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Attacker kills 2, self at Wyoming college

CASPER, Wyo. -- A man wielding a sharp-edged weapon killed one person in a Casper neighborhood Friday before killing a male teacher and himself in front of students in a community college classroom, causing a campuswide lockdown as authorities tried to piece together what happened.

Police found the suspect and one of the victims dead at a science building on the Casper College campus, which was locked down for about two hours, school and police officials said. The other victim was found about two miles away.

Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said the murder-suicide took place in a classroom with students present, but he did not know how many students or what the class topic was. He said investigators do not know the motive for the killings.

Walsh said an "edged weapon" was used it at least one of the killings, but did not offer specifics, and it wasn't clear if the same or a similar weapon was used in all of the deaths. The attacker wasn't believed to be a Casper College student and it appeared he knew the victims, Walsh said. He didn't identify the suspect or victims but said the victims were a male and a female.

The attack at the two-year community college in Casper, about 250 miles northwest of Denver, occurred just before 9 a.m. while class was in session.

There are fewer classes on Friday than any other day of the week at Casper College, so only between 1,500 and 2,000 of the college's 5,000 students were there, he said. Casper College is one of seven community colleges in Wyoming.

College president Walt Nolte addressed students Friday, calling it the worst day of his more than 40 years in higher education. He encouraged the community to come together, school spokesman Rich Fujita said. "It is particularly painful because of our size," Fujita said of the small, tight-knit campus.

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