Appalachian School of Law Shootings
       

This shows the part of each story that mentions how Peter O. was captured. The full text of these stories is here, while an index is here

Tue, 22 Jan 2002

Students Return to Va. Law School

Chris Kahn
Associated Press Online

Ted Besen says he had yearned to become a defense attorney, but changed his mind in the wake of the slayings of the dean, a professor and another student at the Appalachian School of Law.

“I don’t ever want to defend someone like him,” Besen said.

The former Marine and police officer was among several students who tackled former classmate Peter Odighizuwa on the school’s front lawn after last week’s shootings.

When classes resume Wednesday at the school, Besen, 37, and others said they’ll return with mixed emotions.

“You just feel violated somehow,” Besen said Tuesday at a nearby restaurant.

“I’ve been having bad dreams,” said 42-year-old Mary Kilpatrick. “I guess there’s no more security in law schools than there is any other place.”

Kilpatrick said she and about 20 other students spent most of Monday in the school lounge, scrubbing blood stains from the rug and rearranging furniture.

“It’s therapeutic being back here; it keeps my mind off of things,” Kilpatrick said. v

Police say Odighizuwa shot Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell in their offices last Wednesday, then opened fire in the school lounge, killing student Angela Dales and injuring three others.

Odighizuwa, 43, had recently learned he’d flunked out for the second time. He’s charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

“We’re going to have an unofficial class reunion the day he gets the chair,” said Matthew Harvey, who spent the week driving between memorial services with other students.

The school reopened Tuesday, holding a two-hour counseling session and discussing the class schedule for the rest of the semester.

Outside, faculty and students wrote good-bye messages in memorial books that will be given to victims’ families.

“I keep expecting Dean Sutin to come back,” said 22-year-old Melanie Page. “I just miss them all so much.”

/duplicates | 005

2 law students recover from shooting


Chicago Tribune

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last Wednesday have been discharged from a hospital.

On Sunday, Rebecca Brown, 38, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, left the Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said a hospital spokeswoman. A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, was upgraded to good condition from fair.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain in the spree.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. He had recently flunked out of the law school, police said.

/duplicates | 009

U.S. & WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF

Kevin McDaniel
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

ABROAD

Two shooting victims released from hospital

GRUNDY, Va. - Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week have been released from a hospital.

Rebecca Brown, 38, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokesman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, was upgraded from fair to good condition.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain in the spree.

Student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

Apt. fire kills woman, injures 8 firefighters

CHICAGO - A fire sent flames shooting out windows of a high-rise apartment building in Chicago early Monday, killing one woman and injuring eight firefighters.

The cause of the fire on the 14th floor of the 47-floor building was not immediately determined, Fire Department spokesman Patrick Howe said.

The victim was a woman in her 50s, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Investigators were still working to identify her.

Three firefighters were treated in a hospital for burns and upgraded to fair condition Monday afternoon, a Fire Department spokesman said. Five others were treated and released, he said.

SNAPSHOTS

U.S. warplanes struck an anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq Monday in response to “hostile Iraqi threats” against pilots and aircrews patrolling the skies over the region, American defense officials reported Monday. The raid amounted to another in a long series of low-level skirmishes with Iraqi forces that have taken place since 1992, when the United States established “no-fly” zones over northern and southern Iraq after the Persian Gulf War.

A major electricity blackout hit at least five Brazilian states Monday, hampering commerce and industry in six key cities for more than two hours. A transmission line failure at the country’s Itaipu hydroelectric dam was to blame; the facility is the largest single source of power in Brazil.

/duplicates | 011

WORLD;

Wire Reports
Newsday (New York)

Wounded Students Improve

Two students wounded last week in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., have been released from a hospital.

Rebecca Brown, 38, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens. A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, was upgraded from fair to good condition.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain. Student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Police said he had recently flunked out of school.

11 Slain in Jammu-Kashmir

Eleven members of a Muslim family, including eight children, were killed when gunmen barged into their house in India’s rebellion-torn Jammu and Kashmir state yesterday and opened fire, police said.

Though police initially blamed militants fighting Indian rule in India’s only Muslim-majority state, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said the deaths in Poonch district were the result of a local feud.

Three people were arrested on the basis of information provided by local people, a Jammu police official said. They implicated a former police officer who had deserted a year ago.

None of the guerrilla groups fighting Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir claimed responsibility for the attack.

/duplicates | 015

CORRECTIONS


Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

Charlotte Varney, the secretary of Buchanan First Presbyterian Church, is not a member of the church. Articles about the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law, which appeared Friday and Sunday, indicated she was.

* * *

A headline on a story on farm policy in yesterday’s Metro Business section misspelled the word sowing.

/duplicates | 019

Injured students go home


St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at Appalachian School of Law last week have been released from a hospital.

Rebecca Brown, 38, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, was upgraded from fair to good condition.

Stevens said all three were expected to make a full recovery.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain in the spree.

Student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Police said he had recently flunked out of school.

/duplicates | 022

METROPOLITAN; BRIEFLY; VIRGINIA

Wire Reports
The Washington Times

MENINGITIS KILLS PRISON INMATE

RICHMOND - A Lunenburg Correctional Center inmate died from bacterial meningitis two days after he was scheduled to be paroled, the Department of Corrections announced yesterday.

James Ball, 45, of Hampton died last Thursday, spokesman Larry Traylor said.

No one else at the 1,100-inmate prison near Victoria has come down with symptoms, Mr. Traylor said. All inmates and staff at the prison who came into contact with Ball were given Cipro, a powerful antibiotic.

Ball became so ill that he was sent to a hospital in South Hill on Jan. 3 and then transferred to the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond later that day, he said.

Ball had been in prison off and on since 1991 for crimes including maiming, use of a firearm in a felony, attempted arson and parole violations, Mr. Traylor said. He was to have been paroled Jan. 15.

POLICE: FIRE THAT CAUSED DEATH WAS ACCIDENTAL

MCLEAN - The fire that killed a man at a McLean home appears to have been an accident, Fairfax County police said.

A man checking on the welfare of his 32-year-old son at 1612 Simmons Drive on Sunday found a body inside the residence. Police said the fire might have been caused by a space heater.

The body still has not been identified, and the cause of death remains unknown. Police said an autopsy will be performed.

NO BOND FOR MAN HELD IN SHOOTING AT MOTEL

ARLINGTON - A Marine Corps sergeant from Fort Knox, Ky., has been arrested and charged in the fatal shootings of his wife, his 5-year-old daughter and his wife’s friend, police said yesterday.

Arlington County police Sgt. Jim Daly said a motel guest heard a woman scream Sunday night at the Cherry Blossom TraveLodge. Motel workers called police, and officers who responded at 8:15 p.m. found one woman dead in one room and another woman and the girl with gunshot wounds in another room, Daly said.

The second woman was pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, and the girl was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, Sgt. Daly said.

Killed in the shooting were the man’s wife, Maya Lajuan Davidson Cooper, 22; Marie Gault, 20; and Desiree Cooper, 5. All three were from Arlington. It is not clear which woman was in which room.

Sgt. Zachary Cooper Sr. of Fort Knox, Ky., was charged with one count of murder and is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Center. The investigation is continuing.

Investigators did not have a motive for the shooting.

The three slayings were more than Arlington had in all of 2001, when the county had two homicides, Sgt. Daly said.

It was the second triple homicide in the history of the county. The first was in 1995, Sgt. Daly said.

TWO RAMPAGE SURVIVORS RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

GRUNDY - Two students wounded in last week’s shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law have been released from a hospital.

Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Clintwood were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., according to a hospital spokeswoman.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, Ky., was upgraded from fair to good condition, she said. All three were expected to make a full recovery, she said.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales were slain in the shooting spree.

Dismissed student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a native of Nigeria, is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons counts in the shootings. Police said Mr. Odighizuwa recently had flunked out of school.

The private law school, which opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school, has an enrollment of about 200 students.

/duplicates | 025

Students return to law school where gunman killed three, including dean and professor

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Ted Besen says he had yearned to become a defense attorney, but changed his mind in the wake of the slayings of the dean, a professor and another student at the Appalachian School of Law.

“I don’t ever want to defend someone like him,” Besen said.

The former Marine and police officer was among several students who tackled former classmate Peter Odighizuwa on the school’s front lawn after last week’s shootings.

When classes resume Wednesday at the school, Besen, 37, and others said they’ll return with mixed emotions.

“You just feel violated somehow,” Besen said Tuesday at a nearby restaurant.

“I’ve been having bad dreams,” said 42-year-old Mary Kilpatrick. “I guess there’s no more security in law schools than there is any other place.”

Kilpatrick said she and about 20 other students spent most of Monday in the school lounge, scrubbing blood stains from the rug and rearranging furniture.

“It’s therapeutic being back here; it keeps my mind off of things,” Kilpatrick said.

Police say Odighizuwa shot Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell in their offices last Wednesday, then opened fire in the school lounge, killing student Angela Dales and injuring three others.

Odighizuwa, 43, had recently learned he’d flunked out for the second time. He’s charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

“We’re going to have an unofficial class reunion the day he gets the chair,” said Matthew Harvey, who spent the week driving between memorial services with other students.

The school reopened Tuesday, holding a two-hour counseling session and discussing the class schedule for the rest of the semester.

Outside, faculty and students wrote good-bye messages in memorial books that will be given to victims’ families.

“I keep expecting Dean Sutin to come back,” said 22-year-old Melanie Page. “I just miss them all so much.”

/duplicates | 028

Mon, 21 Jan 2002

Va. Law Students Leave Hospital


Associated Press Online

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week have been released from a hospital.

Rebecca Brown, 38, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, was upgraded from fair to good condition.

Stevens said all three were expected to make a full recovery.

The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain in the spree.

Student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Police said he had recently flunked out of school.

