Stu­dent opens fire, then kills him­self

No other in­juries are re­ported in the in­ci­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas.

Los Angeles Times - - The Nation - Richard Faus­set re­port­ing from at­lanta Ni­cole Santa Cruz re­port­ing from los an­ge­les richard.faus­set@latimes.com ni­cole.san­tacruz@latimes.com

A stu­dent dis­guised with a ski mask and armed with an AK-47 as­sault ri­fle ter­ror­ized the Uni­ver­sity of Texas at Austin on Tues­day, fir­ing a num­ber of shots on cam­pus be­fore killing him­self on the sixth floor of the main li­brary, au­thor­i­ties said.

No other in­juries were re­ported, but the event shook the sprawl­ing cam­pus, which was the site of one of the most no­to­ri­ous school shoot­ings in Amer­i­can his­tory. In 1966, trou­bled stu­dent Charles Whitman shot and killed 14 peo­ple and in­jured more than 30 from the ob­ser­va­tion deck of the uni­ver­sity’s iconic tower.

Of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied Tues­day’s shooter as Colton Too­ley, 19, of Austin. He was found on the sixth floor of the main Perry-Cas­taneda Li­brary with self-in­flicted gun­shot wounds, uni­ver­sity and law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said.

The mo­tive is un­known, of­fi­cials said.

Af­ter the shoot­ing, lo­cal me­dia re­ported that de­tec­tives were search­ing what ap­peared to be the home of Too­ley’s par­ents in south Austin.

Fresh­man An­drew McWaters was one of nu­mer­ous stu­dents on the street when he heard gun­shots about 8:10 a.m. Tues­day in front of the Lit­tle­field Foun­tain, a war me­mo­rial near the cen­ter of cam­pus.

McWaters first thought the noise was a cam­pus demon­stra­tion, but soon re­al­ized he was in dan­ger and ducked into a nearby au­di­to­rium.

“I was run­ning for my life,” he said. “I was so ner­vous.”

McWaters said he saw the shooter wave and smile through his mask.

Po­lice ini­tially searched for a sec­ond sus­pect based on wit­nesses’ de­scrip­tions but later de­clared that the stu­dent had acted alone.

Law pro­fes­sor Randall Wil­hite told CNN that he saw the shooter in a dark suit, tie and mask fire three times into the ground while run­ning.

Wil­hite saw stu­dents scat­ter, run and hide be­hind trees. But, he said, the masked man did not pur­sue them.

“It ap­peared to me he was not in­clined to shoot any­one,” Wil­hite said.

Even­tu­ally, uni­ver­sity and Austin po­lice of­fi­cers be­gan chas­ing the sus­pect. As he bounded up the li­brary’s in­te­rior stair­way, stu­dents showed of­fi­cers where he had headed, ac­cord­ing to Robin Ger­row, a uni­ver­sity spokes­woman.

The cam­pus was locked down for hours and classes were can­celed for the day.

An­drew Tor­rey

ON ALERT: Po­lice es­cort a stu­dent to safety across from the Perry-Cas­taneda Li­brary on the Austin, Texas, cam­pus, where the gun­man, who had worn a ski mask and wielded an AK-47, was found dead, of­fi­cials said.

Eric Gay

CAM­PUS TEN­SION: Stu­dents walk un­der crime-scene tape. “I was run­ning for my life,” said a fresh­man who had ducked into an au­di­to­rium. “I was so ner­vous.”

Ralph Bar­rera

EV­I­DENCE: An Austin po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor pho­to­graphs a shell cas­ing on cam­pus. The gun­man was iden­ti­fied as 19-year-old Colton Too­ley of Austin.

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