The fatal shooting of a college employee in Goldsboro, North Carolina could have been a hate crime motivated by the victim's sexuality, say police.

Ron Lane, who worked in the print shop at Wayne Community College, was gunned down on Monday (13 April). Suspect Kenneth Stancil was arrested early on Tuesday on a beach in Daytona, Florida.

Officers now say they are investigating the theory that 20-year-old Stancil killed Lane because he was gay.

Sgt Jeremy Sutton, of Goldsboro Police, was quoted by NBC News as saying that Stancil had a "calculated plan" to murder Lane. The officer added that police were investigating whether Lane made sexual advances towards the alleged gunman.

Stancil worked for Lane in the Wayne college print shop before being dismissed in February. Stancil's mother, Debbie, told WNCN-TV that Lane upset her son by making "inappropriate sexual advances" towards him.

Police say Stancil killed Lane after entering the Wayne print shop and firing once with a shotgun as his former supervisor arrived for work. Although the campus immediately went into lockdown, Stancil fled on a motorcycle and managed to escape to Florida, but he was eventually caught after falling asleep on a beach.

Stancil was initially approached by members of the local beach patrol because he had violated a ban on sleeping on the beach. He was subsequently arrested because he was carrying a knife.