/duplicates | 031

Sun, 20 Jan 2002

Blue-collar Appalachian community embraces its new law school in time of crisis

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

It seemed like a risky proposition: building a law school in a small struggling coal town isolated by the rugged Appalachian Mountains.

But with area mines closing and the young moving away to find work, town officials pushed ahead, opening the Appalachian School of Law in 1997 inside an old brick school house.

“We needed this, anything that could help,” said W.H. Trivett, 77, mayor of the blue-collar town of about 1,100.

It took time for the new students to gain acceptance in the close-knit community where many residents’ families had lived for generations.

“We had to get used to people from different cultures living here - and they had to get used to us,” said Richie Mullins, 35, who sells law school text books out of his bicycle store on Main Street.

But any lingering doubts students and faculty may have had about their neighbors’ feelings disappeared last week as the town responded after a disgruntled former student allegedly walked into the school and shot to death the dean, a professor and a student.

In the days that followed, signs of support appeared throughout Grundy.

“ASL our thoughts and prayers are with you,” read a banner in the parking lot of Rife’s TV.

A grocery in nearby Vansant donated ham biscuits, cookies and soda pop to the Baptist church for a memorial service.

Loweda Gillespie, 61, tied yellow ribbons around store fronts, telephone poles and trees.

“We wanted to let them know we’re family,” Gillespie said.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and Professor Tom Blackwell, 41, were slain in their offices Wednesday. Law student Angela Dales, 33, died later at the hospital. Three other students were wounded.

The gunfire sent terrified students running from the building before classmates tackled the alleged shooter. Peter Odighizuwa, 43, who had been dismissed from the school because of failing grades, is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. The prosecutor said she will seek the death penalty.

Residents attended memorial services throughout the week, placing flowers on the school’s concrete sign as victims’ families and friends wept in small, shivering circles.

“It’s so heartwarming to see this,” school president Lucius Ellsworth said Saturday. “There’s no doubt that out of this tragedy, this community has united.”

For decades, officials wanted to build a law school in southwest Virginia to create jobs and provide a legal resource for the remote mountain area.

“In all rural areas, there is a real lack of legal education,” said Ellsworth, a former education official in Tennessee and vice chancellor of Clinch Valley College in Wise. Before the law school came to Grundy, there was no other law school within a three-hour drive.

The Appalachian School of Law now has about 200 students. The American Bar Association granted it provisional accreditation last year. And everyone at the school - students and faculty alike - is required to support the town with 25 hours of community service per term.

Students, many of whom are older and looking for a second career, tutor Grundy school children.

“These kids, the way they’re allowed to work with the public, I’m sure they’re getting a better education than they could in other places,” Trivett said.

Among the faculty, Blackwell was one of the most involved. His children regularly helped out at the Mountain Mission School, a local agency for orphans and children of extreme poverty. He and his wife, Lisa, sang in a church choir, and he was on a committee to find a new pastor.

“Y’all have become our family,” Lisa Blackwell said at a memorial service for her husband Friday. “We have more love here than we could possibly have asked for.”

Blackwell’s funeral was planned for Monday in Dallas, where the family lived before moving to Grundy. A private memorial service for Sutin was held Sunday at the local high school.

“He came to Grundy because he thought he could use his talents to help people in Appalachia, and to help boost the economy of a small coal town,” said Kent Markus, Sutin’s former Harvard Law School roommate and one of about 500 people who attended the service. “He was trying to help the sons and grandsons of coal miners.”

At the law school, classes were expected to resume Tuesday. The faculty shuffled around schedules to cover Blackwell’s classes, and Paul Lund, who has been assistant dean, was appointed to fill Sutin’s role until a new dean can be hired.

“As horrific as this has been, I’m certain the institution will be stronger,” Ellsworth said.

/duplicates | 041

Community embraces its new law school in time of crisis

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

It seemed like a risky proposition: building a law school in a small struggling coal town isolated by the rugged Appalachian Mountains.

But with area mines closing and the young moving away to find work, town officials pushed ahead, opening the Appalachian School of Law in 1997 inside an old brick school house.

“We needed this, anything that could help,” said W.H. Trivett, 77, mayor of the blue-collar town of about 1,100.

It took time for the new students to gain acceptance in the close-knit community where many residents’ families had lived for generations.

“We had to get used to people from different cultures living here - and they had to get used to us,” said Richie Mullins, 35, who sells law school text books out of his bicycle store on Main Street.

But any lingering doubts students and faculty may have had about their neighbors’ feelings disappeared last week as the town responded after a disgruntled former student allegedly walked into the school and shot to death the dean, a professor and a student.

In the days that followed, signs of support appeared throughout Grundy.

“ASL our thoughts and prayers are with you,” read a banner in the parking lot of Rife’s TV.

A grocery in nearby Vansant donated ham biscuits, cookies and soda pop to the Baptist church for a memorial service.

Loweda Gillespie, 61, tied yellow ribbons around store fronts, telephone poles and trees.

“We wanted to let them know we’re family,” Gillespie said.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and Professor Tom Blackwell, 41, were slain in their offices Wednesday. Law student Angela Dales, 33, died later at the hospital. Three other students were wounded.

The gunfire sent terrified students running from the building before classmates tackled the alleged shooter. Peter Odighizuwa, 43, who had been dismissed from the school because of failing grades, is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. The prosecutor said she will seek the death penalty.

Residents attended memorial services throughout the week, placing flowers on the school’s concrete sign as victims’ families and friends wept in small, shivering circles.

“It’s so heartwarming to see this,” school president Lucius Ellsworth said Saturday. “There’s no doubt that out of this tragedy, this community has united.”

For decades, officials wanted to build a law school in southwest Virginia to create jobs and provide a legal resource for the remote mountain area.

“In all rural areas, there is a real lack of legal education,” said Ellsworth, a former education official in Tennessee and vice chancellor of Clinch Valley College in Wise. Before the law school came to Grundy, there was no other law school within a three-hour drive.

The Appalachian School of Law now has about 200 students. The American Bar Association granted it provisional accreditation last year. And everyone at the school - students and faculty alike - is required to support the town with 25 hours of community service per term.

Students, many of whom are older and looking for a second career, tutor Grundy school children.

“These kids, the way they’re allowed to work with the public, I’m sure they’re getting a better education than they could in other places,” Trivett said.

Among the faculty, Blackwell was one of the most involved. His children regularly helped out at the Mountain Mission School, a local agency for orphans and children of extreme poverty. He and his wife, Lisa, sang in a church choir, and he was on a committee to find a new pastor.

“Y’all have become our family,” Lisa Blackwell said at a memorial service for her husband Friday. “We have more love here than we could possibly have asked for.”

Blackwell’s funeral was planned for Monday in Dallas, where the family lived before moving to Grundy. A private memorial service for Sutin was held Sunday at the local high school.

At the law school, classes were expected to resume Tuesday. The faculty shuffled around schedules to cover Blackwell’s classes, and Paul Lund, who has been assistant dean, was appointed to fill Sutin’s role until a new dean can be hired.

“As horrific as this has been, I’m certain the institution will be stronger,” Ellsworth said.

/duplicates | 057

Blue-collar Appalachian community embraces its new law school in time of crisis

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

It seemed like a risky proposition: building a law school in a small struggling coal town isolated by the rugged Appalachian Mountains.

But with area mines closing and the young moving away to find work, town officials pushed ahead, opening the Appalachian School of Law in 1997 inside an old brick school house.

“We needed this, anything that could help,” said W.H. Trivett, 77, mayor of the blue-collar town of about 1,100.

It took time for the new students to gain acceptance in the close-knit community where many residents’ families had lived for generations.

“We had to get used to people from different cultures living here - and they had to get used to us,” said Richie Mullins, 35, who sells law school text books out of his bicycle store on Main Street.

But any lingering doubts students and faculty may have had about their neighbors’ feelings disappeared last week as the town responded after a disgruntled former student allegedly walked into the school and shot to death the dean, a professor and a student.

In the days that followed, signs of support appeared throughout Grundy.

“ASL our thoughts and prayers are with you,” read a banner in the parking lot of Rife’s TV.

A grocery in nearby Vansant donated ham biscuits, cookies and soda pop to the Baptist church for a memorial service.

Loweda Gillespie, 61, tied yellow ribbons around store fronts, telephone poles and trees.

“We wanted to let them know we’re family,” Gillespie said.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and Professor Tom Blackwell, 41, were slain in their offices Wednesday. Law student Angela Dales, 33, died later at the hospital. Three other students were wounded.

The gunfire sent terrified students running from the building before classmates tackled the alleged shooter. Peter Odighizuwa, 43, who had been dismissed from the school because of failing grades, is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. The prosecutor said she will seek the death penalty.

Residents attended memorial services throughout the week, placing flowers on the school’s concrete sign as victims’ families and friends wept in small, shivering circles.

“It’s so heartwarming to see this,” school president Lucius Ellsworth said Saturday. “There’s no doubt that out of this tragedy, this community has united.”

For decades, officials wanted to build a law school in southwest Virginia to create jobs and provide a legal resource for the remote mountain area.

“In all rural areas, there is a real lack of legal education,” said Ellsworth, a former education official in Tennessee and vice chancellor of Clinch Valley College in Wise. Before the law school came to Grundy, there was no other law school within a three-hour drive.

The Appalachian School of Law now has about 200 students. The American Bar Association granted it provisional accreditation last year. And everyone at the school - students and faculty alike - is required to support the town with 25 hours of community service per term.

Students, many of whom are older and looking for a second career, tutor Grundy schoolchildren.

“These kids, the way they’re allowed to work with the public, I’m sure they’re getting a better education than they could in other places,” Trivett said.

Among the faculty, Blackwell was one of the most involved. His children regularly helped out at the Mountain Mission School, a local agency for orphans and children of extreme poverty. He and his wife, Lisa, sang in a church choir, and he was on a committee to find a new pastor.

