- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A dispute over rent led to the deaths of two Bethune-Cookman University students, authorities said.

A third roommate also was critically injured in Thursday’s shooting, and police said a fourth student escaped injury by jumping out a window after struggling with the alleged gunman.

Police Chief Mike Chitwood said 27-year-old York Bodden had been the victims’ roommates, but they wanted him to leave and offered to refund him $200. Bodden argued with them, left the apartment, then returned with a gun, he said.

Bodden was arrested Friday in North Miami, said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Bodden faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault. It wasn’t known Saturday whether he had an attorney. Chitwood said Bodden was being held at the North Miami Police Department.

There have been several Bethune-Cookman students wounded in shootings on and off campus in the last seven months, but Thursday’s victims were the first fatalities. Diona McDonald and Timesha Carswell were both music majors at the school.

McDonald, Carswell and Micah Parham, a former Bethune-Cookman student, were Bodden’s roommates, and they had just moved into the two-bedroom unit a week ago. Chitwood said they asked another friend to help them confront Bodden.

Bodden shot the two women in the head, then shot at Parham several times, striking him in the face and shoulder, Chitwood said.

“He basically assassinated the young ladies, shooting them at point blank range,” Chitwood said.

The fourth friend was not injured and has spoken with investigators.

Carswell and Parham are both from Inkster, Michigan. McDonald’s father also lives in Michigan.

University officials have offered grief counseling, and a private vigil was held on campus Friday afternoon.

“This is a very unfortunate incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones and fellow classmates of these students,” university spokeswoman Keisha Boyd said in a statement.

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