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Student Wounded in Northern Arizona University Shooting Out of Hospital

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 

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One of three Northern Arizona University fraternity members wounded in a campus shooting had never met the student suspected of opening fire on the group, the victim's mother said Saturday.

Kimberly Prato said one of the first things she asked her son, Nicholas, when she saw him in a Flagstaff hospital was who shot him.

"He said 'Mom, I don't know the kid. I never saw him before in my life," Prato told The Associated Press. "He said 'I saw him for a second and then saw a flashlight and heard the gunshots.'"

Image:
Evidence tags are seen on the ground near the scene of a shooting outside a student dormitory in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Oct. 9, 2015.Felicia Fonseca / AP

Authorities say freshman Steven Jones opened fire with a .40 caliber handgun after a brawl erupted between two groups of students early Friday. Student Colin Brough was killed. All four victims belonged to Delta Chi fraternity.

Nicholas Prato suffered a gunshot wound to his neck in the early Friday shooting but was released by the afternoon.

"It completely went through his neck. If it was a quarter inch to the left, it would have hit his carotid artery," Kimberly Prato said.

The other two victims, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring, remain hospitalized. NAU spokeswoman Janea Laudick said the victims' families requested privacy and that no additional information be released.

Jones was booked Friday on one count of first-degree homicide and three counts of aggravated assault.

Jones told police he shot the group of students only after they hit him in the face and chased him, according to court documents. He also said he tried to administer first aid to one of the victims.

Prosecutors, however, said the suspect's account amounted to a "self-serving" statement and alleged Jones was the aggressor.

A judge ordered him held on a $2 million bond.

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