Delta State University mourns after fatal campus shooting

539aeae4648ad285f29f74fdca0bc5a1(AP) More than 70 students, faculty and staff are attending counseling sessions Tuesday at Delta State University a day after one of the school’s educators was accused of fatally shooting a colleague on campus.

Dr. Richard Houston, the university’s director of counseling, said Tuesday that three large counseling sessions will be offered.

A Delta State University student who attended one of the counseling sessions says he thinks some students may not return after the fatal shooting.

Sophomore Robert Holcomb said Tuesday that attending the counseling session was a chance to talk and share experiences about the campus shooting Monday. The 32-year-old international business major from Seattle says some people are having a harder time than others.

President William LaForge says the university is encouraging students to return to campus after officials say geography instructor Shannon Lamb shot history professor Ethan Schmidt in Schmidt’s on-campus office. Lamb is also accused of killing his girlfriend Amy Prentiss at their home 300 miles away in Gautier. He killed himself as police closed in on him.

Police have not released a motive for either killing.

Delta State had planned to celebrate its 90th anniversary Tuesday — some of the festivities were even supposed to be in Jobe Hall where the shooting happened — but LaForge says that event will be rescheduled.

LaForge says he didn’t know of any conflict between Lamb and Schmidt but “obviously there was something in Mr. Lamb’s mind.”

A vigil was planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday and the university plans to resume classes Wednesday.

Lamb is being described by a longtime friend as smart, charismatic and funny.

Carla Hairston told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she and Lamb grew up in the small city of Greenville, Mississippi.

Hairston remembered meeting Lamb through a mutual friend when she was 15 and he was 20. She said she and her friends were in high school, and he was the cool older guy who tried for several years to teach her to play guitar.

She says he was quite the heartthrob back then and all the girls would melt when he was around.

Hairston says when she wanted to be a rebellious teen and stay out late, Lamb made sure she and her friends went home by curfew. She said he was whip smart and would often quote song lyrics in conversation.