Professor's behavior didn't hint of trouble

University of Georgia officials last year set up a process to identify students and UGA workers who might pose a threat to themselves or others.

But co-workers and students of George M. Zinkhan say the marketing professor gave no indication he was troubled.

Police launched a nationwide manhunt Saturday for Mr. Zinkhan, 57, accused of killing his wife, Marie Bruce, 47, and two men, Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, at an Athens Community Theatre gathering on Grady Avenue Saturday afternoon.

But on Thursday, when Mr. Zinkhan met a final time with the students in his introductory marketing course, he seemed his normal self -- distant, curt, verging on bored, according to Josh Gurley, a student in the class.

"(Mr. Zinkhan's demeanor) was normal on Thursday. He wasn't very excitable," said Mr. Gurley, a junior.

Mr. Zinkhan interacted little with students on Thursday, two days before the shooting rampage. But he usually kept student interaction minimal, Mr. Gurley said.

On April 16, Mr. Zinkhan took his students by surprise, announcing he was canceling the class scheduled for April 21.

Mr. Zinkhan also told the class he planned to make their final exam optional and would tell them the next Thursday -- April 23 -- the grades he planned to give each student. Students who did not want the grade Mr. Zinkhan planned for them could take the final.

Mr. Gurley said no one he knew of opted to take the final exam.

Athens residents on Sunday urged police and university officials not to discount that the wanted man is still alive and close by.

"I hope that the university will be on alert and consider the possibility -- I don't think it's a probability, but a possibility -- that he isn't finished yet," said Susan Roell, whose 23-year-old son attends UGA.

Authorities posted photos of an SUV like the red 2005 Jeep Liberty that Mr. Zinkhan might be driving (with a Georgia tag number AIX 1376).

UGA classes will go on as usual today, UGA President Michael Adams told the jittery university campus in a mass e-mail Sunday.

"However, I urge everyone to continue to exercise caution until the suspect is apprehended," Mr. Adams wrote.

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