Pennsylvania College Student Shot to Death After Standoff

A Seton Hill University student was fatally shot by police after a standoff at an off-campus apartment early Sunday, authorities said.

Joseph Frederick Briggs, 22, of Dickerson, Md., was shot and killed around 7 a.m. after a three-hour standoff, according to state police. Authorities said he had fired a gun toward the officers, hitting parked cars and a house.

Trooper Jeanne Martin said Greensburg police first received a call around 4 a.m. The caller said Briggs had threatened to harm himself and his roommates at their residence, which is not far from the university.

Officers who responded found three men and a woman who had fled after Briggs threatened them with a gun, according to police. Investigators say Briggs had been out drinking earlier in the evening and was heavily intoxicated.

Briggs used multiple weapons to fire 30 to 40 times during the standoff, and also broke windows and threw objects out, Martin said. Authorities tried unsuccessfully to talk with Briggs and also contacted his friends and family, Martin said.

Several nearby residences were evacuated and campus buildings were locked down. The school sent e-mails and made telephone calls to students on campus, asking them to stay where they were, according to a statement from the university.

The Catholic university, which has about 2,000 students, planned a 7 p.m. Mass at the school chapel to join the community "in praying for the soul of the student and the student's family." Counselors were also being made available.

Greensburg is about 35 miles outside of Pittsburgh.