“Y’all have become our family,” Lisa Blackwell said at a memorial service for her husband Friday. “We have more love here than we could possibly have asked for.”

Blackwell’s funeral was planned for Monday in Dallas, where the family lived before moving to Grundy. A private memorial service for Sutin was held Sunday at the local high school.

“He came to Grundy because he thought he could use his talents to help people in Appalachia, and to help boost the economy of a small coal town,” said Kent Markus, Sutin’s former Harvard Law School roommate and one of about 500 people who attended the service. “He was trying to help the sons and grandsons of coal miners.”

At the law school, classes were expected to resume Tuesday. The faculty shuffled around schedules to cover Blackwell’s classes, and Paul Lund, who has been assistant dean, was appointed to fill Sutin’s role until a new dean can be hired.

“As horrific as this has been, I’m certain the institution will be stronger,” Ellsworth said.

/duplicates | 060

Sat, 19 Jan 2002

Pistol peril What’s the solution?

Gzedit
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)

APPALACHIAN School of Law - a small, new Virginia institution designed to train lawyers to relieve a shortage in mountain communities - contained several West Virginia students. It also contained a Nigerian immigrant who couldn’t pass the stringent courses.

After he flunked out a second time, the bitter man returned to the school with a .380 pistol. He killed the dean and a professor in their offices, then opened fire on students in a common area. A female student was killed, and three others were seriously wounded.

Horrors like this happen time after time in pistol-polluted America, where any angry or unbalanced person can obtain a gun. The U.S. rate of firearm murders is vastly higher than in other advanced nations, where weapons are tightly controlled.

Under today’s conditions, Americans have virtually no defense. An armed weirdo can come to your front door, or your church, or your office, or your child’s school, or a movie theater, or a concert hall - nearly anywhere - and start shooting.

Gun lovers, such as chest-thumping Charlton Heston, say the cure is for thousands of Americans to go armed, so they can shoot back. But that’s grotesque. Do you want to work every day in an office full of armed people? Do you want armed teachers at your child’s school? The risk of accidental killing would be greater than the risk of murder.

Even if the deans, professors and students at the law school had been carrying pistols of their own, they probably couldn’t have seized them in time to prevent tragedy. Usually, there’s no warning before gunfire erupts.

Gun-control laws have glaring loopholes. A new national study found that 9,976 convicted felons, including 270 in West Virginia, bought guns, even though it’s illegal for them to do so. Defective records failed to reveal their past convictions.

Even if the national background screening system worked well, criminals easily can obtain pistols by having others make purchases for them. A study last fall found that 40 percent of prison inmates serving time for gun crimes had obtained the weapons from relatives or friends.

The only real cure for America’s horrendous gun toll would be a drastic reduction in the availability of pistols. But that’s unlikely to happen because U.S. politicians are terrified of the gun lobby. The whole Bush administration - especially Attorney General John Ashcroft - is committed to allowing Americans to carry concealed guns.

West Virginia politicians likewise support the right of people to have pistols hidden in their pockets. Absurdly, right-to-bear-arms legislators are spending $ 900,000 of taxpayer money for metal detectors at the state Capitol. The lawmakers say everyone has a right to go armed - but they fear that an armed person might come into their chambers.

As long as America takes no real action to decrease the saturation of guns in society, people will have no defense against horrors such as the law school tragedy.

/duplicates | 067

AAGM: NIGERIAN IN US ARRAIGNED FOR MURDER


This Day (Nigeria): AAGM

A Nigeria citizen in the United State, Mr. Peter Odighizuwa was Thursday in Virginia USA, arraigned with the murder of three persons and injuring others.

According to reports Thursday, said Odighizuwa, 43, had on Wednesday killed the dean, a professor and a student of a private law school in Virginia from where he was dismissed a day earlier for poor academic performance.

A day following his dismissal, Odighizuwa returned to the Appalachian School of Law and met with the Dean L Anthony Sutin in an attempt to reverse his dismissal.

But when his request was not granted Odighizuwa pulled out his hand gun, killing the dean and a professor who taught him contract law, Thomas Blackwell.

He then went downstairs and opened fire on students, killing one and injuring three others. Some students tackled and handcuffed him before he could do more harm.

Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media. (allafrica.com)

/duplicates | 069

Fri, 18 Jan 2002

Uni killings


The Advertiser

NEW YORK: A failed law student killed two professors then shot dead a student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. Three other students, also shot, are in a critical condition. Nigerian foreign exchange student Peter Odighizuma, 43, was disarmed of his automatic pistol by four other students.

/duplicates | 078

Screening College Students Difficult

Arlene Levinson
Associated Press Online

After failed law student Peter Odighizuwa allegedly stormed the Appalachian School of Law and killed the dean, a professor and a student, acquaintances said they knew all along he was troubled.

But screening college applicants for instability and removing students with serious mental health problems can be difficult, experts say.

Federal laws bar admissions officers from asking about mental illness, and clamp a shield of privacy over information about students once they’re enrolled. Add the communal setting and the culture of openness on college campuses and they are as vulnerable as any community.

“The whole range of behaviors and problems you have in small towns, you have in universities,” said Debra Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. “They’re small towns.”

Unlike small towns, however, there are some extra rules.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents schools from asking about any mental illness in admissions, and requires the school to accommodate afflicted students - which they gladly do, said Barmak Nassirian, policy analyst for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

“Regrettably, there isn’t a whole lot institutions are allowed to do prior to the commission of a nefarious act,” Nassirian said. A “hunch” is not enough to keep someone out of the classroom, he said, “just because somebody is very passionate - shall we say - in their discourse.”

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act generally prevents schools from revealing student records to anyone outside the school.

This became controversial after the Sept. 11 attacks. A survey of registrars found 220 schools had been contacted by at least one agency seeking student information - 50 schools by more than one agency from a group that included the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and state and local police.

Most of the time, campuses are generally peaceful havens.

“There’s no national pattern of violence on college campuses,” said Sheldon Steinbach, general counsel for the American Council on Education, which represents higher education groups. “You’re dealing with isolated instances that are basically idiosyncratic and very difficult to prevent.”

But privacy protections need not be a barrier to safer campuses, said Scott Doner, public safety director at Valdosta State University in Georgia.

Odd or scary behavior should be reported to campus police, who can check it out, he said. That’s a lesson learned from the high school shootings in recent years: the shooters often talked about their plans.

“A lot of people do not want to get involved,” said Doner, president-elect of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Officers. “But I think because of what happened on Sept. 11, and going all the way back to Columbine, people are beginning to realize they can make a difference.”

/duplicates | 087

2 Die in Fla. Murder-Suicide Shooting


Associated Press Online

A man shot his ex-girlfriend to death Friday at the community college she attended, then killed himself, authorities said.

Moriah Ann Pierce, 20, was studying to become an elementary school teacher, according to a statement from Broward Community College, southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

Michael Holness, 23, of Miramar, shot her, then himself, because of a domestic dispute, police Lt. Gary Killam said.

Several students witnessed the late-morning shooting, but no one else was injured.

“I turned around and I saw the girl was shot,” student Joe Fazio said. “It looks like she was shot in the back of the neck. Then I heard the second gunshot. I turned around and the guy was laying on the ground.”

It was the third shooting at schools nationwide in the past week.

On Wednesday, the dean, a professor and a student were shot and killed at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. A student who had recently flunked out was arrested.

Two students were shot and wounded Tuesday at Martin Luther King Jr. High School on New York City’s Upper West Side. A teen-ager was arrested Friday.

/duplicates | 088

Two killed in apparent murder-suicide on Florida college campus; shooter was ex-boyfriend


Associated Press Worldstream

A man shot his ex-girlfriend to death Friday at the community college she attended, then killed himself, authorities said.

Moriah Ann Pierce, 20, was studying to become an elementary school teacher, according to a statement from Broward Community College, southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

Michael Holness, 23, shot her, then himself, because of a domestic dispute, police Lt. Gary Killam said.

Several students witnessed the late-morning shooting, but no one else was injured.

“I turned around and I saw the girl was shot,” student Joe Fazio said. “It looks like she was shot in the back of the neck. Then I heard the second gunshot. I turned around and the guy was laying on the ground.”

It was the third shooting at schools nationwide in the past week.

On Wednesday, the dean, a professor and a student were shot and killed at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. A student who had recently flunked out was arrested.

Two students were shot and wounded Tuesday at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in New York City. A teen-ager was arrested Friday.

/duplicates | 090

LAW SCHOOL DEATHS SHAKE GRUNDY HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO HONOR VICTIMS

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

Mourners lit candles, then sat silently in their glow.

One day after gunfire shattered the serenity of this tiny, southwest Virginia town, there seemed little anyone at the Appalachian School of Law and the community it calls home could do but sit in silence, lost in their agony and question “why?”

“Columbine seemed like a world away, until lunch yesterday,” the Rev. Stan Parris told a few hundred people at a memorial service at Grundy Baptist Church.

On Wednesday, a disgruntled student upset about flunking out of the law school arrived with a .380 pistol and shot dead the dean, a professor and a student. Three other students were wounded, and they remained hospitalized Thursday.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, was charged Thursday with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six felony firearms charges. Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she would seek the death penalty.

Tolliver then entered the school’s cafeteria with about 150 others to watch the service on closed-circuit TV because the church couldn’t hold everyone.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and Professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, were killed in their offices. Student Angela Dales, 33, of Vansant, died later, also from a gunshot wound.

In Grundy, a gritty coal town of about 1,100 in the shadow of two great mountain ridges, violent crime has been an infrequent occurrence, Parris told the mourners.

He asked them to pray, and reassured them that “God will bring justice.”

After the service, a few hundred students, families and residents gathered to cry. Nearby, people placed roses and carnations at the base of the stone school sign in a makeshift memorial, the American flag on the school lawn at half mast above.

“We feel in our hearts the deepest pain,” said Rabbi Stanley Funston, who leads a synagogue in Bluefield, W.V., that Sutin attended during the holidays.

