AUSTIN, Texas — A student wearing a dark suit and a ski mask opened fire Tuesday with an assault rifle on the University of Texas campus before fleeing into a library and fatally shooting himself. No one else was hurt.
The shooting began near a fountain in front of the UT Tower — the site of one of the nation's deadliest shooting rampages more than four decades ago, when a gunman ascended the clock tower and fired down on dozens of people.
Within hours of Tuesday's gunfire, the school issued an all-clear notice, but the university remained closed, and the area around the library still was considered a crime scene.
"Our campus is safe," school president Bill Powers said.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo expected the school to be "completely open and back to normal" by this morning.
Authorities identified the gunman as 19-year-old Colton Tooley, a sophomore math major. Police declined to speculate on his motive.
Tooley's parents did not immediately respond to a message left by the Associated Press. A man who said he was a relative of the family and would identify himself only as Marcus came out of their home late Tuesday and said Tooley's parents were distraught over losing their child.
"I want you to understand how he lived. He was a very smart guy, very intelligent, excellent student. He wouldn't or couldn't hurt a fly," he said, reading from a prepared statement. "This is a great shock to me and my family. There was nothing prior to this day, nothing that would lead any of us to believe this could take place."
Tooley's high school principal in Austin described him as an excellent student who excelled in every subject.
"All of us in the Crockett High School community are shocked and saddened by today's tragedy at the University of Texas," said principal Craig Shapiro. Shapiro's prepared statement said Tooley, a 2009 graduate, was remembered by teachers as being "brilliant," "meticulous," and "respectful."