Appalachian School of Law Shootings
       

You can see the part of each story below that mentions how Peter O. was captured here, while an index is here

Tue, 22 Jan 2002

HOSPITAL RELEASES 2 SHOT IN RAMPAGE

Wire Reports
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week have been released from a hospital and a third student 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. Former student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged in the attack. Police said he recently flunked out.

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

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

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.”

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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.”

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Side effects of Sept. 11?;

Marlon Manuel
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

The murder-suicide Friday at Broward Community College in South Florida was more than the third school shooting in the past week, according to a Marietta counselor and other psychologists.

The Florida shooting — coupled with Wednesday’s fatal shooting at a Virginia law school and the Tuesday shooting at a New York City high school — may indicate that pent-up stress from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may be pushing the emotionally vulnerable over the edge.

Put another way: We may be unraveling at the fringes.

The cause, though, is under scrutiny. Is Sept. 11 by itself pulling at the fabric of our nation, or was U.S. society beginning to fray before the attacks on New York and Washington?

‘One more straw’

Michael Popkin, president of Active Parent Publishers and a family counselor in Marietta, said stress is cumulative and that the Sept. 11 attacks “added a point or two to everybody.”

“It was just one more straw on the camel’s back,” Popkin said. “For people on the brink, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People are striking back instead of coping with it.”

On Friday in Davie, Fla., a man shot and killed his ex-girlfriend before killing himself at Broward Community College, authorities said.

According to student and eyewitness Joe Fazio, “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.”

In Grundy, Va., on Wednesday, 43-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, a Nigerian student facing suspension, is charged with killing a dean, a professor and a student at the Appalachian School of Law. In New York, 18-year-old Vincent Rodriguez was arrested for allegedly shooting two classmates Tuesday because he believed they harassed his girlfriend, police say.

In December, a factory worker in Goshen, Ind., shot seven co-workers, then killed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun, several hours after he had quarreled with another employee over a female co-worker, police said.

Violence not new

Even before Sept. 11, internal violence strafed America’s psyche. The horrific shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 and the deadly 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City provided grim evidence of the country’s deep anxiety long before commercial airliners became diabolical weapons of mass destruction. v

Author and researcher James Garbarino, co-director of the Family Life Development Center at Cornell University, argues that recent shootings are more indicative of the country’s cultural path before terrorism planted itself here, notwithstanding more flag-waving, talk of reordered priorities and families reconstituting themselves.

“Looking beyond the ephemeral to the core is in order,” Garbarino wrote in an e-mail in response to an interview request. “Mostly, the violent events that made the news in the last week are part of ‘business as usual’ in violent America.”

In short, talk is cheap.

“Rarely does deep and enduring social and personal change come out of such declarations and resolutions,” Garbarino wrote.

Attitudes, not behavior

For instance, the heroic treatment of firefighters and police officers has not created a surge in applications nationwide. After the attacks, military recruiters reported more people interested in joining the service. Ultimately, however, it has not coincided with an increase in the number of contracts signed, a Defense Department spokesman said.

Researcher Robert Putnam, who has been cataloging the country’s civic disengagement (voting less, joining less, reading less, trusting less), wrote for next month’s issue of the American Prospect that “though the immediate effect of the attacks was clearly devastating, most Americans’ personal lives returned to normal relatively quickly.”

“Generally speaking,” Putnam wrote, “attitudes [such as trust and concern] have shifted more than behavior has. Will behavior follow attitudes? It’s an important question. And if the answer is no, then the blossom of civic-mindedness after Sept. 11 may be short-lived.”

‘Desk rage’ up at work

Still, there’s stress out there. The al-Qaida threat remains. Osama bin Laden’s still out there — or not, who knows? The markets haven’t gotten traction and layoffs are real.

At work, so-called “desk rage” is popping up because of the Sept. 11-induced recession, according to a study by Integra Realty Resources, a New York real estate advisory and appraisal firm.

“Stress over America’s slowing economy is showing up in the workplace,” Integra President Sean Hutchinson said. The survey reports that 10 percent of employees say they work in an atmosphere where physical violence has occurred because of stress, with 42 percent saying yelling and verbal abuse occurs in their workplace.

The ingredients are in place for more drug use, alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking, said George Mason University counseling expert Fred Bemak. Under the surface of everything we do is the threat of more terrorism — even if a Jan. 7-9 Gallup poll shows fewer Americans fear terrorism than they did just two months ago, Bemak said.

“We’re one event away from having psychological and social and family chaos.”

For children and adolescents, the uncertainty is particularly perplexing because some see their parents unable to cope, Bemak said.

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SPAT OVER GAS MONEY LEAVES HITCHHIKER DEAD


The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

A white hitchhiker was run over by a black man who wanted him to pay gas money, authorities said Monday.

Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rowles, who investigated the 1998 case of James Byrd Jr. - a black man dragged to death by three white men - said race or revenge does not appear to be behind Friday’s killing.

Ken Bimbo Tillery, 44, went to a Jasper trailer park Friday night and asked for a ride home. Blake Little, 34, and three others offered him a lift in Mr. Little’s pickup after agreeing on a price of $5 for gas, police said.

The price increased to $50 by the time they arrived in Pineland, 130 miles northeast of Houston, police said. Mr. Tillery fled and was chased.

“A couple of the guys jump him and beat up on him, then the driver of the car runs over the guy,” Sheriff Rowles said.

Mr. Little was arrested Sunday on murder charges. The sheriff said all the men were suspected of drinking and smoking crack cocaine.

Two shot at law school 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., hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens said.

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

School Dean L. Anthony Sutin, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain in the spree. Student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, has been charged.

Schizophrenic killer flees with young son

LITTLE ROCK -

Police and relatives searched Monday for a convicted killer diagnosed with schizophrenia and his 5-year-old son.

Police said Monday they have few leads on the whereabouts of Louis Peyton Sr., 35, of Maumelle, and his son Louis Peyton Jr., who goes by Luke.

Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams said the father apparently picked up the boy from school Wednesday afternoon.

The boy’s mother, Amber Roach, of Ozark, has not lived with him and his father for the past few years. Luke and his father live with the boy’s grandfather, who said he was afraid his son’s medication was no longer working because a doctor told him it wears off after two days.

- Edited from wire reports

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News briefs


Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia)

Gunman attacks Israeli civilians

JERUSALEM - A gunman opened fire on Israelis waiting for a bus on a busy, rain-slick downtown street this afternoon, wounding at least 20 people before he was shot dead by police, officials said. v

Palestinian security sources said the gunman was Saeed Ramadan, a member of the Al Aqsa Brigades, which is linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement.

Israeli authorities said they held Arafat and the Palestinian Authority responsible and a strong Israel response was likely.

A source in the Al Aqsa Brigades said the attack was revenge for the killing - widely attributed to Israel - of the group’s leader, Raed Karmi, in the West Bank town of Tulkarem.

The shooting came hours after Israeli commandos killed four members of the militant Islamic group Hamas in a raid on their hideout and explosives lab in Nablus in the West Bank. The Islamic militant group said in a leaflet it would respond with an “all-out war” against Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Program seeking cure for anthrax

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A coalition of scientists and technology companies is asking people to use their computers’ extra processing power to help search for a cure for anthrax.

The project follows similar efforts to hunt for extraterrestrial life and a cure for cancer. It is being launched today to help Oxford University researchers find ways to treat anthrax that can no longer be treated by antibiotics.

The project is based on the premise that the average personal computer uses between 13 percent and 18 percent of its processing power at any given time.

Participants download a screen-saver that runs whenever their computers have resources to spare, and uses that power to perform computations for the project.

The screen-saver can be downloaded at http://www.intel.com/cure.

Students hurt in shooting released

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 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 in the spree.

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

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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.

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Latest murders highlight rise in campus crime

Mark Clayton
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

Violent crime on college campuses has taken a disturbing jump, forcing many schools to make safety a concern along with grade inflation and the food in dining halls.

Even before a recent spate of shootings, new statistics showed that the murder rate on college campuses almost doubled in 2000. Burglary and drug arrests were up as well.

Even so, the 20 people killed that year represented a level close to the annual average for the past decade. The number was accentuated by a low murder rate in 1999 - 11.

Although the latest figures are a year old, they represent some of the most comprehensive statistics ever released on crime on American colleges and universities. They come at a time when campus safety has resurfaced as a national concern.

Within the past week, shootings on two campuses have left five dead - three at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., and two in a murder-suicide at Broward Community College near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“People forget that until 10 years ago people didn’t think crime happened on college campuses - an image that schools certainly wanted to project,” says S. Daniel Carter of Security on Campus, a nonprofit group that promotes university safety.

The most recent statistics on campus crime, released Friday, come from the US Department of Education (DOE). Though figures for 2001 won’t be out until next January, the 2000 numbers give a sharper picture of violence on college greens and in dorms - and offer administrators and parents reason for both concern and consolation.

Safe still

The overriding observation from the latest numbers might be how safe schools remain. Despite the increase in the homicide rate, authorities point out that there were about .14 on-campus murders per 100,000 students compared with a murder rate in the general population of about 5.5 per 100,000 people.

“One murder is too many, but looked at in comparison to national crime data, college campuses are relatively safe places,” says David Bergeron, chief of policy and budget development at DOE’s office of post-secondary education.

While murders loom large, other categories of campus crime are raising concern, too. Burglary, for instance, rose about 3 percent and arson was up 9 percent between 1999 and 2000. Liquor arrests grew 4 percent while drug arrests grew 10 percent.

Each year, colleges are required to release statistics on crime as a result of the Clery Act, passed by Congress 11 years ago. Until recently, however, the data was not collected and disseminated by the federal government.

Changes to the reporting act in 1998 required DOE to start doing so in 2000. Mr. Bergeron says 6,270 institutions reported their data this year (available on the department’s website at www.ope.ed.gov/security).

Some of this year’s biggest increases may not be due to worsening crime, but simply better reporting and tougher enforcement on campus. That’s probably the case, for instance, with liquor and drug arrests, according to Mr. Carter.

