NORMAN, Okla. – Loved ones are mourning the loss of a University of Oklahoma student after he was shot and killed in an apartment complex parking lot.
"It's just a real tragedy. Of course, to his family and all, it's just a real shock. They would have never dreamed anything like this would have happened,” Matt Mahler told NewsChannel 4 over the phone.
It’s a tragic loss for the family and friends of OU student Nathaniel Ewing, who was shot and killed just an hour before his 20th birthday.
Mahler, a long-time friend, said it’s hard to believe.
"It really was a shock when we heard that something like that had happened, him getting shot, because he would never have, I guess, been around a situation like that,” Mahler said.
According to police, Ewing and another person were meeting people in the parking lot when something went wrong.
"While in that apartment complex parking lot, he was contacted by two black males. We believe some form of a robbery occurred at that point,” said Sarah Jensen with the Norman Police Department.
That’s when Ewing was shot in the abdomen.
He later died at the hospital.
Police said the other victim got away safely.
"Those two suspects who allegedly robbed them are both described as black males, and they got in a light colored SUV and drove away from the scene,” Jensen said.
As authorities continue to investigate the events leading up to the shooting, the Texas family mourns the loss of the young man who friends said was smart, kind and a joy to be around.
"When you go off to college, it's supposed to be a good time to learn and further your education to, you know, put you along in the future. It's not supposed to be a tragedy like this,” Mahler said.
OU President David Boren released this statement regarding the shooting death of Ewing:
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of one of our OU family members. Our sympathy and prayers go out to the student’s family and loved ones during this very difficult time. The Norman Police Department continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding his passing, and the university has asked to be kept informed."
Police have identified one person of interest but have not released any information about that person.