Sutin was a hands-on administrator who knew his students’ names, they said.

“He just had this integrity about him,” said Mary Kilpatrick, who will graduate in a semester.

Brian Floyd, 27, said Sutin checked on him when Floyd went to the hospital last April with a bleeding ulcer.

“He called me at the hospital from his office just to see how I was doing,” Floyd said.

Blackwell was remembered as an avid runner and trumpet player.

“I knew him from choir,” said Kenneth Brown, 28, a first-year law student. “We were going to start a little band.”

Dales, a single mother, was a boisterous person putting herself through school.

“She was just this high-tempo person,” said Alex VanBuren, 32, of Johnson City, Tenn. “She always got good grades.”

/duplicates | 103

Law school executions


The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)

NEW YORK: A failed law student executed two professors and a student at a small US university yesterday.

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

The gunman, 43-year-old Nigerian foreign exchange student Peter Odighizuma, was eventually wrestled to the ground and disarmed of his .38 automatic pistol by four other students.

The dead included the university’s dean, Anthony Sutin, 41, who advised Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and later served in a senior position in the Justice Department.

/duplicates | 105

Revenge attack by failed student

Michael Beach
Hobart Mercury (Australia)

A FAILED law student executed two professors then shot dead a fellow student inside a small American university yesterday.

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, 43-year-old Nigerian foreign exchange student Peter Odighizuma, was wrestled to the ground and disarmed of his .38-calibre automatic pistol by four other students, police said.

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

Local physician Dr Jack Briggs, who had treated Odighizuma for stress, was the first doctor to arrive at the law school after the shootings.

“The scene was a disaster,” he said.

Dr Briggs said Sutin and another professor had been shot at point-blank range in an apparent revenge attack.

“He had flunked out of school last year,” Dr Briggs said.

“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.”

A university spokesman said Odighizuma had been suspended from the school yesterday morning.

After killing the two professors, he began shooting randomly at students.

One died after being shot in the neck and back. Three others, suffering bullet wounds to their abdomens, were flown to the closest trauma centre in Bristol, Tennessee, for emergency surgery.

/duplicates | 113

APPALACHIA’S MASS SLAYINGS


Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

FRUSTRATION, alienation and a gun.

The same lethal mix that explodes in mass slayings with some regularity in communities across the United States came together Wednesday in Appalachia. It left three people dead and the public with a sense of bewildered loss dismaying in its familiarity.

Here is yet another “senseless act of violence” - one that is cause for particular grief in Southwest Virginia.

Partly, this is because the shootings at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy were all too close to home. True, the little coalfield town is tucked away in isolated far Southwest, hours by car from Roanoke or Virginia Tech, the region’s major city and major university.

But in far-flung, geographically diverse Virginia, the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains define a region, and Grundy is part of it.

Mainly, though, people familiar with the hard times afflicting Virginia’s coalfields might regard Wednesday’s slayings as particularly poign-

ant because of the nature of the victims and the work they were doing.

Anthony Sutin, dean of the Appalachian School of Law, was a professionally accomplished public servant who left booming Northern Virginia to lead a tiny, new law school in one of the most economically depressed areas of the state.

The distance between Washington, where he held a post in the Justice Department, and Grundy can be measured in more than miles. But the path seems natural for someone whom a colleague described not only as brilliant but as committed to working for the poor.

Another of the shooting victims was Thomas Blackwell, remembered Wednesday as a tough professor, but one willing to work long hours to make himself available to students so that they might succeed. The third, student Angela Dales, at one time was a recruiter for the school. She was a single mother taking her bite at the opportunity it offered.

Every slain victim who leaves behind family and friends is mourned in a personal way by people who feel each loss acutely, in ways even sympathetic strangers cannot know.

To the bereavement of the victims’ families and friends add, in this case, the loss to a newly established institution and all the hope a community has vested in it for greater opportunity.

Peter Odighizuwa, the man police have charged with the shootings, is a naturalized American from Nigeria. Perhaps that is what prompted state police to declare that the shootings were “absolutely not connected to terrorism in any way, shape or form.”

Of course not. America has witnessed this kind of horror before Sept. 11, and will witness it again. Such tragedies raise public policy questions about guns and mental health care and who has access to what. But debate about such issues must await another day, when more is known about this latest case.

Grundy already knows the nature of its loss, and it is grievous.

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Law school shootings suspect: I’m sick


St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

The expelled law school student accused of killing his dean and two others told a judge that he is sick and needs help.

At Thursday’s arraignment on three counts of capital murder, Peter Odighizuwa, 43, hid his face behind a green arrest warrant.

“I was supposed to see my doctor,” Odighizuwa said. “He was supposed to help me out. . . . I don’t have my medication.”

Police say Odighizuwa opened fire with a handgun at the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday, a day after he was dismissed from the school for a second time.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and professor Thomas Blackwell were slain in their offices, and student Angela Dales, 33, died later at a hospital. Three other students were wounded.

Rosa Parks’ former home

named U.S. landmark

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The former home of Rosa Parks, whose arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in 1955 sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, has been declared a national landmark.

The apartment in the building at 620-638 Cleveland Court was recognized because of its historic and symbolic significance, according to the National Register of Historic Places.

The apartment was Parks’ home at the time she achieved national prominence for her civil rights activism, and it was also her destination at the time she was arrested, the national register noted.

Barbs traded in ex-priest’s

sex abuse trial

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A priest betrayed a boy’s trust when he grabbed his buttocks in a swimming pool 11 years ago and should be punished, a prosecutor said Thursday during closing statements at the man’s sex abuse trial.

Defense attorney Geoffrey Packard implied the abuse charge was all about money, noting the alleged victim didn’t come forward for eight years, and only after consulting an attorney, who sued.

Prosecutor Lynn Rooney said that if the victim was after money, he would have come up with a more dramatic story.

The defrocked Roman Catholic priest, John Geoghan, 66, is charged with indecent assault and battery on a person under age 14, accused of improperly touching the boy, then 10, in 1991. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.

Also . . .

CRASH KILLS ONE: Two military attack jets collided and crashed in the southern Arizona desert Thursday, the Air Force said. One of the pilots was killed. Base officials said the second pilot was hospitalized.

INQUEST DENIED: A Colorado county coroner on Thursday rejected a request for an inquest into the shooting death of a student who was killed as he fled the Columbine High School massacre. Daniel Rohrbough’s parents believe the 15-year-old was accidentally shot by police April 20, 1999.

TWO DEAD AFTER GAS LEAK: Two workers were killed and another was in critical condition Thursday after poisonous gas leaked from a Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Butler, Ala. Twelve others were hospitalized after the hydrogen sulfide leak Wednesday at the company’s Naheola mill near Pennington, said Choctaw County medical services director J.W. Cowan.

COP-KILLER SEEKS NEW TRIAL: Lawyers for former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal said Thursday that he will ask a federal appeals court to grant him a new trial in the 1981 slaying of a police officer. Last month, U.S. District Judge William Yohn threw out Abu-Jamal’s death sentence but upheld his 1982 murder conviction.

GAY TEEN’S SUIT SETTLED: The Titusville school district in Pennsylvania will pay $ 312,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a gay teenager who said officials did nothing to stop other students from tormenting him. Timothy Dahle, now 19, said he was pushed down a set of stairs and subjected to other physical assaults as well as name-calling and obscene jokes.

/duplicates | 140

Law school rampage


Townsville Bulletin/Townsville Sun (Australia)

GRUNDY, Virginia—A student who had been dismissed from law school went on a campus shooting spree, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by students, authorities said.

The attack on Wednesday also wounded three female students at the Appalachian School of Law. They were hospitalised in a fair condition.

“When I arrived there were bodies lying everywhere,” said Dr Jack Briggs, one of the first to arrive after the shooting.

Dean Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices. Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33.

Authorities said the suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, was at school to meet the dean about his academic dismissal, which came into effect that day. Dr Briggs said Odighizuwa, a naturalised US citizen from Nigeria, had flunked out last year and been allowed to return to the school.

Odighizuwa first stopped in the office of Professor Dale Rubin to talk about his grades and reportedly asked Professor Rubin to pray for him, police said. Professor Rubin declined to comment.

Odighizuwa then walked to Mr Sutin’s and Professor Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-calibre pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said.

Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Professor Dales and seriously wounding three others.

Todd Ross, 30, was among the students who were outside when Odighizuwa left the building. Ross said the suspect held his hands in the air and dropped the gun at his prompting.

“He struggled after we got him on the ground, but then just laid there,” Mr Ross said. “He kept shouting ‘I have nowhere to go’.”

Odighizuwa was being held at the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three weapons counts.

Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Governor Mark Warner, said Odighizuwa had a history of mental instability.

First-year student Justin Marlowe said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself,” Mr Marlowe said.

He said that after Odighizuwa “flunked out” a year ago, “the dean bent over backward to enrol him again”.

/duplicates | 141

AAGM: LAW STUDENT SHOOTS SIX, KILLS THREE


Vanguard (Nigeria): AAGM

A NIGERIAN student recently suspended by his U.S. law school went on a shooting spree on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding three more, a local coroner and physician said.

The gunman used a .38-calibre semi-automatic handgun at point-blank range to shoot the school s dean and a professor, killing both men, before opening fire on his fellow students in Grundy, Virginia, said Doctor Jack Briggs.

One student was killed, and three more were injured in the rampage at the Appalachian School of Law. One woman was in fair condition and two more were in surgery, hospital staff said.

After the rampage, the gunman was tackled by four male students before being arrested, said Briggs, whose medical practice is near the school.

Virginia State Police identified the man they were holding in the shooting as Peter Odighizuwa, 43. They did not immediately release any further details or announce charges.

One victim, the school s Dean, was Anthony Sutin, a former U.S. Justice Department official who worked on the 1992 election campaign for former President Bill Clinton.