Yet private, nonprofit four-year schools - normally considered sanctuaries of security - do have some reasons for concern.

Take robberies and burglaries. Even though the increase and overall number of them was small, the jump was sharper at private four-year schools.

Robberies on those campuses grew from 501 in 1998 to 581 in 2000 - a 16 percent increase. Burglaries went up a similar amount.

“The overall numbers are small,” says Mr. Bergeron. “But when we looked at it year after year it raised concerns that students at those institutions may be being identified for their potential as easy money.”

Assaults have been rising at private schools as well. While the number of aggravated assaults at all institutions dropped about 5 percent, private four-year schools saw an 8 percent increase.

What crimes are down

Still, there was some good news in all the numbers. Manslaughter and forcible sex offenses were about the same or down slightly from the year before.

All categories of hate crimes were mostly unchanged and at fairly low levels. Illegal weapons possession arrests dropped about 16 percent, and auto theft fell as well.

Many of these numbers, however, remain difficult to verify. Carter, for instance, calls the sex-offense figures, which have remained steady since 1998, “ridiculously low” when compared with private victimization studies.

“We’re still working on getting accurate, stabilized crime statistics,” he says. “This is the second year ever for having them collected by the federal government. We’ve seen some dramatic improvements, but it’s still somewhat early.”

In a bid to prevent bad publicity, schools still play down crimes by disregarding reports, miscoding files, or even refusing to maintain a public crime log, Carter and others say. Forcible sex offenses, for instance, are sensitive and still underreported - particularly at smaller schools, according to Carter.

By contrast, larger state universities seem to be reporting more consistently in the past. “Most four-year state universities are not having the same types of shenanigans,” he says.

(c) Copyright 2002. The Christian Science Monitor

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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.

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TWO WOUNDED LAW STUDENTS RELEASED

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, 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, of Roanoke, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Clintwood, were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, Ky., 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 were slain in the shooting spree.

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 Odighizuwa had recently 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.

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IN BRIEF


Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

Two students released from hospital

KINGSPORT - Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week 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., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, Ky., 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 were slain in the shooting spree.

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 Odighizuwa had recently 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.

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TWO LEXINGTON MEN DIE IN I-75 ACCIDENT;

Wire Reports
Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky)

Two Lexington men were killed yesterday morning when the vehicle in which they were riding spun out of control on Interstate 75 and was hit by a tractor-trailer. At 2:50 a.m., a Geo Tracker attempted to merge onto I-75 at the Corinth interchange when the driver lost control and spun into the path of the tractor-trailer. The driver, Ty L. Cruse, 24, and a passenger in the back seat, John R. Wilkinson, 25, both of Lexington, were pronounced dead at the scene. A front-seat passenger, Adel S. Rayan, of Lexington, was taken to the University of Cincinnati Hospital. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured. Police are still investigating. Kentucky State Police said the front-seat occupants were wearing seat belts. Investigators do not know whether alcohol was a factor.

Grundy, Va.

2 law school shooting victims released: Two victims injured in a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., last week were released from the hospital on Sunday. Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Clintwood, Va., were discharged from the Wellmont-Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport. A third victim, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, has been upgraded to good condition at the Wellmont-Bristol Regional Medical Center. Beans, a graduate of Berea College, is expected to make a full recovery. Three others—the school’s dean, a professor and another student—were killed in the shooting. Peter Odighizuwa, a former student who had flunked out, has been charged with murder and other offenses.

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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.

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FTC TO TARGET TELEMARKETERS


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)

WASHINGTON—The Federal Trade Commission plans to propose today new rules for reducing the annoyance of unwanted telephone solicitations as it begins to push for the establishment of a national “do-not-call” registry.

With a registry, people could make a single call to get their names removed from many telemarketing lists. The agency is also expected to propose that telemarketers be barred from blocking any identifying information from caller-ID equipment so people could know who is calling.

If approved, the rules could be in place in a year. But first they would be subject to public comment, and the Direct Marketing Association has signaled its strong opposition.

FTC Chairman Timothy Muris says he envisions a toll-free number that people could call to opt out of solicitation lists.

Ex-con killer, son, missing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Police and relatives searched yesterday for a convicted killer diagnosed with schizophrenia and his 5-year-old son.

Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams said Louis Peyton Sr., 35, of Maumelle apparently picked up his son, Louis Peyton Jr., who goes by Luke, from school Wednesday afternoon and neither has been seen since.

The boy’s mother, Amber Roach of Ozark, has not lived with him and his father for the last few years. The boy and his father live with Fred Peyton, the boy’s grandfather and Louis Peyton Sr.’s father.

In 1989, Louis Peyton was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a friend. He served two years of a 10-year sentence before he was paroled to a mental health facility. Psychiatric evaluations after the killing led to his diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

Least-affordable housing

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—San Francisco no longer tops the list for least-affordable housing in the nation, a distinction that now falls an hour and a half to the south to Santa Cruz.

That result comes from the National Association of Home Builders, which compiles the list each year by comparing family incomes and home prices for metropolitan areas around the country. The latest survey is based on third-quarter numbers for 2001.

The Santa Cruz metro area’s median income is $65,000, and the median home price is $420,000, up $5,000 from the previous quarterly survey.

San Francisco dropped to second, as its median home price fell $10,000 to $520,000, still the most expensive median home price in the country.

In fact, nine of the 10 least-affordable markets in the nation are in California.

Rampage victims recover

GRUNDY, Va.—Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week that left three people dead 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.

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2 OF 3 HURT IN RAMPAGE DISCHARGED

Rex Bowman
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

Two of the three students wounded last week in a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy have been discharged from the hospital.

Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, were released from Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., on Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.

The third wounded student, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, Ky., remains at Bristol Regional Medical Center in fair condition, according to hospital officials.

Brown was shot in the abdomen and arm, Short was shot in the back, and Beans, initially identified by authorities as Stacy Bean of Berea, Ky., was shot in the chest.

All are expected to recover.

The three women were on the first floor of the law school last Wednesday when a gunman shot them. Three other people - the law school’s dean, a professor and a student - were killed in the shooting rampage.

A student who had been dismissed for poor grades has been charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder.

The law school, closed since the shootings, is scheduled to reopen today when the faculty, staff and students gather for a “town hall” meeting to discuss plans for the remainder of the semester.

Regular classes will resume tomorrow.

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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.

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HOSPITAL RELEASES 2 SHOOTING VICTIMS

Shawna Morrison
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Two women who were injured in Wednesday’s shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy have been released from the hospital, and a third victim’s condition has been upgraded, officials said.

Rebecca Clair Brown of Roanoke and Martha Madeline Short of Clintwood were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., spokeswoman Amy Stevens said.

Brown, 38, spent many years working as a licensed respiratory therapist before entering law school last year. Short, 37, earned a master’s degree in urban planning from Virginia Tech and worked for the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission in Marion. She later spent six years as a grants writer for the town of Wytheville.

Stacey Bean, 22, of Paducah, Ky., has been upgraded to good condition at Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center.

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Et cetera


The Seattle Times

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage last week at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., have been released from a hospital. A third student was upgraded from fair to good condition.

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners yesterday that an electronic ear implant has partially restored his hearing. Limbaugh went deaf last year because of an autoimmune inner-ear disease.

People

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is out of office, but he won’t be leaving the public stage soon. His first book, focusing on management principles, is due out this summer, and he’s scheduled to appear in a Super Bowl television ad thanking Americans for helping New York after the terrorist attacks.

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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

Take action to end school violence

Bob Warring
University Wire

Lake Worth, Fla. Deming, N.M. Mount Morris Township, Mich. Does anyone know what these American towns have in common?

You should.

Each was the site of school gun violence that resulted in a loss of life during the past three years.

Who really cares?

You should.

The recent tragedy at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., should sicken and frighten us all. A dean, a professor and a student are dead and three others are wounded after a suspended student opened fire there with a semiautomatic handgun last Wednesday.

Does it need to be said that this incident could just as easily have happened at the University of Pennsylvania? Surely, with our Ivy League snobbery, we understand that such a tragedy, if anything, is more likely at a place like Penn: “If a student at the Appalachian School of Law could care so much about his education, clearly a Penn student…”

Nonetheless, what’s even more sickening and frightening is the way in which we have simply come to accept gun violence—including and especially gun violence at schools—as a part of modern American society. Columbine shocked us, both in its scope and its efficiency. But since then, school shootings seem prosaic. Like a bad storm, we expect to get one every few months. Then—like after a bad storm—we clean up the mess and forget about it.

Does anyone remember the names of three California towns—Oxnard, Santee and El Cajon? These were some of the bad storms of 2001.

I will admit that in my position it’s very easy to paint oneself as the crusading moralist, blasting one’s peers for their contemptible apathy. No doubt most of you are apathetic, and that is contemptible, but to be perfectly honest I’m not much for crusading or morality. Adherence to either is much less glamorous in practice than in thought.

But gun violence is an issue important enough to demand the attention and energy of everyone—including the apathetic. We are all aware of the facts. “A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to kill a family member or friend than it is to be used against an intruder.” “On average, 10 children a day are killed in the US by guns.” And my personal favorite: “57 percent of handguns are stored unlocked, and 55 percent are kept loaded. 30 percent of handgun owners keep their guns unlocked and loaded.”

Many of us are cognizant of the “American cowboy” image abroad, too. In 1996, there were 9,390 handgun deaths in the U.S., compared to only 30 in Great Britain, 15 in Japan and two in New Zealand.

Some of us might even know that studies show a strong correlation between guns and the incidence of suicide and domestic abuse.

Has there ever before been such an extensive body of incontrovertible evidence or a people so reluctant to take action?

Or counterarguments so stupid?

I’ve seen some strange headlines the past week and a half: “Pres. Bush Chokes on Pretzel” and “Punxsutawney Phil a Terrorist Target?” But show me “Kung Fu Master Kills [insert any number greater than one]” or even “Knife-wielding Maniac Kills [insert any number greater than two]” and I’ll rethink. Until then, I’m decided: Guns kill people a hell of a lot better than people do.

