Prof suspect in shooting
The manhunt for a University of Georgia professor suspected of shooting three people to death in Athens on Saturday continues with assistance from federal authorities.
Marie Bruce, Tom Tanner and Ben Teague were standing outside the Athens Community Theater at a meeting of the Town & Gown Players, a local theater group, when they were killed. All three victims were members of the theater group.
Early reports indicated that Bruce was divorced from UGA marketing professor George Zinkhan, 57, but Maj. Mike Shockley of the Athens-Clarke County Police department said the two were married at the time of the shooting.
Police said that Bruce and Zinkhan were involved in an argument when Zinkhan walked away and returned with two handguns, according to the Associated Press.
Capt. Clarence Holeman told AP that Zinkhan’s two children were in his car when the shooting occurred, Zinkhan then dropped his children off with a neighbor in Bogart.
Robert Covington, the neighbor who took in Zinkhan’s children, told AP that Zinkhan said he needed to drop them off because of an emergency. Covington was the last person to report seeing Zinkhan.
Georgia and federal authorities are monitoring airports and working with law enforcement in Austin, where Zinkhan has family.
Zinkhan was a former UH professor at C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he taught in the Marketing Department from 1981 to 1994. Zinkhan left UH to teach at UGA.
Zinkhan’s former UH colleagues were unavailable for any personal statements, but Chester Jacinto, executive director of communication and marketing for the Bauer College, released a statement about the shooting.
‘We are shocked and saddened and feel horrible for the victims of the families,’ Jacinto said.
While its faculty expressed regret for the incident, the Bauer College also distanced itself from Zinkhan.
‘ ‘The suspect of the investigation has not been a member of our faculty for 15 years,’ Jacinto said.
UGA spokesman Pete Konenkamp told the Houston Chronicle’s Moises Mendoza that Zinkhan had no disciplinary problems at the university.
‘His track record is impeccable as far as his teaching credentials,’ Konenkamp said. UGA officials announced Zinkham’s termination Sunday.