Tulsa Police officer Scott Walton said the man had two guns, ammunition and a ski mask when he arrived on the TU campus on Tuesday morning and went to the Allen Chapman Activity Center.
Walton said the man pulled the trigger to a .380 caliber pistol twice but the gun malfunctioned. University employees and security officers tackled the man and held him down until police arrived.
“By the grace of God it all worked out,” Walton said. “If things would have changed, we would have had a drastically different outcome.”
Records show that Richard Keith Hall, 60, was arrested on complaints of shooting with the intent to kill, possession of a weapon on school property and possession of a firearm during a felony. He was being held in the Tulsa County jail on $95,000 bond.
Police said Hall was fired four years ago from the university. He worked as a custodial supervisor at TU from January 1997 to April 2001.
School officials declined to release the name of Hall's former boss or say why Hall was fired. University spokeswoman Joan Nesbitt said the intended victim remained on the job Tuesday for a time after the attempted shooting.
“I am extremely proud of the TU employees whose swift action today prevented a possible tragedy,” TU President Steadman Upman said in a statement. “The university plans diligently for the possibility of crisis events including natural disasters and isolated incidents such as this.”
Hall's actions didn't surprise the intended victim or other employees, because of comments Hall had made following his firing, Tulsa police officer Jason Willingham said.
“The victim was not anticipating this, but it did not catch him off guard,” Willingham said.