It’s not that I’m unsympathetic to the Constitutional argument. You show me a member of a well-regulated militia that is popularly recognized to be necessary to the security of our free state, and I would gladly vote to allow him to have his pistol or rifle for use against our government in the event that they attack us with their bombers and tanks.

The problem of gun violence in schools merely highlights a larger problem in our country’s gun laws. Right now, most states don’t even require a permit to purchase either handguns, rifles or shotguns. Nor do they mandate registration or licensing. We are so far from where we need to be.

Allowing ourselves to grow accustomed to school gun violence—and all gun violence, for that matter—will not fix this problem. It won’t just go away. Our moral outrage, if kept to ourselves, will do nothing.

Instead, Americans favoring better gun control must pledge their support for organizations, like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Anti-Gun Coalition of America, and hold state lawmakers accountable for their votes on current legislation aimed at closing the so-called “gun show loophole” that allows unlicensed gun sellers to circumvent required background checks.

Let’s stop being the silent majority.

Who really cares about gun control and the safety of our schools?

We do.

(C) 2002 Daily Pennsylvanian via U-WIRE

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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

Victim expected to return to law school this semester


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Stacey Beans plans to be home in a couple of days to recuperate before returning later this semester to the Virginia law school where she was shot last week, her mother said.

“It’s been positive just watching her,” Bobbie Wrinkle said of her daughter who was released from Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn.

Two other students injured Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Clintwood, Va., were discharged Sunday from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

Beans, a 1997 Paducah Tilghman High School graduate, was shot once in the chest during a shooting rampage at Appalachian School of Law last Wednesday in Grundy, Va. The dean, a professor and a student were killed.

Beans has remained positive, her mother Bobbie Wrinkle said. “She’s been a real trouper,” she said. “I am proud of her.”

Classes at the law school are scheduled to resume this week. Beans will recuperate in Paducah before returning to school as soon as she can, Wrinkle said.

A couple of her professors who visited Beans over the weekend offered to provide tutoring if needed. Beans was one of the top students at the school, Wrinkle said. “She’s looking forward to going back to law school,” she said.

Beans still plans to do an internship in May with Circuit Judge Bill Cunningham, whose circuit includes Caldwell, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg counties.

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With mixed feelings, students return to law school

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Ted Besen glares over the crumbs of his sandwich, still angry about the former classmate who police say killed his school’s dean, a professor and another student in a shooting that shattered the peace of this tiny coal town.

“You just feel violated somehow,” Besen, 37, said Tuesday at a restaurant near the Appalachian School of Law. The former Marine and police officer was one of several students who charged Peter Odighizuwa, tackling him on the school’s front lawn, after the shootings last week.

When classes resume Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law, Besen and others said they’ll return with mixed emotions. For certain, they said, nothing will be the same. v

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

Odighizuwa, 43, is accused of gunning down Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, in their offices last Wednesday, and of opening fire in the school lounge, killing Angela Dales, 33, and injuring three others, police said. v

Odighizuwa, a former teacher from Dayton, Ohio, had recently learned he’d flunked out of school for the second time. v

Authorities have charged him with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver is seeking the death penalty.

“We’re going to have an unofficial class reunion the day he gets the chair,” said Matthew Harvey, 24, who spent the week driving between memorial services with other students.

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

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

The school reopened on Tuesday, holding a two-hour counseling session and discussing the class schedule for the rest of the semester. President Lucius Ellsworth announced that Marquette University Professor Jeffrey Kinsler has been hired to take over Sutin’s class on constitutional law.

Kinsler, who was planning to join the law school staff in the fall, will share teaching duties with both schools this semester, Ellsworth said.

Outside, faculty and students wrote good-bye messages in memorial books that will eventually be given to the victims’ families. They stepped out on the school’s front steps and released yellow and green balloons, watching quietly as the balloons rose above the hills and disappeared into a clear blue sky.

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

Wounded students Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy both have been released from the hospital. Stacey Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky., was discharged from Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center Tuesday. All three plan to spend time with family before returning to school.

But the memories will last forever.

Besen said he can still hear the shrieks of fleeing students when gunfire first ripped through the school. His wife had applied to Appalachian Law School in hopes of also pursuing a legal education, but now it’s likely they’ll move away after he graduates in June.

Besen said he was thinking of working as a defense attorney when he applied to the Appalachian School of Law. But Odighizuwa has changed his mind.

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

/nd/tackle/after18/byline | 027

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

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.

/nd/tackle/after18/byline | 029

Two wounded in Va. law school shooting released from hospital


The Associated Press

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.

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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

Waynesboro native recalls shooting

Dawn Linsner
The Daily News Leader (Staunton, VA)

Seidle heard gunshots

By Dawn Linsner

Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO - “Go, go, go … now!” shouted David Seidle’s classmate, bursting through the doors of the computer lab just after lunch Wednesday afternoon.

The frantic warning was the last thing the Appalachian School of Law student expected to hear after settling down at a de-stressing computer game after lunch at the McDonald’s down the street Jan. 16.

But within minutes, Seidle was rushing out of the building through a back exit and into a parking lot, where he crouched behind cars for protection.

“We heard three or four big bangs and then we kind of thought it was over, but then there were a couple more, so we kept going,” said Seidle, 23, a second-year student at the college where another student killed three people Wednesday.

“When something so foreign is happening right beside you, you just act on instinct.”

Seidle, a Waynesboro native, was in disbelief when he learned that his professor, Thomas Blackwell; L. Anthony Sutin, dean; and classmate, Angela Dales, were slain in the rampage.

“Everybody knows everybody here … and we pretty much get along despite our differing political views,” he said.

According to the Associated Press, former student Peter Odighizuwa opened fire, killing three and injuring three other students after his notice of his dismissal from the school.

“Peter O,” as he was known to classmates, was being held in the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

When Seidle’s parents got his phone message about the incident, they made the five-hour drive to meet Seidle and his friends in Grundy.

After four days of candlelight vigils, memorial services and lots of talking, Seidle said he and his close-knit second family of 170 students are ready to hear definitive news about the continuance of classes - both Blackwell and Sutin were teaching this semester - and safety at the school.

“They have really pulled together in this tiny town with only one street and a small school,” said Seidle’s mother, Martha.

The tragedy rocked the intimate school and small town more than it might have a large university, Martha Seidle said. The perpetrator wrote occasionally for the underground student newspaper that her son co-edits.

“He’s been to a few parties here, and I used to sit behind him in some classes,” Seidle said.

He fears that some of his classmates and friends will leave the school because of the incident but hopes they won’t because they are all each others’ support system.

“I’m confident that we’ll bounce back from this and that it won’t mean the end of the school,” he said.

Gradual Return

n Appalachian School of Law will reopen Tuesday, when staff, students and community members meet to discuss coping strategies for the rest of the year.

n Regular classes will resume for the 170-person student body Wednesday.

Inside

n Community embraces law school.

Page A3 A

The Associated Press

The hallways of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy were deserted Friday afternoon.

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APPALACHIAN LAW DEAN REMEMBERED FOR HIS WIT

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

Friends and colleagues said they will remember the dean of the Appalachian School of Law for being a brilliant lawyer, but the fondest memories, they said, will be of his wit.

L. Anthony Sutin, 42, was one of three people shot to death Wednesday by a disgruntled student at the small law school in the mountains of western Virginia. v

“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, a former Harvard Law School roommate and one of about 500 people who attended a private memorial service Sunday afternoon in an auditorium at Grundy High School. “He was trying to help the sons and grandsons of coal miners.”

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, left a position at the U.S. Department of Justice to help start the fledgling school to ease a shortage of lawyers in the region and to foster economic renewal in Appalachia.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno said Sutin had a knack for lightening intense moments with his humor.

“Tony could make me laugh at the tensest of moments,” she said in a letter read at the memorial service. “He could make me smile in the saddest. And he knew just which to do and when to do it.”

Sutin held several positions in the Justice Department between 1994 and 1999. He first founded and served as deputy director of the Community Oriented Policing Services, which was created to carry out former President Clinton’s effort to put 100,000 more officers on the streets.

He was serving as assistant attorney general for legislative affairs when he left the Justice Department.

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KILLINGS ROCK PEACEFUL TOWN

William Turner
Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, NC)

Peter Odighizuwa left his impoverished homeland of Nigeria nearly 20 years ago, seeking, like others before him, the American Dream.

Two years ago, he found his way from Chicago to the coalfields of southwest Virginia. His purpose was to attend the Appalachian School of Law, founded by people who envisioned a need for a center of learning and a way to bring economic development into this impoverished region.

Since its founding in 1994, the tiny law school in a former junior high school has become a magnet, drawing to its two-building campus an unusually diverse mix of faculty and students, most outsiders from the coal country. Odighizuwa was one of about 200 students, being led into the legal profession through a curriculum that emphasized community service and conflict resolution. Odighizuwa shattered that dream last Wednesday when he shot and killed three, including the law school’s dean, and wounded three others in a tragedy that left this community and law school reeling, asking why, and wondering about their future.

Grundy is a tiny town of about 1,300 tucked into the razor-back hills of southwest Virginia. It is hard to get to, and hard to forget.

Zeke Jackson, a second-year student and president of the law school’s Black Law Students Association, said: “Peter was welcomed here, like the rest of us, with open arms by people who go out of their way to help us - this law school and town embraced Peter and his family because they were strapped, maybe more than most of us.

“This is a second-chance school, with a first-class faculty, and the people around here take to you, once they know you’re a student here. This whole thing is a real setback for everybody. If only I had known he was that far out, I would have done something,” Jackson said.

Odighizuwa and his wife and children were known throughout the town. He was called “Peter O.” He worked at the Food City, and his wife worked at the local hospital.

