Student Shot at University of Arkansas-Little Rock; Suspects on the Loose

A student was shot on a sidewalk at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Wednesday in what police described as an isolated incident.

Authorities did not know the student's condition Wednesday evening, but said two suspects fled the campus and people at the school were not believed to be at risk. Even so, Wednesday night classes were canceled.

Within 20 minutes of the first report of the afternoon shooting near University Theater, the school sent students and employees telephone and e-mail messages telling them what happened, describing the suspects' vehicle and warning people to avoid the theater area.

About an hour after the first message, the school sent another, saying the suspects had left the area and the victim was being treated at a hospital.

"Current state, the campus is safe and secure with all operations back to normal," the message said.

University spokeswoman Joan Duffy said the victim was accosted by two other men before being shot. After James Earl Matthews, 33, was shot, he staggered to his car, where ambulance attendants reached him and administered emergency aid before taking him to a hospital, Duffy said.

Two suspects fled the 12,000-student campus immediately, university Police Chief Brad King said.

Officers did not offer a motive, but King said that "everything we know now would suggest" the shooting was an isolated incident.

"It's just alarming when someone gets shot on campus near where I walk a couple of times a week," said Paula Keith, a 35-year-old nursing student who only heard about the shooting after arriving to school.

Class were scheduled to resume Thursday.