Who Was Ethan Schmidt, The Delta State University Professor Killed In The School Shooting?


On Monday, a professor at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi was killed in his office, and the campus remained on lockdown while the shooter was at large. Bolivar County Deputy Coroner Murray Roark told CNN that the victim has been identified as Ethan Schmidt, a history professor. The campus-wide lockdown began at 10:45 a.m. local time, and the university advised students and faculty to stay inside and away from windows. The university tweeted just after noon on Monday: "Delta State University has confirmed one fatality. Campus remains under lockdown. Please stay inside and away from windows."

Campus police, city police, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Bolivar County Sheriff's Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were working together to find the shooter. Nicole Webb, a spokesperson for Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, told The Clarion-Ledger: "Governor Bryant is in communication with President LaForge and with Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz. The governor has offered the full support and assistance of DPS, including the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Mississippi Highway Patrol."

School has been in session for about a month at the 3,500-student university near the Arkansas-Mississippi border.

Schmidt, in his mid-50s, taught undergraduate courses in U.S. history, as well as graduate courses in U.S. history and historiography, according to his Delta State biography. He specialized in Native American and colonial history, with an emphasis on the relationships between indigenous peoples and European colonists. Before working at Delta State, Schmidt taught for six years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and an award for innovative teaching. He completed his Ph.D. in early American history and Native American history at the University of Kansas in 2007.

His first book, The Divided Dominion: Social Conflict and Indian Hatred in Early Virginia, was published in 2014. Schmidt said in a Delta State article promoting his book: "This topic is important because to date, there has not been a comprehensive scholarly account of the Native American experience in the Revolutionary era." According to his university faculty profile, he had a second book in contract with Greenwood Praeger / ABC-CLIO publishing.

From Kansas, Schmidt was married with children. Don Allan Mitchell, an English professor at Delta State, told AP: "Dr. Ethan Schmidt was a terrific family man, a good friend, a true son of Peabody, Kansas, and his beloved Emporia State University."

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