Those who share the law school’s dream are trying to figure out what went wrong. James Wayne Childress, a lawyer and graduate of the law school’s first class, said, “This calamity runs against the thread of our basic mission, which stresses how the law is an instrument for alternative conflict resolution.”

Childress described himself as “a country lawyer,” and he is a member of the school’s Alumni Association board. Like others involved with the school, he worries that the shooting will harm the school’s reputation and efforts to help the local economy, which “was just getting beyond growing pains.”

Sue Ella Kobak, a local lawyer who defends indigent clients, said that the tragedy “reinforces the image of Appalachia as a violent place.”

To her, “the bigger picture is more important, the lesson to be learned from this, how law schools, everywhere, put an inordinate amount of competitive pressure on students.”

Odighizuwa is said to have been disgruntled because he had been expelled from the law school for bad grades.

Odighizuwa is black, his victims white. But most students said that race wasn’t a factor in the shootings.

Kenneth Brown, a first-year student and graduate of N.C. Central University in Durham, said: “I came here thinking this was hood country, as in the hoods the KKK wears, but I have found this to be a most welcoming place. There is nothing racial about the fact that all of the victims of Peter’s crime were white. This is just another, the latest human tragedy, only magnified by where it took place.”

At a memorial service last week, mourners started with a prayer, read aloud in unison: “Almighty God. Give us all new life, new laughter, new awareness of the beauty of life. Raise us up, as images of hope to the despairing, and bring us to a softness in a world hardened by evil.”

Later that day, Childress put the prayer in simpler terms, more in keeping with the humble surroundings of Grundy and its little law school.

“When the fan blades get cleaned off and things cool down,” he said, “we’re going to be a stronger and better law school and community because of this.”

/nd | 037

Two wounded released from hospital


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Two students wounded in a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law last week 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., said hospital spokeswoman Amy Stevens.

A third student, Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah, Ky., 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 were slain in the shooting spree.

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 Odighizuwa had recently 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.

/nd | 039

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.

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Top stories / World & Nation


The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

ENRON 1. Auditor fired Arthur Andersen fired the auditor who ordered Enron documents shredded. Then Enron fired Arthur Andersen. The White House, meanwhile, refused to release documents on its energy task force meetings with Enron.

MIDDLE EAST 2. Calm is shattered Relative calm ended in the Middle East. A Palestinian gunman killed six Israelis and wounded 30 others at a bat mitzvah party. Israel responded with an air attack on Palestinian offices in Tulkarem, killing a policeman and injuring 30.

DETAINEES 3. More sent to Cuba More detainees were taken to Guantanamo Bay (right) from Afghanistan, while human rights groups complained about confining them in 8-foot-tall cages. U.S. officials said they are illegal combatants, not POWs, but are nonetheless being treated humanely.

AMERICAN TALIBAN 4. No treason charge John Walker, the only American known to have fought for al-Qaida, was charged with conspiring to kill U.S. citizens in Afghanistan. But the Justice Department decided against charging him with treason, lessening the likelihood of a death penalty.

INDIA AND PAKISTAN 5. Powell intercedes Secretary of State Colin Powell visited leaders in India and Pakistan, expressing confidence that tensions have lessened between the two nuclear players. India agreed to talks with Pakistan, but both sides refused to pull back troops.

NIGERIA PROTESTS 6. Many arrested Police in Nigeria arrested dozens of labor activists after two days of street protests and violence over a hike in fuel prices. The government said the increases were necessary to prevent shortages. By the numbers $700 million: Sale price of the Boston Red Sox $56 million: Four-year deal for Larry King at CNN

LAW SCHOOL SHOOTING 7. Spree kills three A shooting spree on the campus of Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., left the school’s dean and two others dead. Charged with murder was Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a former student who met with the dean to discuss his recent dismissal.

ATLANTA BRAVES 8. Trade contentious The Braves traded fan favorite Brian Jordan to the Los Angeles Dodgers to get boomer batter Gary Sheffield. Jordan says he was stabbed in the back by management. Management says it needed more hitting power and had to give up Jordan to get it.

PRESIDENT BUSH 9. Fall leaves bruise President Bush passed out and fell to the floor when a pretzel temporarily lodged in his throat as he snacked while watching NFL football at the White House. Doctors said he was OK, but he wore a bruise on his face the rest of the week.

1970s KILLING 10. Five are charged In another odd echo from the ‘70s, five former members of the Symbionese Liberation Army were charged with killing a woman during a bank robbery 27 years ago. Likely to testify at trial is heiress Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by the SLA. 89,000: Jobs lost in Georgia last year 1:Years out of the last five in which Enron paid taxes

This week Secretary of State Colin Powell and other world diplomats gather in Tokyo for a conference on the reconstruction of Afghanistan. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan visits Afghanistan. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, visits the Middle East, including a stop in Syria.

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RAIN, DRUMS DROWN OUT KLAN’S WORDS AT RALLY


The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

Rain and drums drowned out the words of two dozen Ku Klux Klansmen on Saturday at a rally held days after a wooden cross was burned on the lawn of the town’s first black mayor.

The rally, the first public Klan event in the region in decades, fell on Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday and two days before the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

About 800 people attended a diversity festival Saturday held to counter the Klan event. Mayor Roland Dykes received a standing ovation.

At the Klan rally, about 400 people watched from behind yellow police tape, chanting and playing drums to drown out the Klan’s remarks.

School shooting victim remembered at funeral

GRUNDY, Va. -

Law student Angela Denice Dales, one of three people slain at her school Wednesday, was remembered Saturday as a woman who loved to learn and who taught a lesson in her death.

Hundreds of friends and family attended the funeral for Ms. Dales, the single mother of a 7-year-old girl. Ms. Dales, 33, was shot to death along with the dean and a professor at the Appalachian School of Law. Three other students were wounded and remained hospitalized in fair condition Saturday.

The suspect, former student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, is in jail on capital murder and attempted murder charges.

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THE WEEK THAT WAS


The Baltimore Sun

The Crisis

John Walker Lindh, the 20-year-old American captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan, was charged with conspiring to kill U. S. citizens and providing support to terrorist groups, counts that do not carry the death penalty.

Richard C. Reid, who allegedly tried to explode a jetliner with a bomb in his shoe, pleaded innocent to nine counts, including the charge that he was a member of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terror group.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport was chosen by the Federal Transportation department as a test of how luggage screening and other security measures will be handled at the nation’s other major airports.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visited India and Pakistan to try to persuade them not to go to war, and Afghanistan, to voice U. S. support for the war-ravaged country. Videotapes found in Afghanistan showing five purported al-Qaida terrorists making martyrdom statements were released by Attorney General John Ashscroft who asked for help in identifying and finding the men, saying, “They could be anywhere in the world.”

After a month in custody charged with lying to investigators about having an aviation radio in his hotel room near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, Egyptian Abdallah Higazy was released when another hotel guest, a private pilot, said the radio was his.

Britain arrested 13 in an anti-terror probe, charging that two are al-Qaida members.

Bosnia handed six Algerians suspected of having terrorist links over to U.S. military authorities, though that country’s highest court had ruled that the suspects, most employees of various Islamic humanitarian groups, be released.

U.S. Special Forces began arriving in the Philippines to help in that country’s battle with Islamic separatists linked to Osama bin Laden.

The Nation

A pretzel apparently lodged in President Bush’s throat while he was watching the Ravens-Dolphins game, triggering a reaction that caused him to faint, bruising his face when he hit the floor.

A key figure in the Novatek International Inc stock-rigging scandal, Vincent D. Celentano, was fined $350,000 by the Security and Exchange Commission and barred from ever running a U. S. public company . . . Former executives of the Sunbeam corporation agreed to pay $15 million to settle a stockholder lawsuit accusing them of inflating he value of the appliance maker’s stock . . . An internal memo warned Enron executives of accounting irregularities months before they led to the company’s downfall.

Five former members of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army were named as suspects in a deadly bank robbery in California 27 years ago. One of them, Sara Jane Olsen, later received a 10-year sentence for conspiring to blow up a Los Angeles police cars.

A student at the Appalachian School of Law, went on a shooting rampage at the Grundy, Va., campus, killing the dean, a professor and another student.

President Bush named 17 Americans from the fields of medicine, law and religion to his Council on Bioethics, to advise him on delicate issues of science versus morality, beginning with the issue of human cloning.

The former home of Rosa Parks, a civil rights heroine who sparked the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott half a century ago, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Facing possible bankruptcy, Kmart named turnaround specialist James B. Adamson as its new chairman.

The Security and Exchange Commission proposed that an outside group monitor the accounting industry. Bankrupt Enron fired Arthur Andersen as its accountant.

The World

Hundreds of thousands fled a volcanic eruption that sent lava flowing into Goma, Congo, a city on the border of Rwanda.

U. S. and Colombian law enforcement officials grabbed $8 million in cash and arrested three dozen suspects in the United States and Colombia in what they said was an assault on a major drug money laundering operation.

Sierra Leone and the United Nations agreed to form a special court to try people accused of atrocities during the West African country’s decade-long civil war which the government declared over in a celebration that featured a bonfire of rebel weapons.

Seven Bolivians, including two police officers, were killed as poor farmers protested a crackdown on the sale of coca leaves, the raw material of cocaine.

The Region

The Redskins fired coach Marty Schottenheimer an replaced him with former University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening asked the General Assembly to put off the final installment of a state income tax cut in order to help balance his $22.2 billion budget.

Richard N. Dixon resigned as state treasurer, blaming worsening diabetes.

No. 1 Duke ran away from No. 3 Maryland in the second half, winning the ACC basketball showdown 99-78.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig indicated Washington may be first in line for a relocated team in 2003.

The tenant of a Glen Burnie woman was arrested for killing the woman and her daughter-in-law. The bodies of Laverne May Browning and Tamie Browning were found in the trunk of a car parked at a nearby apartment complex.

Quote

“He’s the mayor, I’m a judge. It’s apples and oranges. He’s the last person I’d ask advice of or be influenced by. I’m not involved in how city government runs. This is not Hillary and Bill.”

