Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Mary Todd Christian.
Described as a “wonderful fellow” and a “star” on the faculty, Dr. Ethan Schmidt was shot dead in his office at Delta State University early Monday [Sept. 14]. The professor taught history at the university, located in Mississippi.
Police scoured the campus as it went into lockdown to apprehend Shannon Lamb, the alleged shooter, who had drawn more attention after it was discovered that he had also shot the woman whom he was living with. During a day long manhunt, Lamb spoke with police, telling them he wasn’t going to go to jail, and in sticking true to his word Lamb shot himself in the head, ending the pursuit.
The 45-year-old became the primary suspect in the two fatal shootings, which consisted of Schmidt, and Amy Prentiss, whose body was found in a home in Gautier, roughly 300 miles away from Delta State. Lamb taught geography at the university, according to their website, and was a colleague of Schmidt where both of them taught in the same division and were familiar with each other. Delta State University President William LaForge called the incident a “random act between two individuals.” He also added that Lamb had sought a medical leave and a “reduced load.”
So far, no motive has been deduced from the shooting that has left the university in a wake of shock.
“We don’t know. We aren’t going to speculate,” Cleveland Police Chief Charles Bingham told reporters. “We’re going to deal with facts and facts only.”
A vigil will be held on Tuesday [Sept. 15] to remember Schmidt, as Delta State’s 3,500 students will come together as one to honor the late professor.