Professor sought in killings

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A nationwide search was under way Saturday night for a University of Georgia marketing professor who police say shot and killed his wife and two men at an Athens theater gathering that afternoon.

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Current and former members of Town and Gown Players, a long-standing community theater group, had gathered for an annual reunion when 56-year-old George Zinkhan started arguing with someone, left briefly and returned with two handguns, according to Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman.

He fired several shots, Capt. Holeman said, killing three people: his wife, Marie Bruce, 47; Tom Tanner, 40; and Ben Teague, 63. Two other victims were wounded and taken to Athens Regional Medical Center.

According to the Georgia Bar, Ms. Bruce, who graduated from the University of Georgia's law school, moved to Athens in 1980 from Martinez, according to a 2002 profile of her in the Athens Banner-Herald .

She graduated from Westside High School and attended Warren Baptist Church, according to a family friend in Augusta.

The church would not confirm that she was once a member, but someone who answered the church's emergency number confirmed that the pastors were with Ms. Bruce's family.

Wayne Kitchens, a childhood friend of Ms. Bruce, said he was shocked to hear about her brutal death Saturday. Mr. Kitchens, who lives in Evans, said he and Ms. Bruce became friends when she was a student at Westside High and he was a student at Academy of Richmond County.

"You just can't believe it," he said. "She was such a nice person."

Her interest in theater was clear at Westside High, where she was involved in the theater department, Mr. Kitchens said. He said he wished he'd gotten a chance to see her perform with the Town and Gown Players.

Capt. Holeman raised the possibility that the shooting could be a crime of passion.

"I can only speculate," he said. "Some people are saying it could be a love triangle or something like that."

Mr. Zinkhan appeared to target Mr. Tanner, Mr. Teague and Ms. Bruce, said Rick Bedell, an actor with the Town and Gown Players, but he did not know why.

"It was deliberate," Mr. Bedell said. "He shot these three people specifically and walked out."

Authorities say Mr. Zinkhan had left his children in the car when the shooting happened.

Capt. Holeman said Mr. Zinkhan's children are safe. Neighbor Robert Covington said Mr. Zinkhan dropped his son and daughter off at his house. Mr. Covington said Mr. Zinkhan only said there had been an emergency.

Police said Mr. Zinkhan was last seen driving a red 2005 Jeep Liberty with Georgia tag number AIX 1376. Police have not found the car, Capt. Holeman said.

UGA sent text messages to more than 25,000 students and employees warning them that Mr. Zinkhan was on the loose.

One of them was Christina Black, a student at the Terry College of Business, where Mr. Zinkhan taught.

"I was shocked," she said. "We sat there for half an hour with our jaws just dropped."

Ms. Black said she took one of Mr. Zinkhan's marketing classes last semester. She described him as an easygoing, jovial man who was understanding and cooperative with students.

Mr. Zinkhan holds a professorship endowed by Coca-Cola in the Terry College of Business marketing and distribution department. He has taught there since 1994, according to his resume.

Associated Press and staff reports were used in this article.

THE VICTIMS

Three people died in a shooting at the Town and Gown Players theater in Athens, Ga.:

- Mr. Zinkhan's wife, Marie Bruce, 47

- Tom Tanner, 40

- Ben Teague, 63

Two other people were wounded and taken to Athens Regional Medical Center.

See Mr. Zinkhan's UGA faculty profile here.

Comments (20) Add comment
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justus4
113
Points
justus4 04/26/09 - 03:41 am
0
0
Another example of weapons
Unpublished

Another example of weapons being in the wrong hands and results in death & destruction. Of course this act will not be seen as a weapon problem, but a people problem. This guy should not have been permitted to carry a weapon because his "profile" is one of an Angry White Male, whose behavior is most consistent with these kind of acts. "Oh no!" That would be racial profiling screams the Non-Minority Media (NMM), while minority men are pulled over based on the model of car they are driving. Prediction: This guy had a violent streak, but every contact with law enforcement was determined, "he's OK, just let him go-and Bob, don't worry about writing this up" so, his record is probably clean. But his wife knew and should've had a restraining order and was trying to get away from this nut. She didn't make it and someone failed to protect her. And PLEASE NMM don't tell us how great a person he was, because thats a lie. Don't go to the silly neighbors 'cause we've seen it all before. This is not new! In fact, there is a pattern here. The problem is that few people are actually seeing it, which is costing lives. How many more lives will it cost?

JimiBob
0
Points
JimiBob 04/26/09 - 04:08 am
0
0
dude, there is nothing to "Ha

dude, there is nothing to "Ha Ha" about. People are dead. Have some respect.

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 04/26/09 - 05:23 am
0
0
What? No respect? Naaa...