–Baltimore District Court Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, reacting to an ethics panel ruling that she may not hear cases in which police witnesses testify because her husband, Mayor Martin O’Malley is their boss.

GRAPHIC: Photo(s), 1. Final flyby for Galileo: Images from NASA’s Galileo, spacecraft show Jupiter during the 1994 impact of fragments from, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Galileo made a flyby of Jupiter’s moon Io on, Thursday. The flyby was the last and closest for the craft, which, NASA plans to crash into Jupiter in 2003.; , 2. Redskins Spurrier named coach; , 3. Violence spreads in Mideast: Relatives mourn during a funeral for, the victims of a Palestinian attack on a coming-of-age party for an, Israeli girl. The attack left six dead and more than 20 hurt. In, retaliation, Israel destroyed a Palestinian security post and, surrounded Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat’s headquarters.; , 4. Baltimore District Court Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley; , 1. - 2. ASSOCIATED PRESS , 3. AGENCE-FRANCE PRESSE

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GRUNDY SHOWS ITS TRUE GRIT;

Rex Bowman
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

When trouble comes to Grundy, the people don’t quit, they get tough. So it’s no surprise that the Appalachian School of Law, built on a sliver of the town’s precious flat land, is vowing to come back better and stronger after a shooting rampage Wednesday left three people dead on campus.

Begun in Grundy five years ago in the hope of relieving the area’s economic troubles, the law school now finds itself dealing with a calamity just as the little mountain town has dealt with disasters through its history - devastating floods and blizzards, deadly coal mine explosions and mine shutdowns that threw hundreds out of work and left families destitute in an instant.

If the law school needs a lesson in how to steel itself during tough times, Grundy’s the place to be.

“This community has faced many tragic times throughout its history, and while each of these events was separate and apart from the other, one common denominator always remains - its unity,” said law student William R. Sievers. “From each of these events, the community has rallied to become stronger than before. This is the resolve of the students of the Appalachian School of Law.”

The school’s trouble began Wednesday about 1:15 p.m., when, according to authorities, a student who just had been dismissed for poor grades opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol.

Within minutes, the school’s dean, a professor and a student lay dead. Three other students were wounded, shot in the hallway were they had run into the gunman.

Former student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, is charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder. The local prosecutor said she’ll ask a jury to convict Odighizuwa and sentence him to death.

The town has rallied to the law school’s support. While students have been dismissed from classes until Tuesday and have spent the past few days comforting one another, residents have sent flowers and letters and e-mails, attended a candlelight vigil and wept at memorial services.

Many of the residents who attended the gatherings are too young to remember the town’s last disaster, the 1977 flood that all but wiped Grundy from the map, but they understood that the law school now is a part of Grundy and its tragedy was theirs, school President Lucius Ellsworth said.

“The relationship between the town and the Appalachian School of Law has been strengthened incredibly by this event,” Ellsworth said. “People are coming forward to offer their support.”


In many ways, the three who were killed represented the hope of the law school’s creators and of Grundy’s residents. They envisioned a law school in the middle of Buchanan County’s steep hills, amid the unemployment and poverty, that would attract talented, idealistic legal scholars to the Southwest Virginia coalfields to teach Appalachian residents to become lawyers themselves.

The process would, in Ellsworth’s oft-repeated phrase, help bring about “the economic and cultural transformation of the region.”

The dean who was killed, L. Anthony Sutin, had risen to the highest ranks of the U.S. Department of Justice and could have worked for any law firm or taught at any law school of his choosing, his colleagues said.

Professor Thomas Blackwell, shot in his office while talking on the phone with a fellow member of his church, was a top graduate from Duke University’s law school and a noted legal scholar.

“When they came to Grundy, Tony and Tom had dreams not only of a better quality of life for their families, they also dreamed of creating a law school where one was truly needed, a law school that would produce lawyers who cared about more than money and prestige, lawyers who would devote themselves to service and justice,” professor Stewart Harris said.

“They dreamed of helping those who otherwise would never have had a chance to obtain a legal education.”

One of those students whom Sutin and Blackwell helped was the third victim, Angela Dales, of nearby Vansant. One of the law school’s goals was to provide jobs for local residents, and Dales, 33, was one of the first people the school hired.

She was with the school at its inception, working as an administrative secretary and as an admissions counselor. After leading prospective students on tours of the school, she became so enthusiastic about the law that she applied for admission.

Dales, a single mother of an 8-year-old girl, was exactly the kind of student the school hoped to attract: a homegrown Appalachian resident who never would dream of law school if one hadn’t been nearby.

“She was living her dreams at the Appalachian School of Law,” Harris said.


The law school, meanwhile, has been a dream come true for Grundy and surrounding Buchanan County. Though it started with an operating budget of only $102,000 and a student body of no more than 80, it began the year with 234 students and 37 full-time employees who earn an average annual salary of about $43,000, according to the school’s December newsletter.

Built in a former junior high school with more than $9.1 million in private and government money, the school has been a boon for the local economy: 140 new students entered classes last fall, and they spent their money in local restaurants and stores and even created a demand for housing construction in the area. One study found that the school’s students spend $208,000 locally each month for rent, food and gasoline.

The students have been a godsend for Grundy, where local fortunes long have been tied to the boom-and-bust cycle of the declining coal-mining industry.

In a sad way, Ellsworth said, the shooting rampage will help the community: People around the nation who never had heard of the law school before now know it exists and have sent messages that they admire the school’s mission.

“Before this tragedy, we had already accepted a senior associate professor from Marquette University, and he was to begin teaching next fall,” Ellsworth said. “He called right after this happened and volunteered to begin teaching this semester. And I think that’s going to happen.

“Out of this tragedy, you’re seeing what a wide base of support there is for this law school. You’re going to find there’s a great awareness of the positive role of the law school.”

During a candlelight vigil for the shooting victims Thursday, professor Sandra McGlothlin quoted Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as she urged students and faculty to remain a part of what Sutin, Blackwell and Dales belonged to, a little law school in a little Appalachian town: “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly advanced.”

On Friday, sitting in his second-story office down the hall from where Blackwell and Sutin were shot, Ellsworth said the Appalachian School of Law will get through the disaster, just as Grundy has rebuilt after every flood.

“Next week is going to be a tough week,” Ellsworth said, “but the most important thing is that the school is going to go on.”

THE VICTIMS

* L. Anthony Sutin, 42, dean of the law school. He was a graduate of Brandeis University and the Harvard University School of Law. Sutin was a deputy associate U.S. attorney general during the Clinton administration.

* Professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and the Duke University School of Law.

* Angela D. Dales, 33, of Vansant, a first-year student at the school. Dales was a former employee of the school whose responsibilities included acting as a tour guide for prospective students.

* Wounded were students Stacey Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky.; Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke; and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy.

CORRECTION-DATE: January 22, 2002 Tuesday

CORRECTION:

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.

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SHOOTING HITS MANY LIVES;

Laurence Hammack, Kimberly O’Brien And Lindsey Nair
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Spring semester was one week old, and the Appalachian School of Law was returning to full academic life.

At a weekly coffee meeting for students and faculty, professor Thomas Blackwell chatted with first-year student Mikael Gross about practice exams.

Anthony Sutin, dean of the school, finished some research at the law library and headed back to his office.

Student Angela Dales talked with classmates during a break between classes.

Everyone at the school was busy and preoccupied with the work that lay ahead.

Everyone, that is, except Peter Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa, described as a troubled loner unable to cope with his failure as a law student, had recently been told that he had flunked out of school. Yet Odighizuwa refused to leave, lurking around campus and complaining bitterly about how the school had treated him.

Wednesday afternoon, Odighizuwa returned to the school.

Instead of law books, he carried a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.


Professor Gail Kintzer was in her second-floor office about 1:15 p.m. talking with a student when she heard the first shot.

“I heard a pop, which made me stop, and a second pop, which I knew was a gunshot,” she said.

Someone - she’s not sure who - opened Kintzer’s door, and two secretaries rushed in. Melanie Lewis, Sutin’s secretary, and Donna Horn, a faculty secretary, were hysterical.

Lewis and Horn had just seen Peter Odighizuwa shoot Blackwell, two offices down the hall, Kintzer said.

Professor Wes Shinn, whose office is next to Blackwell’s, had opened his door long enough to see Lewis and Horn standing horrified in the hallway.

“He’s got a gun; he’s got a gun,” the women screamed.

Once the women got inside Kintzer’s office, they crawled under her desk.

Kintzer tried to call for help. All emergency numbers were busy, swamped by calls from others who had heard the shots.

As Horn and Lewis ran into Kintzer’s office, Shinn ducked back into his office and slammed the door. “My assumption was that he was going to go from office to office,” he said.

Shinn heard two more shots that seemed to come from farther down the hall.

He ventured out and found Blackwell still sitting behind his desk. He was slumped over in his chair and bleeding from the neck. Shinn checked for a pulse and found none.

Blackwell’s telephone was off the hook.

At the time he was shot, Blackwell was on the phone with Charlotte Varney, the secretary of his church. They were talking about an upcoming congregational meeting at Buchanan First Presbyterian Church.

Suddenly, Blackwell stopped talking.

Varney heard a sound as if someone had blown up a paper bag, then popped it. Then she heard the phone drop and what sounded like static. After that, she heard muffled voices and footsteps.

“I asked him what was going on, but he didn’t come back on the line,” she said.

After about two minutes, Varney thought she had been disconnected. So she hung up and went on an errand, figuring Blackwell would call her back if he needed to.

A half-hour passed before she learned the truth.

Meanwhile, Kintzer and Shinn had rushed down the hall to Sutin’s office. They were met by another professor who had found the dean lying face down on the floor of his office. Two powder burns - indicating that he had been shot at close range - could be seen on Sutin’s bloodstained white dress shirt. Sutin had also been shot a third time, in the side.

He was dead, too.


Downstairs, most people did not realize what had just happened.

