ST. CLOUD, Minn. (FOX 9) - The man shot and killed in what police say was a "random" incident Sunday morning in St. Cloud has been identified as a 68-year-old St. Cloud State University professor.
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office said the victim was Dr. Edward Anthony Ward. The University confirmed the news Monday, saying Ward was a business school professor there since 1990.
University President Robbyn Wacker called the news "heart wrenching and unexpected," in a statement Monday.
"He has impacted countless students, faculty and staff throughout this tenure," said Wacker. "He will truly be missed."
Ward was killed inside his home by another man who was outside. Police called the incident "random" and said Ward and the suspect had "no connections."
It happened early Sunday morning, just after 6:15 a.m. on the 2600 block of Island View Drive in St. Cloud. Ward died at the hospital soon after.
A suspect was arrested less than an hour later on the 1200 block of Fourth Avenue South with a handgun. He admitted to the shooting, police say.
It’s been 11 years since Brooks Anderson took one of his last classes before graduating Saint Cloud State University (SCSU).
Even though more than a decade has passed, he says some of his most memorable moments were in Dr. Edward Ward’s business classes.
"He was just one of those guys that if you just were in his class, you wouldn’t forget him," Anderson tells FOX 9. "He was just a great guy who was super kind, compassionate funny, very witty but truly cared about his students."
Dr. Ward taught in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at SCSU for more than 30 years.
His former students are left wondering why someone would hurt a professor they say everyone wanted to have for a class.
"I know when I was signing up for his class everyone was like, ‘Dr. Ward is fantastic. You will get so much out of that class. It won’t be a waste of your time.’ He cares about his students," says Brittany Prigge. "He gave so much of his energy and his time to help us get ready for graduation so, it’s sad that so many students won’t be able to experience what I was able to experience with him."
In a statement to FOX 9, Dr. Ward’s family states:
We are shocked and saddened by the murder of our beloved Ed. He was a gentle, quiet, and intelligent man who served as a professor at St. Cloud State University for over 30 years, where he impacted the lives and careers of countless students.
He loved reading, bicycling, and history. Ed’s greatest love, however, was his family, and he leaves behind his two adult children, Amy and Mark, and his lifelong partner and mother of his children, Denese. We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and ask that you respect our privacy.