|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Thu, 17 Jan 2002
A struggling law school student went on a campus shooting spree Wednesday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by students, authorities said.
The attack also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law. They were hospitalized in fair condition.
The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, and professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, according to school officials. Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33.
The suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, was going to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect Wednesday, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said.
Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had flunked out last year and been allowed to return to the school.
He first stopped in the office of professor Dale Rubin to talk about his grades and as he left reportedly asked Rubin to pray for him, police said.
He walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, Stater said. Odighizuwa then went downstairs and opened fire on students, killing Dales and wounding three others.
Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn., was among the students who were outside when Odighizuwa left the building. Ross said the suspect was holding his hands in the air and dropped the gun at his prompting.
Odighizuwa was tackled and “struggled after we got him on the ground, but then just laid there,” Ross said. He said the suspect kept shouting, “I have nowhere to go.”
The suspect was being held at the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three weapons counts, authorities said.
Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner, said Odighizuwa had a history of mental instability that school officials knew about.
The private law school, with an enrollment of about 170 students, was closed for the week.