Arun Rattan, a first-year student, had just returned from lunch at the Italian Village, a downtown eatery frequented by students. He was with Stacey Bean and her boyfriend, James Davis.

They walked into the Lions Lounge, a lobby area named for the two statues of crouched lions that stood near the entrance. About 20 students were in the lounge, sitting in sofas and chairs or passing through on the way to class.

Sensing movement behind him, Rattan glanced over his left shoulder and saw Odighizuwa standing next to him. It appeared he had just come down the stairs that led to Sutin’s office.

“I looked at him, and he just nodded his head at me,” Rattan said.

It was only after Odighizuwa walked past him that Rattan realized he had a gun. “I didn’t think it was a real gun at first,” he said.

Odighizuwa walked up to the couch where students Angela Dales, Rebecca Brown and Madeline Short were sitting.

Standing about five feet from the women, Odighizuwa opened fire, Rattan said.

“Run! Run!” panicked students yelled. Rattan fled out a side door and ran behind the library, next to the school’s main building.

Rose Hurley, director of career services, was in her first-floor office adjacent to the lounge talking to two students when they heard the shots.

One of the students, Peter Tsahiridis, got up, closed the office door and locked it. The trio huddled together, trying to figure out what to do. When the commotion in the lounge stopped, they ventured out.

In the doorway of the career services office lay Dales. Blood was pouring from her neck. Tsahiridis tried to help.

Short was lying nearby. The bullet had entered her back, ripping through her abdomen and liver.

Bean was also down, bleeding from the chest.

Brown, despite being shot in the abdomen, had been able to run to the library.


Outside, Mikael Gross was walking back from lunch with a group of friends when they heard a gunshot.

It seemed to have come from the second floor. The sound was as if something had hit tin, followed by a whizzing noise. Later, he would learn that it was the bullet that went through Sutin’s window.

But then, his focus was on the end of the building, where students were pouring out of the entrance to the Lions Lounge.

“Peter O’s got a gun! Run!” someone yelled.

Odighizuwa was known on campus simply as “Peter O” because most people could not pronounce his last name. The Nigerian immigrant spoke with a heavy accent that made him hard to understand - something that may have contributed to his sense of alienation on the campus. As students heard the news, many recalled the deep anger that Odighizuwa harbored.

“You never knew with him,” Rattan said.

Students were scattering. Third-year student Ted Besen crept along the side of the building toward Odighizuwa, who had just come outside from the lounge. Gross sprinted for his car, about 100 yards away, and retrieved a bulletproof vest and a 9 mm handgun. Back home in North Carolina, he’s an officer with the Grifton Police Department.

He ran back, gun in hand.

By then, Odighizuwa had placed his gun and a clip on a light fixture about four feet off the ground and put his hands in the air. He was yelling something unintelligible to the students, Besen said. Besen, a former Marine and Wilmington, N.C., police officer, told him to get onto the ground.

Besen had heard shots on the second floor while waiting for a class to start. He and fellow student Tracy Bridges, another former police officer, had ushered students down the back stairs to safety before Besen went to his car to get his own gun.

Now, outside the Lions Lounge, Besen was taking a punch on the jaw from Odighizuwa. As the two wrestled, third-year student Todd Ross ran up and tackled Odighizuwa in the legs, hard. All three went down.

More students had reached the scene, helping hold Odighizuwa. Bridges sat on him. Gross ran back to his car to get handcuffs.

Before he did so, he heard Odighizuwa muttering: “I had to do it. I didn’t know what else to do. I had nowhere else to go.”

Handcuffed, Odighizuwa lay outside the building while people rushed into the lounge to help the wounded. A Buchanan County sheriff’s deputy showed up and put the suspect into his car.

Ambulances were nowhere to be seen.

But inside the lounge, a rescue was unfolding.


Melissa McCall-Burton had just returned from the nearby Subway for her 1:30 p.m. class when she learned what happened. The former emergency room nurse took her medical bag from her car and ran into the lounge.

The first victim McCall-Burton saw was Dales, lying in the career services office doorway. Right after being shot, Dales had been talking, according to Besen. But as McCall-Burton worked on Dales, she went into cardiac arrest. McCall-Burton was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation when Dr. Jack Briggs, nurse practitioner Susan Looney and registered nurse Carol Breeding arrived.

Briggs had been in his office, just a few miles down the road, when an announcement came over the speaker system: “Dr. Briggs, pick up the phone, stat!”

It was Hurley, still holed up in the career services office. She knew Briggs had a background in emergency medicine and wasn’t far away. And Briggs knew that a state police helicopter was waiting at Buchanan General Hospital to take one of his patients to Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn. He called for it to be held.

Then he rushed from his office, his nurses in tow.

In the lounge, Looney took over Dales’ care. The others checked Short and Bean.

Briggs figured that all four injured women needed blood. But he knew it would take too long for ambulances to arrive. Both Grundy ambulances were on other calls, and other units were 20 minutes away.

The women needed to go to the hospital - immediately. So some students volunteered their own vehicles.

Stephanie Mutter backed her Toyota 4-Runner to the lobby doors. Short was put inside on a table, which just hours earlier had held coffee and snacks at the student-faculty gathering. Now, the table was one of several makeshift gurneys; the leftover food was dumped onto the floor as the bleeding women were taken out, one by one.

Students Daniel Boyd and Rob Sievers, president of the student bar association, jumped into Mutter’s vehicle with Short and made sure she didn’t fall out the open back door. Others took Brown and Bean.

Every time Mutter hit a bump, Short cried out.

“We were just glad she was talking,” Mutter said.

Honking and screaming for help, Mutter pulled up to Buchanan General Hospital, a few miles from the law school. Emergency room nurses rushed to their aid.

Dales, meanwhile, was on her way to the hospital.

The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office had called the Grundy Funeral Home, which used to run an ambulance service and still helps police during emergencies. Funeral director T.C. Mullins sent four men with a hearse. They weren’t sure whether they were going for a patient or a corpse.

Dales, still alive, was loaded into the hearse, but died shortly after reaching the hospital. Brown, Short and Bean were taken away in two state police helicopters.

“I wish we’d gotten Angela first,” Mutter thought when she heard the woman had died.


By then, Odighizuwa was locked up. By the next morning, he had been charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder. Prosecutors have said they will seek a death sentence.

Now, a man who once aspired to be a lawyer must rely on one to save his life.

Laurence Hammack can be reached at

981-3239 or laurenceh@roanoke.com.

Kimberly O’Brien can be reached at

981-3334 or kimo@roanoke.com.

Lindsey Nair can be reached at

981-3349 or lindseyn@roanoke.com.

CORRECTION-DATE: January 31, 2002

Correction

The Jan. 21 story on the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law reversed the roles of two of the students involved in apprehending the suspect. The passage should read: Ted Besen had heard shots on the second floor while waiting for a class to start. He and fellow student Tracy Bridges, another former police officer, had ushered students down the back stairs to safety before Bridges went to his car to get his own gun. (library note: the story ran Jan. 20.)

/nd/tackle/gun | 054

Law School Shootings Neither …


The Washington Post

Neither of them was from Grundy, a small, struggling town in far southwest Virginia. L. Anthony Sutin was a former Justice Department official and Harvard Law School graduate from Washington. Peter Odighizuwa, born in Nigeria, was an ex-cabbie, late of Chicago.

Both Sutin and Odighizuwa came to Grundy because of the Appalachian School of Law, a start-up school in a refurbished junior high building that was intended to bring outsiders to the depressed coal-mining area. Sutin was the school’s dean, Odighizuwa a failing student.

On Wednesday, police say, Odighizuwa shot and killed Sutin, a professor and a 33-year-old student. Three other students were injured in the rampage, which apparently began when Odighizuwa received bad academic news and ended when three students—all former police officers—subdued him. “I guess a good word to describe everyone is amazed and shocked by what they’ve seen today,” said Bill Neeley, who lives in town and works in the corporate office of Food City. “You read and you hear about things like this, but you never expect it to happen here.”

Police said that Odighizuwa had a conference with a professor about his academic standing and that as he left, he told the professor to pray for him. He then walked into the office of Sutin, who had worked for the D.C. offices of Hogan & Hartson as well as the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Sutin was shot at close range, authorities said. Odighizuwa then shot professor Thomas F. Blackwell in another office, walked downstairs and opened fire in a lounge, police said. Student Angela Denise Dales was killed, and the three others injured, before students grabbed Odighizuwa.

School officials, who had previously celebrated the life that the law school breathed into the town, were left wondering what the impact of Thursday’s events would be.

“We’ll go forward as we have since this school started,” said Joseph E. Wolfe, vice chairman of the board. “It’s certainly going to be something that’s going to be ingrained in the history of the school.”

Marty Schottenheimer was fired as head coach of the Washington Redskins last Sunday, and the next day former University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier was named his successor.

History will judge the import of these decisions, but Redskins fans were not as patient.

“A shame,” bartender Carl Monaco said. “Schottenheimer should have been given more of a shot.”

“I really think he could have turned it around,” building engineer Maurice Colter said.

Most Redskins fans said Schottenheimer wasn’t given enough time by team owner Dan Snyder. Snyder fired his coach after barely a year on the job—a year in which the team started 0-5 but came back to finish 8-8.

“I think Marty is a fine coach,” Snyder said the night of the firing. “But it became clear that the Redskins and Marty had irreconcilable differences.”

Schottenheimer mentioned the differences, too, at a cordial news conference in which he took the “high road” when asked about the firing. Schottenheimer said the disagreement with Snyder came when Schottenheimer refused to give up control over which players would be on the team.

The new coach, known for being outspoken while at Florida, told reporters that he had grown up a Redskins fan and that he looked forward to coaching in Washington.

“They’re the best fans in the NFL,” said Spurrier of his new constituents. “It’s so loud there.”

Fans in Washington also said they looked forward to Spurrier’s arrival, as well as his high-flying “Fun ‘n’ Gun” offense, which holds the promise of producing more touchdowns than Schottenheimer’s cautious system.