Professor Thomas Blackwell was also shot dead in his office in the small law school, located in the Appalachia mountain range, about 500 km southwest of the capital Washington.

Briggs said he knew the gunman, who had complained of stress about half-a-year ago and in hindsight had been “a time bomb ready to go off”.

The student had flunked out of the school last year and, after a second attempt, had been suspended for poor grades.

“So he took his anger out on the people he felt were responsible for him leaving the school,” the doctor said. “I had no idea it would affect him this way.”

The faculty members were “executed”, said Briggs, who described gunpowder burns on the shirt of one victim who was “obviously shot at point-blank range”.

School administrators issued a statement saying they were shocked and saddened by the shooting. Classes were canceled for the rest of the week. A memorial service was held at noon yesterday.

The three wounded students were taken to Buchanan General Hospital and later transferred to other hospitals for treatment.

All three wounded students are women, said Tim Baylor, spokesman for Wellmont health system. Two of them were in surgery and the third was in fair condition, he said.

Police said one student was shot in the abdomen and arm. A second student was shot in the throat and the third student suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

The law school, with about 170 students enrolled, began offering classes in 1997 at a renovated junior high school about 45 miles north of Bristol.

/duplicates | 144

Grundy, Law School Linked in Mourning; Ties Strengthened In Tributes to 3 Slain in Shootings

Maria Glod and Fredrick Kunkle
The Washington Post

Thomas F. Blackwell was a hard-charging corporate lawyer known for a methodical and creative approach to his cases. But here in this tiny mountain town, he was known for singing duets with his wife in the Buchanan First Presbyterian Choir and for his fiery homemade chili at his son’s Boy Scout gatherings.

Grundy remembered Blackwell today, along with L. Anthony Sutin and Angela Denise Dales, who were all fatally shot Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law. At memorial services and candlelight vigils and gatherings over coffee, this much became clear: Longtime residents of this old, struggling, coal-mining town and their new educated, legal-minded, high-profile neighbors at the law school are forever linked. When community leaders founded the law school in 1997 to revitalize the region, many people in Grundy were skeptical that the two cultures would mesh. Now people can’t imagine the town without the school. “When it was first announced the school was coming, there were a lot of naysayers. Now I don’t think there is a naysayer left,” said Michael Hunt, a paralegal who has been accepted into Appalachian’s fall class.

Ginger Robertson, who works at Jackson Hardware and knew Sutin and Blackwell because their wives are members of the Grundy Women’s Club, will tell you how the school opens its doors to the arts community and the women’s club when they need space for meetings and other functions. Grundy’s town manager talks about the student who helped out by researching zoning laws. County social services officials applaud the students who tutor at the teen center.

“These were super people who found a little niche in the world and decided they were going to make it better,” said Jim Wayne Childress, a graduate and former schoolteacher who now practices law.

As Grundy mourned the dead, the student arrested in the killings appeared at a hearing in the Buchanan County courthouse, just down the street from the college. Peter Odighizuwa yelled to reporters as he walked across the outdoor catwalk connecting the jail and the courthouse: “I was sick. I was sick. I need help.”

Police say Odighizuwa, who was suspended Wednesday over his grades, went to the school’s second-floor offices to discuss his academic standing with professor Dale Rubin. When the conversation ended about 1:15 p.m., Odighizuwa told Rubin to pray for him, walked down the hall to Dean Sutin’s office and opened fire at close range with a semiautomatic handgun, killing Sutin, 42, a former top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration, police said.

The attacker then fatally shot Blackwell, a professor, in his office before walking downstairs to a lounge, where he opened fire again, killing Dales, a 33-year-old student, and injuring three other students, police said. Three students pounced on the gunman and held him until help arrived.

The shooting deaths caused the town to reflect on the five-year-old law school and people like Blackwell and Sutin, who gave up lucrative careers to come to this town on the West Virginia and Kentucky borders to try something new.

So Rife’s TV put a new message on the billboard outside the Main Street store: “ASL our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Ellen Cook and Loweda Gillespie, who work at a supermarket, drove around town hanging about 40 yellow ribbons from telephone poles and light posts.

And hundreds of family members, friends and neighbors gathered in the Baptist church next to the college for a service honoring the dean, professor and student.

Several noted without irony that Sutin helped the accused killer get on his feet by securing a $ 19,000 student loan for him and raising enough money for a car, some food and clothes.

It was exactly that kind of spirit the school’s founders envisioned when they recruited Sutin and Blackwell to Grundy.

Sutin enjoyed the easy pace of life in a small town, said Lucius “Lu” F. Ellsworth, the school’s president. Sutin also liked the idea of building up a new school, especially one whose guiding principles included service to the community, Ellsworth said.

Faculty members and students alike are required to put in 25 hours of community service per term. The students have participated in 65 social programs, including programs for the elderly, conflict resolution and a humane society for animals.

Sutin and his wife, also a professor at the school, volunteered for a community arts council that brought dance, music and other cultural events to the region.

“I think he enjoyed being part of a smaller community,” Ellsworth said. “I think he liked developing an institution from the ground up.”

Students are former paralegals, insurance agents and taxi drivers. Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, two students who are also former police officers, helped subdue Odighizuwa until sheriff’s deputies arrived. “I thought it was a gunshot, but I wasn’t sure until students started running out yelling, ‘Peter’s got a gun,’ ” Gross said. The students then tackled the gunman.

Odighizuwa was arraigned today on three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and six firearms charges. Odighizuwa, who shuffled into court in leg shackles and covered his face with court papers, told District Judge Patrick Johnson he needs medical attention. “I was supposed to see my doctor,” Odighizuwa said. “He was supposed to help me out. I don’t have my medication.”

Johnson told sheriff’s deputies to see that Odighizuwa is given any medication he needs and appointed Radford lawyer James C. Turk Jr. to handle the case.

Odighizuwa also has a pending assault charge in connection with an incident last summer in which he allegedly punched his wife. The case was set to be dismissed in August.

/duplicates | 146

Thu, 17 Jan 2002

Students Tackle Gunman in Law School

Chris Kahn
Associated Press Online

Tracy Bridges didn’t have much time to think when he saw Peter Odighizuwa on the front lawn of the Appalachian School of Law moments after he allegedly went on a killing spree.

“I just reacted,” said Bridges, a student and sheriff’s deputy who tackled Odighizuwa with classmates Todd Ross and Ted Besen after the Wednesday shootings.

The three men pinned Odighizuwa to the ground, and Bridges handcuffed the man’s arms behind his back.

Odighizuwa, 42, a former student who was dismissed on Tuesday for bad grades, is accused of shooting and killing Dean L. Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales.

As screaming students started climbing out of windows, Bridges and Besen said their police and military training took over.

“I’m a former Marine, former police officer,” said Besen, 37. “Who better to do that? I’m trained to do that. I’m not going to let him shoot anyone else if I could.”

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Grundy General District Court on capital murder charges.

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial officer, said he met with Odighizuwa on Tuesday afternoon along with other school officials to notify him that he was being permanently dismissed for poor grades. Odighizuwa had flunked out and then was readmitted a year before.

On Wednesday, Odighizuwa 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 then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

“There were three quick shots, then we heard, I think, three more,” said Bridges, 25.

Bridges and Besen, a former police officer from Wilmington, N.C., crept down a back stairwell to the parking lot, and Bridges got his gun out of the car.

Odighizuwa had walked outside and stood with a confused look on his face, Bridges said.

“I planned on blindsiding him from behind,” Besen said. “He sat the weapon down and raised his hands up in the air. I didn’t know if he was praying.”

Besen said he ran toward Odighizuwa and told him to get on the ground.

“He kind of came at me. He swung and hit me in the jaw,” Besen said.

Once pinned down, he kept shouting, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go.”’

/duplicates | 166

Accused College Shooter Says He’s Sick

Chris Kahn
Associated Press Online

The expelled law school student accused of killing his dean and two others in a campus shooting spree was so paranoid and prone to outbursts that at least one classmate said he saw the violence coming.

At Thursday’s arraignment on three counts of capital murder, Peter Odighizuwa, 43, told the judge he was sick and needed help.

“I was supposed to see my doctor,” Odighizuwa said, hiding his face behind a green arrest warrant. “He was supposed to help me out … I don’t have my medication.”

Police say Odighizuwa opened fire with a handgun at the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday, a day after he was dismissed from the school for a second time.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell were slain in their offices and student Angela Dales, 33, died later at a hospital. Three other students were wounded.

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

Odighizuwa also faces three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. A few minutes before his arraignment, Odighizuwa told reporters as he was led into the courtroom, “I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

Police said Odighizuwa was evaluated and given medication in jail, but declined to identify the drug.

On Thursday, students wept in small, shivering circles, many of them wondering about the classmate who always seemed aloof and was prone to vulgar outbursts.

Kenneth Brown, 28, said his friends always joked that Odighizuwa was one of those guys who would finally crack and bring a gun to school.

“He was kind of off-balance,” Brown said. “When we met last year, he actually came up and shook my hand and asked my name. Then, like five minutes later he came back and said, ‘You know I’m not crazy, but people tick me off sometimes.’ Out of the blue.”

Zeke Jackson, 40, said he stopped trying to recruit Odighizuwa for the school’s Black Law Students’ Association after Odighizuwa sent the dean a letter complaining that Jackson was harassing him.

“I knew he’d do something like this,” Jackson said.

Odighizuwa was arrested on Aug. 15 for allegedly assaulting his wife. The police report said he hit her in the face, bruising her right eye.

Police said Odighizuwa repeatedly approached them with concerns about people breaking into his house on the outskirts of this small town in western Virginia.

Chief Deputy Randall Ashby said Odighizuwa told police last year that someone placed a bullet in a stairway at his home. Three months ago, he complained again that his home has been broken into.

“Both times my deputies checked it out and found nothing,” Ashby said.

Odighizuwa also regularly visited the sheriff’s office to nitpick with deputies over the wording of the police reports he’d filed, Ashby said.

