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Shooting Suspect Turns Self In To Media, Not Police

Shooting Suspect Turns Self In To Media, Not Police

Lockdown: A man is arrested after he walked up to reporters and told them he was the person police wanted [AP]

The Daily Mail via YellowBrix

April 07, 2011

LEE COUNTY, AL – Reporters and photographers on the scene of a deadly college shooting in Alabama unwittingly became part of the story – when a man walked up to them and calmly said he ‘did all this’.

The shootings in the car park of Southern Union Community College in Opelika killed a 63-year-old woman, wounded two other women, aged 36 and 94, and injured a four-year-old who was hit by flying glass.

Around three hours after police officers had examined the scene and left the campus, a man driving a white Jeep – with the same licence plate as the suspect’s – pulled into the blood-stained lot.

Todd Van Emst, a photographer, said the man asked to use his mobile phone.

The man then pointed to the car park and told Mr Van Ernst that he ‘did all this’. Mr Van Ernst said: ‘I asked, ’’Are you the shooter?‘’ He said, ’Yes."’

Journalists at the scene called the police who arrived to arrest the man.

Thomas Franklin May, 34, was charged with capital murder and attempted murder and is being held without bail, said Police Chief Tommy Mangham.

He said the shooting was related to a domestic matter and was pre-planned.

Chief Mangham said: ‘We really don’t know what’s in a person’s mind when they do something like this.’

One of the wounded women was Bethany L May, the alleged shooter’s estranged wife, Chief Mangham said.

Authorities wouldn’t release any more information on the victims or their medical conditions. However it was revealed that one victim was a student at the community college and that some of the victims were related.

Court records revealed Mrs May filed a request against her husband last week seeking protection from abuse, but the details were unavailable.


Police take a suspect into custody at a college in Opelika, Alabama after he told reporters on the scene of the fatal shooting that 'he did all this' [AP]

A judge in Lee County issued a temporary order against Mr May and scheduled a hearing for May 11.

The records don’t indicate whether Mr May was aware that the motion had been filed against him.

His wife had been sitting in a Toyota minivan in the college car park when the shooting took place. Three windows were shot out of the vehicle and blood stains covered the pavement.

Quay Thomas, a student at the college, said he heard nine gun shots.

‘It was terrifying,’ said the 17-year-old.

The school closed the campus for the day after the shootings. Southern Union has about 5,000 students and is located 60 miles east of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama.

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