Arizona campus shooter indicted for first-degree murder, assault

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2015 8:05 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A grand jury has indicted a Northern Arizona University freshman on a first-degree murder charge for killing one student and wounding three others in an on-campus shooting, according to court documents released on Friday.

Steven Edward Jones, 18, also faces six counts of aggravated assault for the Oct. 9 shooting at the state university in Flagstaff, Arizona, under the indictment handed up on Thursday in Coconino County Superior Court.

Jones, who remains in jail on a $2 million bond, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Monday, court papers showed.

He was previously charged with second-degree murder, but county prosecutors were able to get the grand jury to agree to a stiffer charge for the murder of 20-year-old Colin Brough.

The first-degree murder charge means that Jones acted "intending or knowing that his conduct would cause death" and that the killing was premeditated, the indictment said.

Police said Jones opened fire with a handgun outside a residence hall early that Friday morning, killing Brough, and wounding Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring.

Jones remained at the scene and was arrested by police. No guns are allowed to be carried on the campus of the roughly 20,000-student school located about 140 miles (225 km) north of Phoenix.

Burges McCowan, Jones' attorney, declined comment on Friday.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)