Police said Tuesday they were investigating the fatal shooting of a gay community college worker as a possible hate crime.
The shooting victim, 44-year-old campus print shop director Ron Lane, was gunned down by former student Kenneth Morgan Stancil III on Monday morning, police said. Lane dismissed Stancil from the print shop’s work-study program in March because he had too many absences.
Police have not released a motive in the shooting and said the men’s relationship was purely a supervisor-student one.
Lane’s supervisor at the college said Lane was gay, but police refused to say why a hate crime was being investigated.
An expert who tracks hate groups said Stancil’s facial tattoo with the number “88” was a clear indication of a neo-Nazi, who have been accused of attacking gays. However, police have not said whether Stancil held white supremacist beliefs.
Police say the 20-year-old Stancil entered the Wayne Community College print shop where he used to work and fired once with a pistol-grip shotgun, killing Lane, his former supervisor, just as Lane was arriving for work. The shooting sparked a campus-wide lockdown as police stormed the building searching for Stancil, who immediately fled on a motorcycle. The manhunt lasted for nearly a day and ended with Stancil’s arrest on a Florida beach.
Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said Stancil’s tattoo indicated he was a neo-Nazis.