Despite Odighizuwa’s problems, the dean and others tried to help him through school. Last year, Sutin raised enough money to buy Odighizuwa a used car, clothes and food, according to students and staff.

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer, said Sutin also helped get Odighizuwa a $19,000 loan last fall.

“That’s what doesn’t make sense,” said Mary Kilpatrick, a third-year student, wondering aloud why Odighizuwa would kill the dean. “He’s the one who allowed him to stay here.”

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had been struggling in school for more than a year and had been dismissed before. His grades were poor again last semester, and school officials told Odighizuwa on Tuesday that they were flunking him.

“I don’t think Peter knew at this time that it was going to be permanent and final,” said Clifton, the financial aid officer. “He slung his chair across the room and slammed the door.”

The next day, after the rampage, witnesses say Odighizuwa left the building, dropped a gun and was tackled by several students.

After a tearful memorial service at Grundy Baptist Church, hundreds of people gathered to place flowers at the base of the school’s stone sign, under an American flag flying at half-staff.

“We feel in our hearts the deepest pain,” said Rabbi Stanley Funston of a synagogue in Bluefield, W.Va., that Sutin attended during the holidays.

/duplicates | 167

Students tackled gunman in law school shooting spree, held him down until police arrived With US-Law School Shooting

Chris Kahn
Associated Press Worldstream

Tracy Bridges didn’t have much time to think when he saw Peter Odighizuwa on the front lawn of the Appalachian School of Law moments after he allegedly went on a killing spree.

“I just reacted,” said Bridges, a student and sheriff’s deputy who tackled Odighizuwa with classmates Todd Ross and Ted Besen after the Wednesday shootings.

The three men pinned Odighizuwa to the ground, and Bridges handcuffed the man’s arms behind his back.

Odighizuwa, 42, a former student who was dismissed on Tuesday for bad grades, is accused of shooting and killing Dean L. Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales.

As screaming students started climbing out of windows, Bridges and Besen said their police and military training took over.

“I’m a former Marine, former police officer,” said Besen, 37. “Who better to do that? I’m trained to do that. I’m not going to let him shoot anyone else if I could.”

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Grundy General District Court on capital murder charges.

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial officer, said he met with Odighizuwa on Tuesday afternoon along with other school officials to notify him that he was being permanently dismissed for poor grades. Odighizuwa had flunked out and then was readmitted a year before.

On Wednesday, Odighizuwa 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 then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

“There were three quick shots, then we heard, I think, three more,” said Bridges, 25.

Bridges and Besen, a former police officer from Wilmington, North Carolina, crept down a back stairwell to the parking lot, and Bridges got his gun out of the car.

Odighizuwa had walked outside and stood with a confused look on his face, Bridges said.

“I planned on blindsiding him from behind,” Besen said. “He sat the weapon down and raised his hands up in the air. I didn’t know if he was praying.”

Besen said he ran toward Odighizuwa and told him to get on the ground.

“He kind of came at me. He swung and hit me in the jaw,” Besen said.

Once pinned down, he kept shouting, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go.”’

/duplicates | 168

Law-School-Shooting


Broadcast News (BN)

GRUNDY, Virginia—A struggling Nigerian student at a Virginia law school went on a campus shooting rampage yesterday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before being tackled by students.

Police say the gunman asked a professor to pray for him before he started shooting.

The attack, with a semi-automatic handgun, also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law.

Two were in surgery last night and the third is listed in fair condition.

The 42-year-old suspect, (Peter Odighizuwa), went to the school to meet with the dean about his academic suspension.

It’s reported he had a history of mental instability that school officials knew about.

He’s being held on three counts of capital murder and three weapons counts.

/duplicates | 176

Suspended law student kills three on campus


Calgary Herald (Alberta, Canada)

A struggling Nigerian student at a Virginia law school went on a campus shooting rampage Wednesday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by other students, authorities said.

The attack also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy. Two were in surgery Wednesday evening and the third was listed in fair condition.

“When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who was one of the first to arrive after the shooting.

The 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, went to the school to meet with the dean about his recent academic suspension, state police said.

/duplicates | 178

Dismissed student killed 3, police say

Roger Alford
Chicago Tribune

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.

/duplicates | 183

LAW SCHOOL GUN KILLINGS


Daily Post (Liverpool)

A GUNMAN killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree at a law school in the United States today, officials said. Among the dead at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, was the dean, Anthony Sutin, said Ellen Qualls, spokeswoman for Governor Mark Warner.

She said a student and another member of the faculty were also killed.

State police believe students had arrested the suspect, Qualls said.

Three students were wounded and taken to Buchanan General Hospital. She said the weapon was a .380 semi-automatic handgun.

/duplicates | 187

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.

/duplicates | 191

GUN NUT KILLS 3 IN COLLEGE


Daily Star

A GUN-toting student killed three people and wounded three others last night after running amok at a US college.

Brave students at the law college wrestled him to the ground. He struck after bursting into a common room at Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, Virginia.

The dead included the college’s dean, Anthony Sutin, a second member of staff and a student.

The killer, thought to have been angry with staff, used a .380 semi-automatic handgun.

Police, ambulances and counsellors rushed to the scene as the college was evacuated. The three injured were taken to hospital. Staff member Alicia O’Quin said: “This is usually a very quiet campus, very intimate.”

State Governor Mark Warner’s spokeswoman said: “Students bravely tackled the gunman.

“But we do not know the gunman’s motives at this time.”

Police arrested the suspect after students held him down until they arrived.

/duplicates | 194

ACROSS THE NATION


Detroit Free Press

NEW YORK

Helper in New Year bomb plot sentenced

Mokhtar Haouari, 32, was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum 24 years in prison for his role in a failed plot to detonate a suitcase bomb at the Los Angeles airport on Jan. 1, 2000.

In July, a Manhattan jury convicted Haouari, an Algerian who lives in Canada, on federal charges that he supplied fake IDs and cash to two others in the plot.

The plot was apparently foiled when another man was arrested at Port Angeles, Wash., in a car with explosives.

GRUNDY, Va.

3 dead in shooting spree

A student upset about his grades at the Appalachian School of Law killed three people and wounded three others with a handgun Wednesday before being wrestled to the ground, officials said.

Killed were dean L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales.

Peter Odighizuwa, 42, was being held on three counts of capital murder and three weapons counts.

PHILADELPHIA

Cops charged in cover-up

Two ranking police officers were charged Wednesday with trying to cover up a 1998 car accident after a night of drinking.

Capt. James Brady and Capt. Joseph DiLacqua turned themselves in. Brady had handed in his retirement papers Tuesday.

LAUDERHILL, Fla.

Plaque honors wrong man

A plaque intended to honor black actor James Earl Jones at a Florida celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. instead read, “Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive.” Ray is the man who killed the civil rights leader in 1968.

Herbert Miller, the owner of plaque manufacturer Merit Industries, called it “an honest error.” The plaque was being corrected before Jones’ Saturday visit to the Ft. Lauderdale suburb.

/duplicates | 196

UPDATE: Disgruntled law student shoots six, kills three - coroner


Deutsche Presse-Agentur

A Nigerian student recently suspended by his U.S. law school went on a shooting spree Wednesday, killing three people and wounding three more, a local coroner and physician said. The gunman used a. 38-calibre semi-automatic handgun at point- blank range to shoot the school’s dean and a professor, killing both men, before opening fire on his fellow students in Grundy, Virginia, said Doctor Jack Briggs.

One student was killed, and three more were injured in the rampage at the Appalachian School of Law. One woman was in fair condition, and two more were in surgery, hospital staff said. After the rampage, the gunman was tackled by four male students before being arrested, said Briggs, whose medical practice is near the school.

Virginia state police identified the man they were holding in the shooting as as Peter Odighizuma, 43. They did not immediately release any further details or announce charges.

One victim, the school’s dean, was Anthony Sutin, a former U.S. Justice Department official who worked on the 1992 election campaign of former president Bill Clinton.

Professor Thomas Blackwell was also shot dead in his office in the small law school, located in the Appalachia mountain range, about 500 kilometres southwest of the capital Washington.

Briggs told broadcaster CNN that he knew the gunman, who had complained about stress half a year ago and in hindsight had been “a time bomb ready to go off”.

The student had flunked out of the school last year and, after a second attempt, had been suspended for poor grades.

“So he took his anger out on the people he felt were responsible for him leaving the school,” the doctor said. “I had no idea it would affect him this way.”

The faculty members were “executed”, said Briggs, who described gunpowder burns on the shirt of one victim who was “obviously shot at point-blank range”. dpa fz ff

/duplicates | 198

Three killed at US law school


Financial Times (London)

Three killed at US law school

A gunman killed three people and wounded three at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, officials said. The dead included the dean.

/duplicates | 202

Failed law student kills three at school


Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)

A student who had been dismissed from law school went on a campus shooting rampage Wednesday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by students, authorities said.

The attack also wounded three female students at the Appalachian School of Law. They were in hospital in fair condition.

“When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, one of the first to arrive after the shooting in the tiny mountain community in western Virginia.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, school officials said. Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33.

Authorities said the 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect Wednesday. Briggs said Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, failed last year and had been allowed to return to the school.

Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner, said Odighizuwa had a history of mental instability school officials knew about.

/duplicates | 207

GUNMAN KILLS THREE IN US COLLEGE


ONASA News Agency

SARAJEVO, Jan 17 (ONASA) - A struggling student shot three people dead at a law school in the American state of Virginia, before being wrestled to the ground by fellow students.

The victims included the dean, a faculty member and a student of the Appalachian School of Law in the town of Grundy. Three other people were critically wounded, BBC reported.

