Ole Miss student shot in the head
By Michaela Gibson Morris
OXFORD A University of Mississippi student died Wednesday after he was shot while he was fishing with friends Tuesday afternoon.
Devan Lowery, 22, of Laurel, died Wednesday evening in the intensive care unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Northeast Mississippi in Oxford where he had been treated for a gunshot wound to his head, said Lafayette County Sheriff Buddy East. Lowery's friends were uninjured.
Warrants for Robbie Kendall, 37, of Oxford, who is being sought in connection with the shooting, were upgraded to murder from aggravated assault, East said.
Local, state and federal law enforcement officers searching for Kendall, who is described as a thin, tall white man with a full beard and long brown hair. FBI, game wardens, State Highway Patrol, Oxford Police, University Police are also participating in the case, East said.
Tuesday afternoon, Lowery had been fishing with his friend, former Ole Miss student Tom Brown of Colorado, and Konstanti Matheos of Jackson 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 after 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 fishing students knew the man who shot Lowery.
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 often and usually took his Labrador retriever, Luke.
Devan Lowery had left Luke behind in Laurel along with his car 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.
Anyone with information about Kendall's location should call the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department at 234-6421.
Daily Journal staff writer Errol Castens and the Associated Press contributed to this story.