Charlie Pittman, 21, a student at Union College in Jackson, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Olivia Greenlee, also 21 and a fellow Union College student.
Police said Pittman shot Greenlee in a car Tuesday night and staged the incident to look like a suicide. She was found the next morning with a gun in the car, the Jackson Sun reported.
Several factors led investigators to suspect foul play. The gun was registered to Pittman's friend, who said it went missing without his knowledge. Searching Greenlee's personal background, Capt. Tyreece Miller said there was nothing to lead detectives to think the young woman was suicidal.
Friends and acquaintances expressed shock at Pittman's arrest, noting the Christian ministry major and church youth ministry leader had no criminal history, and the couple's relationship appeared a happy one.
"This case shows that domestic violence affects people from all different races, religions and socioeconomic statuses," Miller said.
Pittman had a bail hearing Sunday and faces formal arraignment Tuesday, the Sun said.