ST. CLOUD – Longtime St. Cloud State University Prof. Ed Ward was shot to death Sunday in his doorway on the south side of the city in what police are calling a random incident.
Ward, 68, was a professor in the management and entrepreneurship department and had taught at the school for more than three decades.
"He was very kind and compassionate and he had a wonderful sense of humor," said Amy Jones, Ward's daughter. "And he always tried to see the best in everybody."
St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker said Monday that Ward had been part of the campus community since 1990.
"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," Wacker said in a statement. "He has impacted countless students, faculty and staff throughout his tenure. He will truly be missed."
St. Cloud police say a 45-year-old Duluth man shot Ward multiple times while Ward was standing inside the doorway of his home. He was taken to St. Cloud Hospital, where he died. An autopsy is being conducted.
Officers responded to the 6:16 a.m. shooting in the 2600 block of Island View Drive. The shots appeared to come from outside the residence.
A police dog attempted to track the suspect, but shortly after 7 a.m. a witness called 911 to report a man walking around with a handgun.
Officers arrested the suspect and recovered the gun, and the suspect admitted to officers that he shot the victim, police said. Police said Sunday that they believed it was a "random incident."
The Duluth man was transported to Stearns County jail, where he awaits charges. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.
Jones said her father lived in the house with his wife, Denese. Jones and her brother Mark grew up in the home, which is on a dead-end street on the south side of town near the Mississippi River and St. Cloud Country Club.
"I've always felt safe there," she said.
Jones released a statement on behalf of Ward's family Monday: "We are shocked and saddened by the murder of our beloved Ed. He was a gentle, quiet and intelligent man who served as professor at St. Cloud State University for over 30 years, where he impacted the lives and careers of countless students."
Ward loved reading, bicycling and history, though his greatest love was his family, the statement says.
Ward's homicide is the fourth in St. Cloud this year — the most since 2015, according to St. Cloud Police Assistant Chief Jeff Oxton.