Police respond to the report of a shooting at Stevens Institute of Business and Arts in St. Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. Police say a gunman entered the school and shot a person in the chest, then shot himself. Everyone inside the building was evacuated, though police were checking the school to make sure the building was empty. The conditions of the shooting victims were not immediately known. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis college administrator who was attacked in his office by a gunman who then allegedly shot himself is expected to fully recover, the school said Wednesday.
Greg Elsenrath, the financial aid director at the Stevens Institute of Business & Art, is recovering from surgery following Tuesday's attack, the school posted on its Twitter and Facebook pages.
"We are very happy to report this morning that Financial Aid Director, Greg Elsenrath, came through surgery last night with flying colors and is expected to make a full recovery," the Facebook posting read. "Greg appreciates all your thoughts and prayers and we will continue to update him with your kind messages."
The school encouraged students to reach out to instructors and their peers for support.
"This unimaginable act of violence has proved the strength of our bonds as a Siba family and we intend to come out of this event with those bonds intact and stronger than ever," it said.
Officials didn't immediately respond to phone messages seeking further comment.
Authorities say the gunman, a part-time student who they haven't publicly identified, shot Elsenrath in the chest before shooting himself in the torso. He is also recovering from his wounds following surgery, and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's spokeswoman said charges could be filed against him later Wednesday.
Police haven't offered a possible motive for the attack, but Chief Sam Dotson described it as "targeted." He said the suspect had been attending the school off and on for four years and hadn't previously made threats or acted violently.
According to the school website, Elsenrath lives in Winfield and has worked in financial aid for 15 years. He has a bachelor's degree from Missouri Valley College and an MBA from Lindenwood University.
The attack caused a panic inside the historic, five-story building in the city's downtown loft district.
Britanee Jones, 24, was among the 40 or 50 people in the building during the attack. She hid under a desk while her classmates ducked into closets or ran out of the building. Her mother, Angae Lowery, raced to the school to make sure her daughter was safe.
"She sent a text message and said a gunman was in the building," Lowery said. "She saw him (the gunman) go by the classroom."
Police found Elsenrath, who had been shot in his fourth-floor office, near an elevator and the suspect in a stairwell between the third and fourth floors, he said. Police found a handgun.
The school has about 180 students in programs including business administration, tourism and hospitality, paralegal studies, fashion, and retail and interior design.
Dotson said police arrived within one minute of getting a call about the shooting and used an "active shooter" protocol developed after a 2010 shooting spree in which a man killed four people and wounded five others at ABB Inc., a St. Louis transformer manufacturer.
Several people left messages on the school's Facebook page expressing dismay that a shooting happened there, and expressing prayers for a quick recovery for the administrator. The school posted on the Facebook page that it would be closed until 8 a.m. Jan. 22.
Several messages left Wednesday with the school's president, Cynthia Musterman, and members of the staff were not returned.