MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southern Arkansas University Magnolia has released a statement on the fatal shooting early Tuesday morning on campus that took the life of one student and left another wounded.
It happened in the parking lot of the Donald W. Reynolds Campus Community Center around 12:30 a.m.
In what the statement describes as a tragic, isolated incident, the university says “the individuals involved in the incident included students who live off-campus as well as other individuals not believed to be associated with the Institution. This incident was not random, and at no time were other students, faculty, or staff endangered.”
Campus police said three students who live off-campus came onto campus and met individuals not believed to be associated with the institution in the parking lot. After a brief encounter, shots were fired.
The university identified the fatal shooting victim as SAU engineering student Joshua Keshun Smith from Sparkman, Arkansas. The other student who was shot and wounded was taken by ambulance to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center and is said to be stable.
“The university Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh’s family as we mourn the loss of his life, and we pray for our other students involved in this devastating event,” said the SAU statement.
The deadly shooting happened just as classes for the Fall semester were set to begin.
A message early Tuesday morning university’s Facebook page first confirmed the shooting, asked for prayers for the families involved, and offered assurance that the campus had been secured. It also noted that classes would continue as scheduled.
At this time, the University Police Department has secured the scene. The incident is under investigation, but we know one student was killed and another injured. We ask for your prayers for the families involved, and for our entire campus community.
All necessary steps have been taken to secure the campus.SAU Magnolia statement
“The safety of our campus family is always our primary concern,” SAU said, noting that counseling services are available through the SAU Counseling Center for SAU students, faculty, and staff by contacting 870-235-4911.
“We appreciate the work of law enforcement officials who were able to quickly determine that this isolated act poses no broader threat to our campus community.”
Arkansas State Police investigators are on the scene assisting the University Police Department and the Magnolia Police Department with the ongoing investigation. Anyone who believes they have additional information about this incident is urged to contact University Police at 870-235-4100.