British detectives on Thursday were questioning a man on suspicion of killing an Oxford University professor.

Steven Gregory Rawlings, who taught physics at the university's St. Peter's College, was found dead in a house in Southmoor, near Oxford, on Wednesday night. The 50-year-old Rawlings was declared dead at the scene after paramedics responded to a report that a man had been injured.

Police said Thursday they arrested a 49-year-old man, who remained in custody for questioning. They said they believed that the suspect knew Rawlings, who they said was clearly well-respected and liked within the college.

Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor of Oxford University, said the entire university community was "profoundly saddened and shocked" by the death.

St. Peter's College described Rawlings as a "much liked and admired tutor and colleague." From 2006 to 2010, he headed the sub-department of astrophysics at the university, the college said in a statement.

A post-mortem examination was being carried out Thursday.