A defenseless college employee was murdered in a targeted attack in a campus bathroom by a known assailant who is now on the run.

The school’s “gun free zone” failed to save the employee’s life.

A long-time employee at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro was shot and killed Monday morning in the bathroom of the third floor of a campus building, sending the campus into a lockdown as officials scrambled to find the suspect.

At a noon news conference, school officials said “law enforcement is searching for the suspect.”

Officials said they were looking for a man named Kenneth Stancil. They said there was “not a hostage situation”

“This is not a random situation,” said Tom Effler of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office,

The person killed was long-time employee named Ron Lane.

Our prayers go out to Mr Lane’s family and friends.

The suspect, Stancil, was identified through surveillance photos or video. He is a former student who did not graduate. He was armed with a rifle, and fired a single shot after he cornered Lane in the bathroom.

Neither the school’s “gun free zone” policies nor the campus’s security were able to protect Mr. Lane. He was able to enter the campus, kill Mr. Lane, and exit the campus with no fear of facing armed opposition from law-abiding citizens.

If Lane or any of the dozens of students, faculty, and staff who must have seen Stancil stalking across the campus with the rifle had the legal right to a concealed weapon on campus, perhaps the outcome might have been something other than a cold-blooded assassination.

In North Carolina, Republicans dominate both houses of the legislature and the government. There is no reason at all we should not have campus carry.

Update/Clarification:  Family members who are intimately familiar with the N.C. community college system want me to point out that community college campuses aren’t technically gun free, because a licensed concealed carrier can have a concealed weapon locked in his or her vehicle (or in a locked container in a vehicle) in the parking lots.

The buildings and grounds on campus, however, are indeed “gun free zones.”

4/14 update: The suspect has been captured in Florida.