Appalachian School of Law Shootings

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002

Three dead, three wounded as student goes on shooting spree

Michael Beach
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)

A FAILED law student executed two professors

then shot dead a fellow student inside a small American university today.

Three more students were in a critical condition after being shot as they ran through the corridors of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

The gunman, believed to be a foreign exchange student from Nigeria, was wrestled to the ground and disarmed of his .380mm automatic pistol by four other students.

The dead included the university’s dean, Anthony Sutin, 41, who was an adviser on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and served as a high-ranking legal counsel in the Justice Department.

Local physician Dr Jack Briggs, who had treated the gunman on several occasions, was the first doctor to arrive after the shootings.

“The scene was a disaster,” Dr Briggs said today.

He said Mr Sutin and another professor had both been shot at point-blank range in an apparent revenge-based attack.

“The gunman had flunked out of school last year,” Dr Briggs said today.

“He had been allowed an opportunity to come back and complete the semester again. But I believe that the dean was about to tell him he was no longer going to be able to come back.”

After killing the professors, the gunman began shooting randomly at fellow students.

One died after being shot in the neck and back.

Three others, suffering bullet wounds to their abdomens, were flown to a trauma centre in neighbouring Tennessee for emergency surgery.

The Appalachian School of Law was only founded four years ago to help ease a shortage of lawyers in the south-west Virginia mining towns.

The small school has 170 students and 15 professors.

The killings came a day after a high school student evaded a metal detector to shoot two classmates at the Martin Luther King Jnr school in Manhattan.

Those two students were alive today but in a serious condition, authorities said.

That shooting apparently stemmed from a dispute over a girl, authorities said today.

School officials said that the suspect was an 18-year-old who recently had not been attending school.

No arrests had yet been made, police spokesman Lieutenant Brian Burke said.

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