The man, described as a 48-year-old resident of Hamtramck, turned himself in at Ann Arbor Police Department headquarters about 1 a.m. EST, said Detective Sgt. John Falk of the Detroit Police Department's homicide division. Wayne State campus police picked up the man and took him to Detroit police headquarters.
Wayne State University Police Chief Dallas Schneider said Friday that the suspect was a graduate student who was connected with the engineering school. He wouldn't elaborate if he knew the victim, Professor Andrzej Olbrot.
However, officials said it was obvious that Olbrot was the gunman's target.
The gunman walked into Olbrot's classroom about 7:20 p.m. EST while the professor was administering a final exam to graduate students in a computer engineering class. He shot the professor with a handgun, reloaded and shot Olbrot again as he lay on the floor before walking out without speaking, witnesses told police.
None of the approximately 24 students in the classroom in the Old Main building were hurt, Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon said.
Olbrot, 52, was shot at least once in the head. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Schneider said the suspect "essentially admitted" to the shooting to Ann Arbor police this morning. The suspect was at Detroit Police headquarters for questioning Friday.
Investigators had not immediately determined a motive, did not know whether there was any relationship between the gunman and Olbrot and did not know why the suspect surrendered in Ann Arbor, about 40 miles west of Detroit, Falk said.
The man walked up to the front desk at Ann Arbor police headquarters, told an officer he had shot Olbrot and said he "wanted to make our job easy," Sgt. Jeff Connelly told Detroit radio station WWJ.
"He was very, very coherent and somewhat nonchalant," Connelly said. The man did not have the gun with him when he surrendered, Connelly said.
The shooting occurred as parents were arriving at Old Main, on the central part of the campus just north of downtown Detroit, to pick up their young children from a ballet class in the building.
"The security is horrible," one of the parents, Pat Glass of Birmingham, told the Detroit Free Press. "You've got a bunch of girls on the third floor there and security should have better precautions. To be honest, I don't want my daughter here."
The university in recent years has installed more outdoor lighting and begun a program encouraging students in classes that begin after 5:30 p.m. to walk home in groups, said Roompa Bhattacharyya, 22, a senior and student council member.
"You think you're safe inside the building, the ibrary, the classroom. And then someone can just burst into the classroom and take out your professor. It's insane," Bhattacharyya said.
Colleagues said Olbrot was a native of Poland and a world-class scientist who was well-known for his work.
Olbrot's ex-wife, Henryka Olbrot of Farmington Hills, described her husband as "one of the brightest scientists in Poland. . .He did everything in his life with the highest awards... He was born to be a scientist, born to be a mathematician."
The couple had two sons, aged 17 and 25, from their 21-year marriage, she said.