- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas | A man wearing a ski mask opened fire with an AK-47 inside a University of Texas library Tuesday morning, then fatally shot himself, police said.

Police ended their search for a second suspect early in the afternoon, identifying the gunman as Colton Tooley, 19, a student at the university who they said acted alone. No other injuries were reported.

The nearly 50,000-student campus — whose clock tower was the site of one of the nation’s deadliest shooting rampages four decades ago — had been on lockdown while officers with bomb-sniffing dogs carried out a building-by-building manhunt.

Campus police spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said the shooter fired an automatic weapon on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castaneda Library, then shot himself. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the weapon was an AK-47.

Chief Acevedo said police were investigating what he described as a second crime scene outside the library where shots also were fired.

Campus Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom said officials later ruled out suspicions of a second shooter, explaining that the initial confusion came about because the gunman had fired shots in multiple locations. He said the suspect wore dark clothes and a ski mask.

Randall Wilhite, an adjunct law professor at the university, said he was driving to class when he saw “students start scrambling behind wastebaskets, trees and monuments,” and then a young man carrying an assault rifle sprinting along the street.

“He was running right in front of me … and he shot what I thought were three more shots … not at me. In my direction, but not at me, clearly not at me,” Mr. Wilhite said.

The professor said the gunman had the opportunity to shoot several students and Mr. Wilhite but did not.

The university canceled classes for the day as law enforcement officers patrolled the campus with dogs, searching for suspects and explosives. Police and university officials locked down the campus for several hours and in early afternoon issued an all clear.

Tuesday’s shooting was not the first at the school.

On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman went to the 28th-floor observation deck at the UT clock tower in the middle of campus and began shooting at people below. He killed 16 people and wounded nearly three dozen before police killed him about 90 minutes after the siege began.

The Perry-Castaneda Library is one of several on the campus and is one of the busiest undergraduate libraries.



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