"I never saw Shannon angry or upset in the entire time I knew him," says Damian Hollis, a good friend of Shannon Lamb

By Caitlin Keating
Updated September 15, 2015 10:00 AM
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Credit: Delta State University

When Damian Hollis heard on Monday that her friend of almost 30 years was a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a history professor in Mississippi, she couldn’t believe it.

“I can come up with 50 other names of people who I think could possibly do something like this before him,” Hollis, 42, tells PEOPLE. “The man I know never would have done this.”

That man was Shannon Lamb, who police now say is a suspect in the death of his colleague, Ethan Schmidt, who was shot in the head in his office at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.

He is also a suspect in the murder of his live-in girlfriend, Amy Prentiss, which took place more than 300 miles away in Gautier, Mississippi, earlier on Monday.

After being at large for most of the day, Lamb died Monday evening of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound while trying to flee police, according to the Associated Press.

“Shannon was loved by everyone. He was the underdog. He did everything he had to do in life to succeed,” says Hollis who has known Lamb since junior high school. “He was that kid in school who was so real. He wasn’t fake with anyone.”

According to Hollis, Lamb and Prentiss were extremely happy together.

“They had been dating for years and were madly in love,” she says. “When I saw them together they were always calm, cool and collected.”

He also had two children with another woman and had raised them on his own.

“He did what he had to do to take care of kids,” she says. “He gave up his whole life for them. He wouldn’t do something to hurt them.”

He also, Hollis says, was a talented musician and a great singer.

“I can’t imagine what could have happened to Shannon for him to do something so horrible,” she says. “My gut reaction was that it couldn’t be him.”

Hollis says she isn’t the only one in shock.

“Our entire community doesn’t understand,” she says. “He was a calm person, he was always consistent. People like that don’t do something like this, so now I just want to know what could have made him so insane?”

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