The suspected gunman was identified as Nigerian Peter Odighizuwa, 42, who had been suspended from college earlier in the day. Governor Mark Warner, who was on the school’s board until he took office last week said: “My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.” The school’s dean, Anthony Sutin, had worked in the Clinton administration before leaving to found the college. He and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, school officials said. Dr Jack Briggs, the first to arrive on the scene, said the two men had been shot twice in the head in an “execution-style” killing. The gunman then went into a common area and opened fire, before being tackled by four students. “They just wanted the guy,” Dr Briggs said. “They weren’t worried about their own personal safety.

News of Dean Sutin’s death brought statements of condolence from US Attorney-General John Ashcroft and his predecessor, Janet Reno. “In today’s shooting, I lost not only a former colleague but a friend,” Miss Reno said. “Tony was an incredibly kind, exceptionally bright and intensely dedicated public servant.” The private law school opened five years ago with the idea of easing the shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia. It has 170 students.

/duplicates | 229

Disgruntled law student kills 3 at school


The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario)

- A student who had been dismissed from law school went on a campus shooting rampage yesterday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was tackled by students, authorities said.

The attack also wounded three female students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. They were in hospital in fair condition.

“When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, one of the first to arrive after the shooting in the tiny mountain community in western Virginia.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, school officials said. Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33.

Authorities said the 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect yesterday.

Briggs said Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, failed last year but had been allowed to return to the school.

Odighizuwa first stopped in the office of Prof. Dale Rubin to talk about his grades and as he left he was reported to have asked Rubin to pray for him, police said. Rubin, reached by telephone, declined comment.

He then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Dales and seriously 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 promptly 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. 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 school officials knew about.

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said.

The private law school, with an enrolment of about 170 students, was closed for the rest of the week.

School president Lucius Ellsworth was meeting with government officials in Richmond and flew back when he learned of the shootings.

“Each of us is suffering but as a family, we can find strength to pass through this terrible dark and tragic valley,” he said.

/duplicates | 233

ARMED STUDENT KILLS THREE AT VA. LAW SCHOOL

Roger Alford
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A struggling Nigerian 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. Two were in surgery Wednesday evening and the third was listed in fair condition.

“When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who was one of the first to arrive after the shooting in this small mountain community in western Virginia.

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 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic suspension, which went into effect Wednesday, state police spokesman Mike Stater said.

Odighizuwa 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 then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, Stater said. Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Dales and seriously 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 quickly 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. 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.

Rubin, the professor who spoke with the suspect moments before the rampage, declined to comment after the shooting.

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said.

He also said Odighizuwa had flunked out a year ago and “the dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again. ” The private law school, with an enrollment of about 170 students, was closed for the rest of the week.

The governor, who had served on the school’s board until he took office last week, said he was shocked by the shooting.

“I commend the students who acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect,” Warner said. “My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply. ” Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, also was an associate professor at the school. He left the Justice Department to help found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a statement expressing his condolences to Sutin’s wife and their two children.

The school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1,100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

School officials hope to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coal fields of southwest Virginia, help change the region’s image, and foster renewal in Appalachia. The American Bar Association rejected the school’s first application for accreditation in 1999, but the school graduated its first class of 34 in 2000.

There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard, and Howard universities.

“You read about it in other areas, but when it comes home it really hurts,” said state Delegate Jackie Stump of Grundy, fighting back tears as he hung his head and walked away from a news conference in Richmond.

/duplicates | 234

Student opens fire at law school, killing three and injuring three

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

A student upset about flunking out of law school shot his dean and a professor to death in their offices before opening fire in a commons area, killing a student and injuring three others, authorities said.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, went to the Appalachia School of Law on Wednesday to talk to his dean, L. Anthony Sutin, about his dismissal, officials said. He shot Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell, who taught Odighizuwa’s contracts classes during the fall and winter, with a .380-caliber pistol, authorities and students said.

Odighizuwa, known around the rural campus as “Peter O,” had been struggling with his grades for more than a year and had been dismissed once before. Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer, met with Odighizuwa a day earlier when Odighizuwa learned he was to be kicked out of school.

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” Clifton said. Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, scheduled a meeting for Wednesday to talk to school officials about his grades.

“I don’t think Peter knew at this time that it was going to be permanent and final,” Clifton said.

Also killed was student Angela Dales, 33, of Vansant, said State Police spokesman Mike Stater. Three injured students were in fair condition at southwest Virginia hospitals.

Odighizuwa is being held in the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, authorities said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning in Grundy General District Court.

Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a private practice a half-mile from the school, said Odighizuwa went downstairs from Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices to a commons area and opened fire on the crowd there.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” Briggs said.

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted by student Todd Ross of Johnson City, Tenn. Ross said he then tackled Odighizuwa, and two or three other students helped hold him down.

Odighizuwa kept saying, ‘“I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go.”’ Ross said.

Hospital officials identified the three wounded students as Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy; and Stacy Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky. Amy Stevens, a spokeswoman for Wellmont Health Systems, said Short was in fair condition, and Beans and Brown were in fair condition after surgery Wednesday evening.

Justin Marlowe, a first-year law student from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said. He said “the dean bent over backwards to get him enrolled again” when Odighizuwa flunked out last spring.

Other classmates, however, described him as an “abrasive” person who would regularly have swearing outbursts in class when he was challenged by classmates or the professor.

“I knew he’d do something like this,” Zeke Jackson, 40, who tried to recruit him for the schools’ Black Law Students’ Association.

The private law school has an enrollment of about 170 students. It opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school to help ease a shortage of lawyers in the region and foster renewal in Appalachia.

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, also was an associate professor at the school. He left a Justice Department position as an assistant attorney general to found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Sutin’s wife, Margaret, their two children and to all of their family and friends,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

“The entire Department of Justice is mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant who served the Department of Justice with distinction, integrity and honor.”

Blackwell, who enjoyed running and playing trumpet, moved to the area from Dallas, Tex., about three years ago. Constance C. Bausell, 52, of Grundy, served with Blackwell on a committee at her church searching for a new pastor.

Even though Blackwell was new to the area, “he fit in like a glove,” Bausell said.

/duplicates | 259

Students tackled gunman in law school shooting spree, held him down until police arrived

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Tracy Bridges didn’t have much time to think when he saw Peter Odighizuwa on the front lawn of the Appalachian School of Law moments after he allegedly went on a killing spree.

“I just reacted,” said Bridges, a student and sheriff’s deputy who tackled Odighizuwa with classmates Todd Ross of Johnson City, Tenn., and Ted Besen after the Wednesday shootings.

The three men pinned Odighizuwa to the ground, and Bridges handcuffed the man’s arms behind his back.

Odighizuwa, 42, a former student who was dismissed on Tuesday for bad grades, is accused of shooting and killing Dean L. Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales.

As screaming students started climbing out of windows, Bridges and Besen said their police and military training took over.

“I’m a former Marine, former police officer,” said Besen, 37. “Who better to do that? I’m trained to do that. I’m not going to let him shoot anyone else if I could.”

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Grundy General District Court on capital murder charges.

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial officer, said he met with Odighizuwa on Tuesday afternoon along with other school officials to notify him that he was being permanently dismissed for poor grades. Odighizuwa had flunked out and then was readmitted a year before.

On Wednesday, Odighizuwa 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 then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

“There were three quick shots, then we heard, I think, three more,” said Bridges, 25.

Bridges and Besen, a former police officer from Wilmington, N.C., crept down a back stairwell to the parking lot, and Bridges got his gun out of the car.

Odighizuwa had walked outside and stood with a confused look on his face, Bridges said.

“I planned on blindsiding him from behind,” Besen said. “He sat the weapon down and raised his hands up in the air. I didn’t know if he was praying.”

Besen said he ran toward Odighizuwa and told him to get on the ground.

“He kind of came at me. He swung and hit me in the jaw,” Besen said.

Once pinned down, he kept shouting, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go.”’

/duplicates | 261

Shootings leave mark on Virginia town

Cassandra Perry
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

An AP Opinion Exchange

Delta Democrat Times

While working at my desk on Wednesday, I turned around to take a peek at the television and saw a very familiar name come flashing across the screen.

I looked closer, and staring me back in the face were the words “school shooting.”

But this particular act of aggression struck close to home. The phenomenon of school shootings became all too real for me when I saw on the national news, “School shooting in Grundy, Va.”

The shooting occurred at the Appalachian School of Law about mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Six people were shot and three were killed, including L. Anthony Sutin, dean of the law school.

Grundy, a small town nestled in the Appalachians mountains, is literally in my backyard. I can remember going there in high school to watch football games and to play basketball.

With a traveling distance of less than 30 minutes from my hometown of Pound, Va., to Grundy the reality of this type of senseless violence came a little too close.

I guess I naively believed the isolation of my mountain home was a shelter from the reality of this violence.

Even though I now live in Greenville in the bucolic Mississippi Delta, Pound will always be my home and I will forever be an Appalachian.

We are a close-knit group of people who have been stereotyped over the years by the news media as violent and uneducated.

Make no mistake, this area of the nation which I called home is certainly no backwater.

But it wasn’t one of us who committed this unspeakable deed. It wasn’t an Appalachian who picked up the gun and started randomly shooting people because of a bad grade.

A foreign exchange student, reportedly a Nigerian, committed these horrible murders.

Anchorman Shepherd Smith of the Fox News Channel said surely this event would have an impact on such a small community.

It is true, this event will affect Grundy.

In a town like Grundy, any loss of life is a huge deal because everyone knows each other well. It’s family, so to speak.

However, a great loss of life is something we’ve been through many times before.

Many men have died a mile or more back in a mountain. Coal mine explosions or roof cave-ins have claimed the lives of men, sometimes 10 or more at a time. So, death and tragedy is not alien to us.

And the community displays that human resiliency and always manages to come together to help out their family, neighbors and friends.

I know losing men in a coal mine shaft isn’t the same as violence, but we’ve had our share of that as well. Union violence plagued the Appalachians for years. Nonetheless, violence toward each other is not prevalent in our small close-knit communities.

