TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Tempe Police is looking for a 27-year-old man, in connection with a fatal shooting involving a Math teacher at Mesa High School who resides in Tempe.
The shooting took place on Sunday, and FOX 10 Phoenix has learned that the victim, 26-year-old Ryne Zahner, was a graduate of Arizona State University, with a Master's Degree from Northern Arizona University.
The suspect, identified by Tempe Police as Caleb Bartels, is considered by Tempe Police to be armed and dangerous. Bartels is described by Tempe Police as 5'10" tall, weighing 165 lbs, with brown hair and green eyes. Bartels, according to police, was driving a 2007 silver Pontiac Grand Prix, with license plate number BSK8972.
Alecia Gilpin, Zahner's former student, said Zahner was always full of life, and made math fun.
"He was good at making up stuff so we can remember the equations better and how to do them and he just made everything fun," said Gilpin. "You walk in, he just had a smile on his face and was ready to go and was very positive."
Police in Tempe said shots were heard around Zahner's home near Mill and Baseline, at around 4:00 a.m. on Sunday. Soon after, Zahner was found in his backyard, with several gunshot wounds.
"No one can wrap their head around it, really," said Gilpin. "If you met him and knew him, you would just know who would have a problem with him?"
According to official with Mesa Public Schools, grief counselors will be available for students, as school returns to session on Tuesday. Schools were not in session on Monday, due to Martin Luther King Day.
Bartels, the man wanted by Tempe Police for Zahner's murder, is said to be armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on Bartels' whereabouts should contact police immediately.