Police records reveal chaos of fatal Arizona campus shooting

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015 10:55 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A college freshman who pleaded not guilty in a fatal shooting on the Northern Arizona University campus did not put up a fight when officers found him at the scene, according to police reports released Wednesday.

An officer describes seeing Steven Jones, whose mouth was bloodied, and ordering him to raise his hands. Jones initially spoke, but the officer said he found it difficult to hear him because of the ensuing chaos and sirens blaring.

Police detained Jones within two minutes of reports of a shooting at the Flagstaff campus on Oct. 9. He pleaded not guilty this week to charges of first-degree murder in and six counts of aggravated assault. Colin Brough died, and three of his fellow fraternity brothers — Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring — were injured in the shooting.

Police records, including reports, body-camera footage and radio traffic, reveal details of the aftermath of the shooting. Much of the interviews with witnesses are redacted in the videos released following a public records request by The Associated Press and other media.

Police said the redactions were to protect privacy interests of the victims, their families and witnesses. Police also said they consulted with the Coconino County Attorney's Office and redacted other information that is part of the ongoing investigation.

According to the reports, people were "running around screaming and crying" when officers arrived. Some were administering first-aid to those who were shot and calling out for ambulances.

Some students were handcuffed in a parking lot adjacent to a dormitory that houses many sorority and fraternity members as police sorted out the crime scene. Police swept through the dorm after being told of a possible second shooting suspect but did not find anyone.

Meanwhile, Jones sat in the back of a police car crying at times. An officer had earlier handcuffed Jones and placed him in the locked vehicle. The officer later checked on him and noticed he had a split lip. Jones said he had been hit "pretty hard" in the back of the head, according to a police report.

Jones told police he shot the group of students only after they hit him in the face and chased him, according to court documents. Prosecutors say his account was self-serving and allege Jones was the aggressor.

Police have not said how the fight started or whether alcohol was a contributing factor.

A number of witnesses said large parties are common in the area. They told police they were awoken by the sound of gunshots and screams by someone yelling out for Brough.

Officers serving a search warrant on Jones' car seized several items including a backpack with three loaded Glock magazines. Detectives also took a knife holster, a laptop, a notebook and binder with letters inside. Prosecutors said Jones used a .40-caliber handgun with a light affixed to it to carry out the shooting.

Jones remains jailed on a $2 million bond. His next court hearing is Nov. 24.

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Associated Press reporter Terry Tang in Phoenix contributed to this report