3 shot at Arizona college
Update to National Story:
Three people were wounded, two critically, when a gunman targeted a man he had been fighting with in a computer lab at South Mountain Community College late Thursday afternoon, police said.Pharmacy student Otisha Williams, 22, was shot in the stomach. A second victim, Isaac Smith, suffered a leg wound, fire authorities said. The third victim, Christopher Taylor, 17, was also shot in the leg. He is expected to be released from the hospital on Friday."Two of them are in critical condition," said Capt. Victor Rangel.The school was immediately locked down.
Police said they arrested Rodney Smith, 22, a short time later at 2300 E. Grove, a few miles from the college campus. Smith's father was also taken into custody, police said.Officers said Smith's father made threatening gestures to the witnesses police brought to the arrest scene.Officers said they believe the shooting was gang-related. Police said the gunman had targeted one of the victims, and the other two victims got caught in the crossfire. The computer lab is open to the general public. "The suspect and one of the victims had a long-standing dispute," said Reuben Gonzales of the Phoenix Police Department. "This was not a random shooting or gunman running wild on the campus," said Sgt. Andy Hill.A close friend of Smith's family said he believes Smith was trying to defend himself when gunfire erupted.
"He wasn't targeting anyone," said Austin Joshlin, the man's friend. The wounded woman called her father moments after she was shot just after 4 p.m. MST. "She called me on her cell phone," said Otis Williams, the father of the pharmacy student. "She told me she had been shot."
Williams said he did not believe his daughter had any enemies. A witness, Toland Black, said he saw two men scuffling in the hallway. "I ducked down," Black said. He said 30 to 40 people were in the area at the time of the shooting.
"He probably had the gun under his shirt and then got upset once the fight was over. "Black said one of the people behind him was hit. "At first people were turned around reacting and then people started dropping to the floor when they heard screams," he said. "I was about 10 feet away from them," said Yessenia Laura, a student.
After opening fire, the man ran out of the building, witnesses said. SWAT teams quickly set up a perimeter. An electronic sign in front of the school said all classes were canceled Thursday. The college enrolls more than 8,000 students each year. Its student body is made up mainly of people seeking associate degrees and certificates of completion. School officials said classes will resume on Monday with grief counselors on hand.