A pair of deadly college shootings in Texas and Arizona took place Friday, coming on the day President Barack Obama was set to meet with families of victims killed and injured in last week’s shooting at a community college in southwestern Oregon.
Just before noon local time on Friday, officials at Texas Southern University said two people were shot at a student housing complex, prompting the school to be put on lockdown and classes to be canceled. Later Friday, Houston Police said the incident no longer involved an active shooter. One person was killed and another wounded.
University spokesman Kendrick Callis said the shooting was reported around 11:30 a.m. at University Courtyard Apartments on the edge of the Houston campus, which has about 9,700 students.
The Friday afternoon shooting took place at the same apartment complex where another shooting happened early in the morning on Thursday. The victim in that incident was treated and released, according to local media reports.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident across the country on Friday morning, authorities said a confrontation between two groups of students escalated into gunfire when a freshman at Northern Arizona University killed one person and wounded three others.
University police chief Gregory T. Fowler identified the shooter as 18-year-old Steven Jones and said he used a handgun in the shootings at about 1:20 a.m. Friday. Police were still interviewing Jones and he had not been booked into jail Friday morning.
The university in a statement identified the student who died as Colin Brough. The victims being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center are Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring. The hospital said it couldn't release any information on conditions.
"This is not going to be a normal day at NAU," said school President Rita Cheng. "Our hearts are heavy."
Cheng called the shooting an isolated and unprecedented incident and said classes would go on as scheduled Friday.
The incidents come just over one week after authorities said 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer shot and killed nine people and wounded 20 others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Oct. 1.
That same day, a visibly weary and angry President Obama offered his thoughts and prayers for the deceased and their loved ones during a press conference at the White House, adding, "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough."
"This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America," he said of mass shootings. "We are collectively answerable to those families that lose their loved ones."
Obama was set to meet those families privately later Friday in Oregon.
Meanwhile, protesters and gun-rights activists gathered outside Roseburg airport to Obama's visit and his call for tighter gun restrictions in the wake of last week's tragedy.
About 200 protesters were milling around outside Roseburg airport Friday, some carrying placards saying Obama was not welcome and "Obama Go Home." At least one person was wearing a sidearm.
Al Jazeera and wire services