Two arrested in US university shooting

2011-02-07 10:03
Washington - Two men were arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after they allegedly fired into a university fraternity party in Ohio, killing one student and wounding 11 others, police said.

The men had been thrown out of the early morning party near the campus of Youngstown State University after a fight, but returned a short time later.

"They just started firing in the open door, into a crowd of 40 or 50 people," Youngstown police chief Jimmy Hughes said. "They were both armed."

University senior Jamail Johnson, aged 25, died when he was shot once in the back of the head and several times in the lower body, Rick Jamrozik, an investigator with the coroner's office, said.

The shooting at on Sunday occurred at an off-campus house where members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity lived.

Hughes would not identify the alleged gunmen, but said they are not university students. He said one of the alleged shooters is 22-years-old and the other is 20, and both live in Youngstown, located 120km southeast of Cleveland.

Both men were charged with aggravated murder, 11 counts of felony assault and 11 counts of shooting into a residence.

Cause of fight unknown

Eight of the wounded had been treated and released from Saint Elizabeth Health Centre in Youngstown, hospital spokesperson Tina Creighton said.

Three were still in the facility's care, though she could not confirm their identities or their current conditions.

The police chief said an FBI violent crime task force based in Cleveland was called in to lead the hunt for the suspects, one of whom turned himself in. The other suspect was arrested without incident at a relative's house in Youngstown.

The cause of the fight was not immediately known, Hughes said, adding that the suspects were escorted out by several fraternity brothers. He said the semi-automatic pistols used in the shooting have not been recovered.

University police stepped up their presence on campus after the incident, but YSU police chief John Gocala said there was no threat to the school.

"I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family of the student who died in this tragic act of violence, and to ask everyone to keep him and the other students in their thoughts and prayers," YSU president Cynthia Anderson said in a statement.

"It is a sad day for the YSU family."

Anderson visited the hospital earlier to meet with wounded students and their families. Counsellors and clergy offered their services to students and others seeking to cope with the incident.

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