gangs, but only a long-standing feud between the two Smiths.

UPDATE (July 26, 2008): Rodney Smith has apologized to his "innocent victims" in court, and it has been reported that Isaac Deshay Smith and two others were involved in a fight last year in which Rodney Smith was punched and kicked while lying on the ground and his jaw broken in two places.


Matthew Self said...

Hey Jim, how closer are you to the school? What's the scene like there?

Jim Lippard said...

I'm about a mile away. 24th St. was completely shut down from Baseline to Southern. There are still helicopters above the school, so I suspect you can get a good picture of the area from channels 12 or 15.

Jim Lippard said...

Matthew: I checked out your blogs--your Dave Barry-like book idea sounds like a good one. Are you familiar with the Wittenburg Door?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Am I sure glad I don't go to school anymore. I'm also glad I didn't go to college either.

Einzige said...

You're glad you didn't go to college because it saved you from exposure to the exceedingly rare chance of getting shot on campus?

I hope you're joking.

Ganesh said...

OH, I am afraid ,Iam remembering my college days ,thank god I passed that stage .