UPDATE: St. Cloud Police Identify Shooting Victim, Man Arrested
ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud police have identified the man shot and killed as he stood in his doorway Sunday morning. The victim is 68-year-old Edward Ward, Ph.D.
The incident happened at about 6:15 a.m. Sunday when officers were sent to a report that a man was shot while standing in the doorway of a home in the 2600 block of Island View Drive.
Officers found a Ward with gunshot wounds inside the home. The shots had appeared to come from outside the residence. The unknown gunman had left the area prior to the arrival of the police. Mayo ambulance took the victim to the St. Cloud Hospital where he later died.
Officers set up a perimeter and tried a police dog track in attempts to locate the suspect however were not successful. At approximately 7:00 a.m. dispatch received a call that a man was walking in the area of the 1200 Block of 4th Avenue South with a handgun. Officers arrived, located the male, and took him into custody without incident.
Officers did recover a handgun at the time of the arrest. The man was identified as 45-year-old Jason Beckman from Duluth. Beckman admitted to officers that he had shot the victim.
At this point in the investigation, it is believed that this was a random incident and that there were no connections between Beckman and either the victim and/or the neighborhood where the incident occurred.
Beckman was transported to the Stearns County Jail to be held on charges related to homicide.
According to the St. Cloud State University Communications Office, Ward was a professor at the school since 1990. He taught in the Management and Entrepreneurship Department. Ward attended Eastern Illinois for his undergraduate and graduate degrees and to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for his Ph.D.
This is a heart-wrenching and unexpected loss for Dr. Ward’s family and friends, our university, the Herberger Business School, our students and the St. Cloud community. Dr. Ward served as a member of our campus community since 1990. He has impacted countless students, faculty and staff throughout his tenure. He will truly be missed. -- SCSU President Robbyn R. Wacker
Ward's body will be transported to the Midwest Medical Examiners Office for Autopsy.
Updates will be given as the investigation develops.
Anyone with information regarding the above incident is urged to contact the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-251-1200, or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-255-1301, or at www.tricountycrimestoppers.org