What? No respect? Naaa... justus4, He is just imparting his wisdom so that we poor ignorant people can learn.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 04/26/09 - 06:51 am
0
0
justsus4 is just spewing the

justsus4 is just spewing the hatred he has learned from the Reverend Al and the Reverend Jessie. Justus if you keep blaming others for your own failures then you will never succeed. It is nothing more than the liberal victim mentality that has been preached to him, keeping him under their control.

raptcontemplation
4
Points
raptcontemplation 04/26/09 - 07:00 am
0
0
justus4 - get some

justus4 - get some counseling.

rccc
0
Points
rccc 04/26/09 - 07:17 am
0
0
Justus4....you are sick!

Justus4....you are sick! There is nothing funny about this horrible tragedy!!!!

cricketflea
3
Points
cricketflea 04/26/09 - 07:27 am
0
0
Justus4...you are an idiot.

Justus4...you are an idiot. Even TRYING to say that the gun killed the people is the stupidest statement there is...the professor, unfortunately pulled the trigger.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. It's the same as trying to say that the pen misspells the word, not the person. THINK about it, Justus4, that is, if you can.....

aaa
2
Points
aaa 04/26/09 - 07:43 am
0
0
JustUs4 is not who you guys

JustUs4 is not who you guys think she is. She is exactly the opposite and just trying to stoke a few flames for racial hatred. I know her - she is white, 42 years old, mother of 2, and is a real estate agent.

momofthree
0
Points
momofthree 04/26/09 - 07:46 am
0
0
Justus4 - This is a people

Justus4 - This is a people issue, the gun itself did not get up and pull its own trigger. You never cease to amaze me as to the ignorance one person can spew.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 04/26/09 - 07:54 am
0
0
Some people on here suffer

Some people on here suffer from dementia!

robaroo
884
Points
robaroo 04/26/09 - 08:04 am
0
0
There are some murders that

There are some murders that wouldn't be possible without a gun. But this one could just have easily been done with a kitchen knife. He just walked right up to them and killed them.

jgdarling
3
Points
jgdarling 04/26/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
Thank goodness there were no

Thank goodness there were no restrictions on the killers access to handguns. - the NRA

TruthJusticeFaithHope
244
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 04/26/09 - 08:18 am
0
0
Take the Ha Ha out of the

Take the Ha Ha out of the comment Justus4 posted and I agree with much of what he... or is it she made... anyway it all sucks.

Can't believe they haven't apprehended the professor.

SCGAL53
0
Points
SCGAL53 04/26/09 - 08:34 am
0
0
/, I don't care who justus

/, I don't care who justus is. I do know this person is very sick and very racist. If it is indeed a white female, maybe she thinks she an angry black thug trapped in a white body.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 04/26/09 - 08:35 am
0
0
The flaming troll has taken
Unpublished

The flaming troll has taken the article and turned it! Yet again Justus trolls the boards!

_old_jube_early
0
Points
_old_jube_early 04/26/09 - 08:48 am
0
0
yes, justus trolls the boards

yes, justus trolls the boards and you can see, people bite---who is the idiot---the biter or the bitee?

EARL84
0
Points
EARL84 04/26/09 - 09:03 am
0
0
Don't think for one second

Don't think for one second that if the picture above was a minority that justus would be "HA HA'n" about anything. He would be one here screaming bloody murder a/b how "unfair" this all was. I'm glad the AC allows itself to be an open forum for justus' and others' hate speech

easy breezy
14
Points
easy breezy 04/26/09 - 09:34 am
0
0
First, this is a very sad

First, this is a very sad situation and my prayers go out to the ones involved. Second, if this indeed was a love triangle, I want to know where the morals and standards of this country have gone to? So many people think that it is ok to cheat on their spouse. We have been hearing so much of this in the media lately and it's sad that it ends in death.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 04/26/09 - 12:23 pm
0
0
Maybe he/she is a angry white

Maybe he/she is a angry white man/lady and want to be a thug period. You will never convince me that this person is Black.

corgimom
38717
Points
corgimom 04/26/09 - 06:28 pm
0
0
Easy breezy, it's always gone

Easy breezy, it's always gone on. It just didn't get publicity like it does now. I do a lot of volunteer genealogy, and most people have lots of skeletons in their ancestors' closet- and that was supposedly "back in the good ol' days".

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 04/26/09 - 06:40 pm
0
0
Ol' Mom is correct people

Ol' Mom is correct people have been the same since they were created. Remember what happened to Able?

MtnMan
1
Points
MtnMan 05/01/09 - 10:43 pm
0
0
just for us is succeding at

just for us is succeding at what she intended....get everyone to show her some attention. just ignore her....make no comment when she appears....ignore! ok???

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