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Student, 21, is shot dead and another is injured after gunfire at Southern Arkansas University

A Southern Arkansas University student was killed and another student wounded in a shooting in a campus parking lot early Tuesday morning, the school said.

Joshua Keshun Smith, 21, died in the shooting and the second student, whose name has not been released, is hospitalized in stable condition.

Smith, a senior engineering student, is said to have gone to the parking lot with two other students shortly after midnight where they met a group ‘not associated with the school’.  

The motive for the killing has not been released but police say it was not a random shooting.  

No suspect has been named as of Tuesday evening.  

‘At approximately 12:56 a.m., the University Police Department reported three students who live off-campus came onto campus and met individuals not believed to be associated with the Institution in the parking lot of the Donald W. Reynolds Campus Community Center,’ the university said in a statement posted to Facebook.

‘After a brief encounter, shots were fired,’ in the parking lot of the campus in Magnolia, about 110 miles southeast of Little Rock, it added. 

‘This incident was not random, and at no time were other students, faculty, or staff endangered.’

The campus was immediately locked down just hours before classes were set to resume for the new semester but has since been reopened.  

Smith, from Sparkman, Arkansas, was pronounced dead on the scene while the injured student was taken to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center. 

‘We are deeply saddened by the death of Josh Smith. Our prayers surround his family,’ the university added. 

‘When tragedy happens, we all must come together to reassure our students and campus community of our ongoing commitment to their safety. Now, more than ever, we must find ways to safely comfort one another.’

 ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh’s family as we mourn the loss of his life, and we pray for our other students involved in this devastating event,’ added SAU President Dr. Trey Berry. 

‘The safety of our campus family is always our primary concern.

‘We appreciate the work of law enforcement officials who were able to quickly determine that this isolated act poses no broader threat to our campus community.’ 

No reason was given for why the two groups were meeting and university police did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

The university added that ‘necessary steps have been taken to secure the campus’ and that classes and late registration would continue this week as planned. 

The incident is still under investigation, a police spokesperson told, and further information could not yet be released. 

Anyone who believes they have additional information about this incident is urged to contact University Police at 870-235-4100.” 

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