Courtney Warren / The Bolivar Commercial / AP

Suspect in Mississippi professor's death kills himself

Mississippi cops say man wanted for killing Delta State University professor and a woman, shot himself

Police said late Monday night that the suspect in the fatal shootings of a Delta State University professor and the woman the suspect lived with on the Mississippi Gulf Coast 300 miles away, is dead.

Lynn Buford, the police chief of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi told The Associated Press late Monday that police in Greenville, Mississippi were following 45-year-old Shannon Lamb when Lamb pulled over, jumped out of his car, and ran.

Buford says police heard one gunshot and found Lamb with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. They took Lamb to the hospital in Greenville where Buford says he was pronounced dead.

Police say Lamb fatally shot the woman he lived with on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and also fatally shot history professor Ethan Schmidt on the Delta State University campus on Monday. The woman was identified as 41-year-old Amy Prentiss.

Earlier Monday night, Lt. Scott Wilson and another officer whose name was not given, said at a press conference in Gautier, Mississippi that they had spoken with Lamb, who told them "he's not going to jail." 

The university said no students were involved in the morning shooting, which left the Cleveland, Mississippi, campus locked down and on edge for several hours as police searched buildings following reports of active gunfire.

Schmidt was an assistant professor of American history at the 3,500-student school, which is near the Arkansas-Mississippi state line. 

Officers in the two cities said they had not uncovered a motive for either slaying.

Delta State President Bill LaForge said Lamb was teaching two online classes this semester. Lamb received a doctorate in education from Delta State University in the spring of 2015, according to his resume posted on the university's website.

Schmidt earned a doctorate in early American history and Native American history from the University of Kansas and taught for six years at Texas Tech University before joining the faculty at Delta State, according to his school biography. 

“Fortunately for us, our public safety officers and university officials have trained many of us for active shooter situations,” Don Allan Mitchell, an English professor, wrote in a Facebook message to The Associated Press. “Many students are locked down in classrooms, and professors and staff members are telling them the protocol. Plus, we are all texting and Facebooking each other to make sure we are safe.”

He said police helicopters were in the air, and officers were sweeping buildings.

However, another English professor, Bill Hays, said the university did a poor job of communicating with faculty, staff and students about the emergency situation.

“It's really frustrating because there is no campus-wide updating from a central command center. Everything we're getting is just rumors,” Hays said in a phone call from his office in Keithley Hall, across the street from the shooting site.

Wire services

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