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Suspect in Wesleyan slaying arrested

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Stephen Morgan, 29, arrested in university student's shooting death
  • Suspect's sister earlier urged him to turn himself in 'to avoid further bloodshed'
  • Suspect walked into bookstore near Wesleyan University campus, opened fire
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MIDDLETOWN, Connecticut (CNN) -- The suspect in the shooting of a Wesleyan University student is in police custody, police in Meriden, Connecticut, said Thursday.

Friends of slain Wesleyan junior Johanna Justin-Jinich have set up a memorial page on Facebook.

Police have arrested Stephen Morgan in the shooting death of Johanna Justin-Jinich.

A spokesman in Meriden said Stephen Morgan had been in custody there, but was transferred to police in Middletown, seven miles away. No other details were available.

An arrest warrant was issued earlier for Morgan, charging him with murder in the death of Johanna Justin-Jinich at a Middletown bookstore on Wednesday.

Justin-Jinich was shot Wednesday afternoon at the Red & Black Cafe in Broad Street Books, the campus bookstore, the university said.

She worked at the cafe, the cafe said on its Web site. It said that her killing has left employees "devastated."

Earlier Thursday, a law enforcement source told CNN that police spoke briefly to the suspect after her shooting death.

Morgan was one of several people who gathered Wednesday afternoon outside Broad Street Books after the Wesleyan junior was shot, the source said. He gave his name to investigators who spoke with him, the source said.

At that early stage of the investigation, the source said, police had no reason to suspect Morgan.

Earlier Thursday, Morgan's sister had urged him to turn himself in to "avoid any further bloodshed."

Diana Morgan told reporters in Marblehead, Massachusetts, that her family was "shocked and sickened by the tragedy in Middletown."

She said her family did not know her brother's whereabouts, but issued a brief statement to him through the media: "Steve, turn yourself in right now to any law enforcement agency, wherever you are, to avoid any further bloodshed. We love you, we will support you in every way and we don't want anyone else to get hurt."

She did not take questions.

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Before his arrest, police had been worried that Morgan may be targeting Wesleyan University and the town's Jewish residents.

A statement from the university alleges that Morgan had written threats against "Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students" in his personal journals.

Congregation Adath Israel, Middletown's lone synagogue, canceled all activities for the next day, said its president, Eliot Meadow.

He said police told him that they do not think Morgan is part of a larger anti-Semitic organization.

About 200 families attend the synagogue, Meadow said, and he added that Wesleyan, a private university with about 3,000 students, has a substantial Jewish population.

While Justin-Jinich was a student at Wesleyan and was Jewish, according to the Middletown mayor, there was another connection between her and her alleged killer, authorities said. Video Watch how suspect and victim knew each other »

In July 2007, the young woman filed a harassment complaint against Morgan while the two were taking the same six-week summer course at New York University, school spokesman John Beckman told CNN.

The complaint, in which Justin-Jinich said she was receiving harassing e-mails and phone calls from Morgan, was filed with the university's public safety department toward the end of the course, Beckman said.

The public safety department brought in the New York Police Department and after conversations with Morgan and Justin-Jinich, the young woman declined to follow up or press charges, Beckman said.

Beckman said the two were not living in the same student residence house during the course. Additional details were not immediately available.


Another law enforcement source also told CNN that in an excerpt from one of the e-mails sent to Justin-Jinich, Morgan wrote, "You're going to have a lot more problems down the road if you can't take any (expletive) criticism, Johanna." Video Watch the crime described as 'every parent's nightmare' »

Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said the connection between Morgan and Justin-Jinich may "go back to Colorado." No further details were available.

CNN's Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt contributed to this report.

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