The University of Georgia marketing professor accused of killing three people when he allegedly opened fire Saturday on an Athens, Ga., theater group has vanished, leaving behind a stunned and fearful community.
"There's been nothing to indicate he's still in the area," Athens-Clarke County Police Department Capt. Clarence Holeman told ABCNews.com today. "There's three murder warrants on this guy. I think he'd want to get as far away from Athens as he can."
The Associated Press reported today that federal authorities said George Zinkhan, 57, who allegedlyshot and killed his estranged wife and two others, has a ticket for a May 2 flight to the Netherlands, and authorities were unable find his passport during searches of his home and his office. Police have said he has a house in Amsterdam where he teaches part time.
University of Georgia spokesman Pete Konenkamp said Zinkhan was thought to have been a fair professor who was well-liked, if not a bit distant.
"I've seen a mixed atmosphere," he said of the reaction on campus to Saturday's shootings. "Many are going on with their day as normal. And then there are those who are a bit unnerved by this."
UGA junior Josh Gurley, who was in Zinkhan's undergraduate marketing class this semester, said he was stunned to get a text message from the school on Saturday that his professor was believed to be responsible for the shootings.
"He was kind of a nice guy," Gurley told ABCNews.com today. "But he was kind of off, kind of weird. He wasn't very personable."
But the students never expected anything like what police are alleging, he said. Now the face of the man he sat in front of every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. is plastered all over the news and cops are all over campus.
"It's just kind of surreal," he said.
According to state records, Zinkhan earned nearly $213,000 last year, not including an addition $10,123 for travel.
Holeman said Zinkhan -- who was last seen driving his red 2005 Jeep Liberty, Georgia license plate number AIX 1376 -- has family in Texas and several states on the East Coast. He declined to specify exactly where those relatives are located, saying he didn't want to tip Zinkhan off that police were looking for him in those places.
Police are also considering the possibility that Zinkhan may have holed up somewhere and committed suicide, Holeman said.
Police say Zinkhan drove to a reunion picnic for volunteers of the Town & Gown Players outside the Athens Community Theatre Saturday, with his two children in tow. His son and daughter, ages 8 and 10, were left in the car while he allegedly stormed the gathering with two handguns and started shooting.
When he left, his estranged wife Marie Bruce, 47, and two longtime theater members, Thomas Tanner, 40, and Bob Teague, 63, were dead, each shot multiple times. Zinkhan then reportedly dropped off his children with a neighbor and disappeared.
Holeman said police were still piecing together a motive, but it appeared Teague was shot when he tried to stop Zinkhan and Bruce from arguing.
"There was an argument between him and his wife, and [Teague] intervened," Holeman said.
As for Bruce, Holeman said he's heard rumors that Zinkhan thought she was having an affair, but declined to comment on speculation.
Neighbor Dana Adams said she saw Zinkhan sitting in his car before he left for the picnic on Saturday. She said he got in his car, sat for a bit and then left.