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Lecturer hunted over two killings tells police he is not going to jail

Shannon Lamb
Shannon Lamb

A US college lecturer being hunted after two people were shot dead in separate killings has been in contact with police and told them that he is "not going to jail".

Shannon Lamb is suspected of the fatal shooting of Amy Prentiss, who he lived with on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, and Ethan Schmidt, a professor at Delta State University 300 miles away.

During the first hours of the search for the 45-year-old, terrified students and teachers were kept in classrooms for hours.

The Delta State campus was put on lockdown as armed officers methodically went through buildings, checking in closets, behind doors and under tables and desks. The lockdown was lifted hours later, but security remained tight.

Investigators said Lamb is a suspect in the killings of 41-year-old Ms Prentiss, who was found dead in the home they shared in Gautier, and 39-year-old Mr Schmidt, a history professor who was shot in his own office on campus in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Officers in the two cities said they had not uncovered a motive for either killing.

Cleveland Police Chief Charles "Buster" Bingham said Lamb was considered armed and dangerous but was not believed to be on campus as of Monday evening, hours after Mr Schmidt was killed.

Gautier Police Lieutenant Scott Wilson and another unidentified officer told a press conference they had spoken with Lamb.

They urged extreme caution in dealing with him. In the news conference broadcast on WLOX-TV, the unidentified officer said Lamb told police that he is "not going to jail".

They would not say when or how they spoke to him.

Lamb received a doctorate in education from Delta State University this spring, according to his resume posted on the university's website.

He started working there in 2009 and taught geography and education classes, and volunteered with the home-building charity Habitat for Humanity, according to the resume.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Johnny Poulos said investigators were searching for a black 2011 Dodge Avenger that they believe Lamb was driving.

The 3,500-student university in Cleveland, in Mississippi's Delta region near the Arkansas-Mississippi state line, was first put on lockdown mid-morning amid reports of an active shooter. Everyone on campus was told to take shelter, away from windows.