“I think it’s terrible to have abandoned” Schottenheimer, said Donald Tyghe, a patron at Mister Days sports bar in Arlington. “But I like the idea of having an air offense in town.”

The governors of Maryland and Virginia were both preaching frugality, as projected budget shortfalls caused them to suggest that their states dip into “rainy day” funds, cut spending and consider changes in tax policy.

Mark R. Warner (D), elected to the high office in Richmond this fall, made his first speech to the Republican-dominated General Assembly on Monday. Warner said that state budgets would have to be cut and suggested he would support a referendum on a tax increase to pay for transportation in Northern Virginia.

“I would like to tell you that our commonwealth’s finances are sound—but everyone in this chamber knows that they are not,” said Warner, speaking from the dais in the state’s House of Delegates. He formally endorsed dipping into the state’s rainy day fund for $ 467 million.

In Annapolis, Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) proposed his final state budget Tuesday. Glendening also proposed tapping emergency funds, and he said the state should delay a promised income tax cut.

Some in Annapolis criticized Glendening for using what they called one-time fixes. But Glendening said it was necessary to cut into the state’s savings to maintain social services.

“When the private sector is contracting, people turn to government for help,” he said. “We are the safety net.”

A four-legged, bushy-tailed intruder turned the normally staid U.S. Supreme Court building upside down.

A fox was seen scampering past the building’s security perimeter Sunday morning before it disappeared into a basement parking garage. Because foxes can carry rabies, court officials closed the building for a few hours while they looked for the animal. No luck.

Traps—humane, of course—were set to catch the animal. Fox-hunting dogs were brought in from an unnamed Virginia hunt club. One briefly picked up the animal’s scent in the basement, but then lost it.

Staffers were warned not to approach the animal, and (warily) court operations went on.

Foxes, apparently, are common in District parks, but have been seen more frequently in urban environments in recent days. Jim Monsma, of the Washington Humane Society, said the fox at the court could be a young male looking for his own territory.

“They’re real good at hiding,” Monsma said.

A D.C. slumlord, who agreed to live in one of his decrepit buildings to avoid a jail sentence, hasn’t been spending much time there after all, police said.

A D.C. police officer, assigned to make sure that Rufus Stancil really was living in the dilapidated building at 2922 Sherman Ave. NW, dropped by one morning to find that Stancil wasn’t there. Stancil admitted that he only was in the building from midnight to 5 a.m. most days.

That wasn’t good enough for District lawyers, who asked a judge to prescribe specific hours during which Stancil had to be in the building and to require him to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance. The Office of the Corporation Counsel specifically asked for Stancil to be in the building from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays, and all day on weekends except for blocks between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Stancil’s attorney insisted that “the court cannot worsen the sentence. There is a ton of case law on that.” He did, however, say that some compromise might be worked out that would require Stancil to be in the building by 10 p.m. weekdays. Stancil’s major objection was to the weekend requirements, the lawyer said.

Stancil pleaded guilty to 70 of 429 city housing code violations. His sentence also requires that he complete a renovation plan for the property.

* A Virginia laborer pleaded guilty to bank fraud Tuesday, admitting to charges that he bilked elderly people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to documents filed in federal court, Larry Henderson befriended people with “diminished mental capacity” in Northern Virginia, and convinced them to pay him enormous sums—such as $ 9,000 to mow the lawn or $ 20,000 to trim the shrubs. Henderson could face 30 years in prison on the federal charges, in addition to the six-year state sentence he’s already serving for similar crimes.

* Prince George’s County settled a lawsuit with a man attacked by a county police dog in 1998. The victim, Andrew S. Amann, received more than 200 puncture wounds, though he lay down and surrendered. The officer involved, Cpl. Anthony Mileo, has a history of brutality complaints.

* Dogwood Elementary School in Reston reopened Monday, 14 months after it burned to the ground in a fire caused by faulty wiring. The school’s 550 students endured long bus rides to other schools while Dogwood was rebuilt.

– David A. Fahrenthold

/nd/tackle/after18 | 056

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 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 Appalachia 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 - many from neighboring West Virginia - 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. No West Virginia residents were hurt.

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. Its graduates were granted special approval from Virginia and West Virginia to take their bar exams in 2000. Last year, the American Bar Association granted the school provisional accreditation.

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 memorial service for Sutin was held Sunday in 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.

/nd/tackle/after18/byline | 058

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

Suspect in Virginia law school slayings recalled as quiet in Ohio


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

The man accused of killing three people and wounding three others at a Virginia law school last week was remembered as quiet and mannerly by neighbors at the apartment complex where he lived for four years.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, graduated in 1999 with a degree in mathematics from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, university spokesman Jim Cleveland said. He moved to Virginia in 2000 to attend the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

Police said Odighizuwa shot and killed the school’s dean, a professor and a student Wednesday because he was angry that he had been dismissed for a second time. He wounded three others in the student lobby of the school’s main building, they said.

Odighizuwa has been 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.

When he lived in Dayton, Odighizuwa mostly kept to himself, former neighbors told the Dayton Daily News.

Josephine Percy, who lived with her husband, Jefferson, downstairs from Odighizuwa, said he brought in the groceries and took out the trash for the elderly couple.

“He would help us with anything we needed to have done,” Josephine Percy said.

The couple were very quiet and stable people who worked “all the time,” she said. “They were just nice, mannerly people.”

Odighizuwa never discussed law school plans, but told acquaintances he planned to eventually move back to his homeland of Nigeria, “to help his people,” according to Percy and Paula Bartley, the apartment managers.

Odighizuwa worked briefly as a substitute teacher in Trotwood-Madison elementary schools. A mandatory criminal background check showed no arrest history, and his personnel file showed no documentation of any problems, spokeswoman Debbie Clements said.

“Nobody remembers anything unusual about him or about his character,” Clements said.

Odighizuwa worked four days for the district in May 2000, and had been approved in August to substitute again this school year, Clements said.

“As of this month he had not been called,” she said.

/nd | 061

Sat, 19 Jan 2002

Nigerian in US Arraigned for Murder

This Day
Africa News

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.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 062

Area officer helps wrestle law school gunman to ground

Jon Ostendorff
The Asheville Citizen-Times

Area officer helps wrestle law school gunman to ground

It wasn’t until Tracy Bridges saw his fellow students grieving at the tiny law school in Virginia that he stopped being a cop and became one of the victims.

“After all that had happened, we went outside and I saw the students in the lobby,” he said. “I knew their faces. It kind of kicked in that I’m just a student here as well.”

Bridges is a reserve Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy and a third-year law student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., where Peter Odighizuwa was accused of killing three people and wounding three others on Wednesday, just moments after he was dismissed from the school for failing grades.

The day started like any other for the 25-year-old Marshall native, including having lunch with friend Ted Besen of Wilmington. Both cops and North Carolina residents, the men quickly developed a close friendship during their time at the school.

They met for lunch that day then had to rush to make their 1:30 p.m. class. Bridges, anxious to be on time, parked his truck in a faculty spot in front of the building.

He had just opened his book in class when he heard three muffled pops. Several more pops echoed down the hall, closer this time. Then Bridges heard a scream.

Bridges and Besen ran into the hallway and saw a professor. “Peter’s in the building shooting,” the professor shouted.

Bridges ran back into the classroom. “Get out,” he ordered the students. The two men shepherded the students away from danger, down a back stairwell and out of the building.

Bridges and Besen then ran around to the front of the building. They saw Peter Odighizuwa, 43, clutching a handgun. Bridges instantly recognized his classmate, a troubled former student who had flunked out of the 230-student law school.

Bridges remembered the handgun in his truck, parked nearby.

He reached inside and grabbed his weapon. He pointed the handgun at Odighizuwa.

“We continued to approach Peter and he turned and faced us,” Bridges said. The Marshall native shouted at Odighizuwa to drop his gun. The man did as he was ordered.

“Ted was the first one to get to him,” Bridges said. “There was a short altercation. He hit Ted in the jaw and Ted backed up and pushed him off-balance.”

The men wrestled the suspect to the ground and handcuffed him.

Bridges, a Western Carolina University graduate, downplays his life-saving actions. He credits stopping the gunman to teamwork.

“It was me and Ted both,” he said. “We were trained under the North Carolina law enforcement institution and so we kind of have an unspoken communication between each other. And we were able to work together.”

/nd/tackle/gun/use | 063

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

School massacre accused ‘sick’

Chris Kahn
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)

A FAILED law student accused of killing his dean, a law professor and another student in Richmond, Virginia, told a judge yesterday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into court in leg chains, surrounded by police officers. Hiding his face behind his arrest warrant, he told Judge Patrick Johnson: “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out … I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalised US citizen from Nigeria, went to the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia on Thursday to talk to dean Anthony Sutin about being dismissed for failing his grades.

He shot Mr Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell with a .380-calibre pistol, officials said.

He then went to a common area and opened fire at students.

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, who dropped his weapon, officials said.

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

“I don’t think Peter knew at this time that it [dismissal] was going to be permanent and final.”

Student Angela Dales, 33, was killed in the rampage, said State Police spokesman Mike Stater. Three others were injured and taken to hospital in fair condition.

Prosecutors charged Odighizuwa with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges for use of a firearm in a felony.

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.”

Odighizuwa will remain in custody pending a preliminary hearing on March 21. Known around the rural campus as Peter O, he had been struggling with his grades for more than a year and had been dismissed once before.

Mr Clifton met Odighizuwa a day earlier when the student learned he was to be kicked out.

Classmates described Odighizuwa as quiet, while others called him “abrasive”.

They said he would regularly have outbursts in class when he was challenged.

/nd/tackle/after18/byline | 068

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

SLAYINGS SUSPECT A GRAD OF CSU;

Amelia Robinson
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

DAYTON - The 43-year-old man who is accused of shooting and killing three people and wounding three others at a Virginia law school graduated from Central State University and taught for Trotwood-Madison elementary schools during his days in the Miami Valley.

