The man killed in what police describe as a random shooting this past weekend has been identified as a long-serving professor at St. Cloud State University.
Professor Edward Ward, Ph.D., was standing in the doorway of his home in the 2600 Block of Island View Drive when he was struck by bullets fired from outside the residence shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday, according to police.
Ward, 68, was taken to St. Cloud Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
A 45-year-old man from Duluth was arrested in connection with the shooting after he was found by police walking in the area of the 1200 block of 4th Avenue South with a handgun.
He was taken into custody without incident, with police saying they believe the shooting was random.
Ward was a professor with the St. Cloud State University's Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, where he had worked for more than 30 years.
He studied at Eastern Illinois University, where he obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees, before getting his Ph.D from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In a statement issued to the Star Tribune, Ward's family described him as a "gentle, quiet, and intelligent man" who "impacted the lives and careers of countless students."
Ward's death marked the fourth homicide of 2021 in St. Cloud, the highest seen in a single year in the city since 2015, which comes amid a nationwide spike in crime that has seen violent incidents on the rise in most U.S. cities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.