The man suspected of shooting and killing Professor Ethan Schmidt and the woman he lived with killed himself shortly after vowing he’s “not going to jail.” Professor Shannon S. Lamb, 45, the Geographer and Coordinator Director of the Social Sciences Education Program, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound late Monday, authorities said.
Lamb was being chased by police in his black Dodge Avenger on Highway 1 near Greenville when he pulled the car over, bailed out on foot, and ran into some woods along the side of the road. Delta State University police chief Lynn Buford told the Associated Press that the pursuing officers heard a single gunshot before finding Lamb wounded. The suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Chief Buster Bingham, Cleveland Police Department, said DSU police were contacted Monday morning about a shooting in Jobe Hall, and reports indicate that the shooting occurred in Schmidt’s office. Lamb, the Geographer and Coordinator Director of the Social Sciences Education Program, was identified as a person of interest by law enforcement. His girlfriend was found dead in the town of Gautier, Mississippi, on the morning of September 14 shortly before the shooting at Delta University commenced.
Officials say the motive is not yet totally clear, but it is believed the two victims and the suspect were in a potential love triangle. However, law enforcement officials have contradicted themselves multiple times, including an earlier statement that there was “no information, no evidence” of a “love triangle,” as well as first claiming not to have spoken with Lamb.
Nevertheless, police say they believe that hours before Lamb shot and killed Schmidt, he murdered his domestic partner, 41-year-old Amy Prentiss, at the home the couple shared in Gautier, Miss., which is located approximately 300 miles from Delta State’s campus in Cleveland. Prentiss was described by her ex-husband of 7 years as a “good person.” Shawn O’Steen, who said the two divorced 15 years ago but remained friends, also said he and Prentiss had a daughter, who is now 19. She was reportedly “devastated” and she and her mother were “absolutely best friends.”