Suspect in fatal University of Arizona shooting has long history of violence

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 9:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A judge has ordered 46-year-old Murad Dervish held without bond is the killing of a University of Arizona professor on Wednesday.

Police say Dervish killed Dr. Thomas Meixner, the head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, where Dervish had studied and been expelled.

In a short four minute court appearance last night, Dervish was charged with first degree murder and assault.

The assault for second person who was injured in the shooting, hit by bullet fragments, was treated and released, but told police Dervish was the shooter.

Dervish has a history of violence behavior going back to a domestic violence case in San Diego 11 years ago, as well as a stalking and harassment case the same year filed by a female student at San Diego State University, where he was teaching.

He was charged in a criminal complaint in 2020 also in San Diego but the details in that case have not been reported as yet.

In the interim complaint filed by the police, it said that Dervish shot Meixner four times with a nine millimeter handgun.

There were 11 shell casings found in the office where he was shot. That gun was found in Dervish’s car when he was captured on Highway 85, about 30 miles north of Mexico.

Dervish reportedly told police, “I hope he’s okay, probably wishful thinking.”

He also said according to police who had already read him him Miranda rights, “I just felt so disrespected by that whole department.”

Dervish worked in the hydrology department until he was fired last year. He had continued to threaten other workers in the Harshbarger building, where the shooting took place. He was seen by several students and staff inside the building even though he was prohibited from being there. He was banned from the building and from the university grounds in February.

Dervish had been evicted from the small apartment he lived in just ten days ago for non-payment of rent.