HED:Ole Miss student dies after shooting at lake

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

OXFORD - A University of Mississippi student died Wednesday after he was shot while fishing with friends Tuesday afternoon at a Holly Springs National Forest lake.

Devan Lowery, 22, of Laurel died Wednesday evening in the intensive care unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Northeast Mississippi in Oxford, Lafayette County Sheriff Buddy East said.

He had been treated there for a gunshot wound to his head, East said. Lowery's friends were uninjured.

Warrants for Robbie Kendall, 38, of Oxford were upgraded from aggravated assault to murder Wednesday evening, East said.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers are searching for Kendall, who is described as a thin, tall white man with a full beard and long brown hair.

Fishing incident

On Tuesday afternoon, Lowery had been fishing with his friend, former Ole Miss student Tom Brown of Colorado, and Konstanti Matheos, a Jackson woman, at Puskus Lake in Holly Springs National Forest, about 9 miles east of Oxford.

Lowery and the woman were fishing from the pier; Brown was fishing in an intertube in the lake.

About 4:30 p.m., a man drove up near where Lowery and his friends were fishing and asked if the fish were biting, East said. The friends replied that they weren't having much luck.

Seconds later a shot rang out, and Matheos and Brown jumped in the water before they realized Lowery had been mortally wounded, East said.

Brown, who jumped in his car and chased the shooter, was able to get the license plate number on the shooter's car and call 911.

Investigators are still trying to make sense of what prompted the shooting, East said.

"There's no (clear) motive," East said, noting none of the friends knew the man who shot Lowery.

Graduation plans

Lowery was enrolled in summer classes and expected to graduate in August.

The university community is shocked and greatly saddened over this apparent random act of violence directed at Devan Lowery, one of our students,'' said Thomas Wallace, associate vice chancellor for student life. "We must support each other as we deal with this stunning tragedy.

Lowery's father, Herman Wayne Lowery said his son had fished at Puskus Lake often and usually took his Labrador retriever, Luke.

Devan Lowery had left Luke behind in Laurel and also had left his car behind to get some work done on it, his father said. He was planning to come home this weekend to pick up his car and Luke.

Daily Journal staff writer Errol Castens and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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