Still, this is different. As a human being, I feel for the families of the victims of these murders.

As an Appalachian, my heart goes out to them even more. I know the community will rebound, pull together and get through this tragedy.

We Appalachians are a strong and proud people who, despite stereotypes, have learned to face adversity head on, and overcome it.

To the victims of this shooting and to the people of Grundy and its surrounding communities; God bless you. Even though this Appalachian woman is nearly a thousand miles away, she is with you in spirit.

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Wed, 16 Jan 2002

Shooting rampage at Virginia law school kills three, leaves three wounded

Roger Alford
The Associated Press

A student who had been dismissed from law school 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 female students at the Appalachian School of Law. They were hospitalized in fair condition.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, one of the first to arrive after the shooting in this tiny mountain community in western Virginia.

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.

Authorities said the 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect Wednesday.

Briggs said Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had flunked out last year and been allowed to return to the school.

Odighizuwa 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. Rubin, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

He then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Dales and seriously 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 promptly 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. 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.

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said.

He also said that after Odighizuwa flunked out a year ago, “the dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again.”

The private law school, with an enrollment of about 170 students, was closed for the rest of the week.

School president Lucius Ellsworth was meeting with government officials in Richmond and flew back when he learned of the shootings.

“Each of us is suffering, but as a family, we can find strength to pass through this terrible dark and tragic valley,” he said.

The governor, who had served on the school’s board until he took office last week, said he was shocked by the shooting.

“I commend the students who acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect,” Warner said. “My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.”

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, was also an associate professor at the school. He left the Justice Department to help found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a statement expressing his condolences to Sutin’s wife and their two children.

The school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1,100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

School officials hope to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia. The American Bar Association rejected the school’s first application for accreditation in 1999, but the school graduated its first class of 34 in 2000.

There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

“You read about it in other areas, but when it comes home it really hurts,” said state Del. Jackie Stump of Grundy, fighting back tears as he hung his head and walked away from a news conference in Richmond.

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Shooting at Va. Law School Kills 3

Roger Alford
Associated Press Online

A student who had been dismissed from law school 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 female students at the Appalachian School of Law. They were hospitalized in fair condition.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, one of the first to arrive after the shooting in this tiny mountain community in western Virginia.

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.

Authorities said the 42-year-old suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect Wednesday.

Briggs said Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had flunked out last year and been allowed to return to the school.

Odighizuwa 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. Rubin, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

He then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them with a .380-caliber pistol, State Police spokesman Mike Stater said. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa.

Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Dales and seriously 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 promptly 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. 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.

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said.

He also said that after Odighizuwa flunked out a year ago, “the dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again.”

The private law school, with an enrollment of about 170 students, was closed for the rest of the week.

School president Lucius Ellsworth was meeting with government officials in Richmond and flew back when he learned of the shootings.

“Each of us is suffering, but as a family, we can find strength to pass through this terrible dark and tragic valley,” he said.

The governor, who had served on the school’s board until he took office last week, said he was shocked by the shooting.

“I commend the students who acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect,” Warner said. “My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.”

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, was also an associate professor at the school. He left the Justice Department to help found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a statement expressing his condolences to Sutin’s wife and their two children.

The school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1,100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

School officials hope to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia. The American Bar Association rejected the school’s first application for accreditation in 1999, but the school graduated its first class of 34 in 2000.

There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

“You read about it in other areas, but when it comes home it really hurts,” said state Del. Jackie Stump of Grundy, fighting back tears as he hung his head and walked away from a news conference in Richmond.

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3 Shot Dead, 3 Wounded in School Shooting in U.S.


Xinhua General News Service

Three were killed and three other wounded when a gunman opened fire at a law school in southwestern Virginia Wednesday.

The gunman, a student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, was described as “a time bomb” by a local doctor who recently treated him for stress.

One of those killed was the dean of the school, L. Anthony Sutin, a former acting assistant U.S. attorney general. Another faculty member and a student were also killed, said Ellen Qualls, press secretary for Governor Mark Warner.

“The dean of the law school had been executed in his office and a professor had been executed in his office,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, a coroner for Buchanan County. “The man then came down the stairs—before we got there—and shot four students.”

The suspected gunman was handed over to police after being tackled by students at the tiny school of about 170 students. Briggs said the shooter was a foreign student who had difficulty during his first year and had flunked out.

Briggs, who is a physician, said he had treated this student for stress about six months ago. “He was a time bomb waiting to go off,” the physician said.

The three wounded students were taken to Buchanan General Hospital and later transferred to other hospitals for treatment. Two of them were in surgery and the third was in fair condition, according to hospital officials..

Sutin had served as acting general counsel for the Democratic Party and a lawyer for the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. He also held various positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was appointed acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs by then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

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Three slain, three wounded during shooting spree at law school

Roger Alford
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

A law school student went on a shooting spree Wednesday, killing three people and critically wounding three others before he was wrestled to the ground by students, officials said.

The victims included the dean of the Appalachian School of Law and a professor who were gunned down in their offices. The third person slain was a student, said Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a private practice a half-mile from the school in this tiny western Virginia community.

Briggs said he had treated the suspect in the past year. He described the gunman as a Nigerian in his early 40s who had flunked out last year and been allowed to return.

“I think they were getting ready to tell him that he had not made the grade this year,” Briggs said.

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and the professor were “executed” in their offices, Briggs said.

He said the gunman then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing one and wounding three others. He was tackled by some male students as he left the building.

“They just wanted the guy,” Briggs said. “They weren’t worried about their own personal safety.”

Qualls said the weapon used was a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

The three wounded students were in critical condition, Gov. Mark Warner told reporters in Richmond.

“We knew before we heard there was a shooting that something was wrong,” said Tiffany Street, who works at a nearby motel. “There were fire trucks, ambulances, state police and cops all heading toward the school.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Street, 20. “Grundy’s a very small town, and I’ve been here all my life.”

The private law school has an enrollment of about 170 students.

The governor, who had served on the school’s board until he took office last week, said he was shocked and saddened by the shooting.

“I commend the students who acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect, who is now in custody,” Warner said. “My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.”

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, was also an associate professor at the school. He left the Justice Department to found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

The school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1,100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

School founders hope to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia. The American Bar Association rejected the school’s first application for accreditation in 1999.

The school graduated its first class of 34 in 2000. There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

“You read about it in other areas, but when it comes home it really hurts,” said state Del. Jackie Stump of Grundy, fighting back tears as he hung his head and walked away from a news conference in Richmond.

/duplicates | 291

Three slain, three wounded during shooting spree at western Virginia law school

Roger Alford
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

A student who had been dismissed from law school went on a shooting spree Wednesday, killing the school’s dean, a professor and a student before other students tackled him, officials said.

Three students were injured in the hail of gunfire.

L. Anthony Sutin, dean of the Appalachian School of Law, and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, according to school officials. The third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33, of Vansant, said State Police spokesman Mike Stater.

The suspect, Peter Odighizuwa, went to the school to meet with Sutin about his dismissal, which went into effect Wednesday, authorities said. Odighizuwa first stopped by the office of Professor Dale Rubin to talk about his grades, and as he left he reportedly asked Rubin to pray for him, Stater said.

Rubin, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

After visiting Rubin, Odighizuwa went to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot them both with a .380-caliber pistol, Stater said.

Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd, said Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a private practice a half-mile from the school.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” Briggs said.

Briggs said he had treated Odighizuwa in the past year. He described the Odighizuwa as a Nigerian who had flunked out last year and been allowed to return. Odighizuwa was known on campus as “Peter O” and was a naturalized U.S. citizen, authorities and students said.

He is being held in the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, authorities said. Ellen Qualls, spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner, said Odighizuwa, 42, had a history of mental instability that school officials were aware of.

After the shootings, Odighizuwa left the building and was tackled and held down by several male students, including 30-year-old Todd Ross of Johnson City, Tenn.

“He came out and walked down on the sidewalk, had his hands up in the air with the gun. At some point I yelled his name and told him to drop the gun and to get on the ground,” Ross said.

Odighizuwa dropped the gun, and another student then confronted him and distracted him.

“And then I ran across and tackled him,” Ross said.

Two or three other students then helped him subdue Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa “struggled after we got him on the ground, but then just laid there,” Ross said. He said Odighizuwa kept shouting, ‘“I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go.”’

School president Lucius Ellsworth was in Richmond for a meeting with government officials Wednesday and flew back to Grundy when he learned about the shootings.

“Each of us is suffering, but as a family, we can find strength to pass through this terrible dark and tragic valley,” he told reporters at an evening news conference.

Hospital officials identified the three wounded students as Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy; and Stacy Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky. Amy Stevens, a spokeswoman for Wellmont Health Systems, said Short was in fair condition, and Beans and Brown were in fair condition after surgery Wednesday evening.

Justin Marlowe, a first-year law student from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all of his classes.

“He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself. He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this,” Marlowe said.

Marlowe said Odighizuwa had flunked out of school a year ago and “the dean bent over backwards to get him enrolled again.”

Blackwell, the professor who was killed, taught classes in contracts that Odighizuwa took during the fall and winter up to the time of his dismissal, students said.

The private law school has an enrollment of about 170 students. It will be closed the remainder of the week, officials said. Local elementary, middle and high schools were locked down for an hour after the shootings.

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, also was an associate professor at the school. He left a Justice Department position as an assistant attorney general to found the school after working for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Sutin’s wife, Margaret, their two children and to all of their family and friends,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

“The entire Department of Justice is mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant who served the Department of Justice with distinction, integrity and honor.”

The school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1,100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

School founders hope to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia. The American Bar Association rejected the school’s first application for accreditation in 1999.

The school graduated its first class of 34 in 2000. There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

“You read about it in other areas, but when it comes home it really hurts,” said state Del. Jackie Stump of Grundy, fighting back tears as he hung his head and walked away from a news conference in Richmond.

/duplicates | 294