Peter Odighizuwa graduated from CSU in 1999 with a degree in mathematics, university spokesman Jim Cleveland said Friday.

Also, Trotwood-Madison School District spokeswoman Debbie Clements said Odighizuwa was employed by the district for four days in May 2000 as a substitute teacher at Westbrooke and at Olive Hill elementaries.

The work history of Odighizuwa in the Miami Valley began to be pieced together, one day after he was arraigned on charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Va. A Buchanan County General District judge has scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 21.

Odighizuwa was a special education substitute at Westbrooke. Clements didn’t know what grade he taught at Olive Hill.

A mandatory criminal background check showed no arrest history and his personnel file showed there was no documentation of any problems, Clements said.

“Nobody remembers anything unusual about him or about his character,” she said. He had been approved in August to substitute again in the district if needed, Clements said.

“As of this month, he had not been called,” she said.

Odighizuwa’s wife, Abieyuwa, studied prenursing at Sinclair Community College between spring 1998 and winter quarter 2000, said Gary Honnert, the college’s director of public information.

“She was a student in good standing,” he said.

Computerized records also revealed that while Odighizuwa lived in the Miami Valley, Springfield police arrested him for speeding on March 26, 1998. He gave a Dayton address of 20 W. Mumma Ave., at the time.

How the violation was dealt with in court was not clear.

The same records search listed Odighizuwa as having a Springfield address, 820 E. John St., Apt. C., in the mid-1990s.

A neighbor there said a photograph of Odighizuwa did not look familiar, although a woman and her son, who would have matched Odighizuwa’s age, lived at that apartment within the past eight years.

Odighizuwa and his family moved to Virginia from Ohio in 2000 so he could attend the law school.

Police said Odighizuwa killed the school’s dean, a professor and a student Wednesday because he was angry that he had been suspended from school for the second time. He wounded three others in the student lobby of the school’s main building.

The three who were wounded remained in fair condition Friday.

Staff writers Mark Fisher and Derek Ali as well as The Springfield News Sun contributed.

/nd | 070

MAN HELD IN DEATHS HAS PORTLAND TIE


The Oregonian

Summary: A Nigerian immigrant accused of shooting 6 was once fired from Tri-Met

Peter O. Odighizuwa, a Nigerian immigrant accused of killing three people at a Virginia law school where he had been a student, spent at least seven years in the Portland area driving a Tri-Met bus before he was fired in 1989.

Tri-Met authorities said Odighizuwa drove a bus from July 1982 through May 1989, when he was terminated.

He was cited for reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, deliberate destruction of the district’s property and for posing an immediate or potential danger to public safety, said Mary Fetsch, a Tri-Met spokeswoman.

Two months later, Odighizuwa sued the company, claiming he was unlawfully discharged, according to Multnomah County court records.

Odighizuwa, according to his claim, had been on a bus at the Gateway Transit Center when a Tri-Met officer ordered him off. Instead, Odighizuwa drove the bus back to the company’s garage and the Tri-Met officer followed in a chase along Interstate 205 that involved a crash. In his claim, Odighizuwa said that the Tri-Met officer acted unreasonably by trying to run his bus off the road.

But the out-of-work bus driver withdrew the claim 10 days later.

Fetsch said she did not have Odighizuwa’s case file and could not provide details of the incident that led to his firing.

His local lawyer, Michael Schumann, remembered the case and when told his former client was now in custody in Virginia, said, “That’s the same guy? It’s amazing it’s the same person.”

Records show Odighizuwa had addresses in Northeast Portland, Southeast Portland and Vancouver, Wash.

Odighizuwa, 43, faces three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and six counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is accused of killing three people and wounding three others in a shooting spree Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., where he had been suspended because of poor grades.

He is accused of marching into the dean’s office, pulling out a.38-caliber semiautomatic pistol and fatally shooting the dean, 42-year-old L. Anthony Sutin. He then allegedly ran into the nearby office of a professor, Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, and shot him fatally in the neck before opening fire on several classmates, killing one, Angela Denise Dales, 33, and wounding three others.

Joseph Rose of The Oregonian contributed to this story.

/nd | 071

COLLEGE SHOOTINGS ARE RARE;

Tad Dickens
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Faced with academic disappointment, they seek solutions with loaded guns. Students, professors and administrators become their victims.

The scene played out again this week at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy. Police say Peter Odighizuwa, expelled for the second time because of bad grades, went to the school and killed three people - the school dean, a respected professor and a student - and wounded three others. The survivors remained in fair condition Friday.

Such acts have been rare in U.S. history. But a Radford University professor said he won’t be surprised to hear of more, particularly where great academic expectations lead to high stress and classroom failure.

“College campuses are wide open,” said Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor at Radford, who studies workplace and school violence. “Anyone can get on. Anyone can bring weapons and can get access to professors.

“And every student has a backpack.”

Hard numbers about campus shootings are not available, Burke said. But as he and a partner attempt to launch a full-scale study of the issue, they have gathered some anecdotal evidence of students bullying and threatening professors over academic issues, he said.

He likened it to workplace violence, even though it doesn’t happen nearly as often.

Once was enough for people at San Diego State University and the University of Iowa.

Bill Fuhrmeister, then public safety director at Iowa, remembered the case of Gang Lu when he heard about the shootings in Grundy.

“It sort of brought back flash memories of Nov. 1 of 1991, and of how rapidly tragedy can happen in a spur-of-the-moment type thing,” Fuhrmeister said.

Gang had already earned his doctorate in physics, and was no longer a student. But he reacted violently, killing five people in two buildings, after learning that members of the school’s physics and astronomy department passed over his dissertation paper for a coveted academic honor. Ten minutes after he began firing, he turned the gun on himself.

The killings at San Diego State University five years later also were surprising to those who knew of gunman Frederick Martin Davidson, because Davidson was not considered a failure, said Jan Andersen, associate dean of the school’s graduate division.

“Not too much has ever really come out except that he just cracked - absolutely couldn’t handle the pressure of what he perceived to be failure,” Andersen said.

But Davidson didn’t even allow time for faculty to critique his work before pulling a 9mm handgun he had stowed in a first-aid kit and firing at least 23 times. One of his victims, 32-year-old Chen Liang, formerly was a teacher at Virginia Tech.

The random unpredictability of such events at those schools did not lead to revamped public safety plans, officials said.

“You can’t just lock up the first-aid kits,” said John Carpenter, police chief at San Diego State.

“There was no consensus,” he said of attempts to prevent similar crimes. “There was nothing that could be done short of making our campus a fortress, and you can’t do that.”

Nor did Iowa make any major changes to a police force that does not carry firearms. Iowa City police are called to any scene that might require deadly force, said Charles Green, assistant vice president and director of public safety.

But students, faculty and staff became more vigilant in noticing and reporting people they thought might be troubled, and getting them help quickly, he said.

“Certainly the climate of the campus changed, in that things that people take for granted in times past, they don’t now,” Green said.

Both schools have built team approaches to identifying and helping troubled students, officials said.

“I think all of us try to treat people and their problems and do what we can to help, because we never really know what individual is on the point of losing it,” said Andersen, of San Diego State.

Neither school has seen a similar act of violence. But even as those officials discussed their situations Friday, news broke of another campus shooting, this time at a Florida community college. That, coupled with the Grundy shootings, could bring a new look at campus safety, they said.

Whatever changes occur, they probably won’t include insulating university community members from each other, said Burke, the Radford professor.

“We are not going to advocate barricading professors,” he said. “That is not the purpose of a teaching institution. We cannot live in fear, and that includes professors, students and staff.”

/nd | 073

Suspect drove Tri-Met bus in Portland for seven years


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

The Nigerian immigrant and failed law student accused of killing three people at a Virginia law school spent at least seven years in the Portland area driving a Tri-Met bus in the 1980s.

Tri-Met authorities said Peter O. Odighizuwa, 43, drove a bus from July 1982 through May 1989, when he was fired.

Two months later, Odighizuwa sued the company, claiming he was unlawfully discharged, according to Multnomah County court records.

Odighizuwa, according to his claim, had been on a bus at the Gateway Transit Center when a Tri-Met officer ordered him off.

Instead, Odighizuwa drove the bus back to the company’s garage and the Tri-Met officer followed in a chase along interstate 205 that involved a crash. In his claim, Odighizuwa said that the Tri-Met officer acted unreasonably by trying to run his bus off the road. He withdrew the claim 10 days later

Odighizuwa’s employment record at Tri-Met included citations for reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, deliberate destruction of the district’s property and for posing an immediate or potential danger to public safety, said Mary Fetsch, a Tri-Met spokeswoman.

Fetsch said she did not have Odighizuwa’s case file and could not provide details of the incident that led to his firing.

His local lawyer, Michael Schumann, remembered the case and when told his former client was now in custody in Virginia, said, “That’s the same guy? It’s amazing it’s the same person.”

Odighizuwa, a law student who recently flunked out of school for a second time, opened fire with a handgun at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., on Wednesday, police said.

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.

/nd | 075

Fri, 18 Jan 2002

Uni shootings


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 .38-calibre automatic pistol by four other students.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 077

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

Foreign Student Kills 3 in US

This Day
Africa News

A Nigerian student angry at being dismissed stormed through the campus of the Appalachian School of Law yesterday with a handgun, killing the dean, a professor and a student and wounding three others before he was tackled by fellow students, the Virginia state police reported.

“Come get me, come get me,” the gunman was heard saying as terrorized witnesses ran for their lives, the New York Times reported

“He was a time bomb waiting to go off,” Dr. Jack Briggs, a county coroner, told news reporters about the alleged assailant, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a student from Nigeria. The authorities said the school had told Odighizuwa on Tuesday that he was being dismissed because of failing grades. State officials said that Odighizuwa, who was charged with three counts of capital murder, had a history of mental instability and that school authorities had sought to help him.

In a running assault, the gunman confronted and fatally shot the law school dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, who was a senior Justice Department official in the Clinton administration. Mr. Sutin was shot in his second-floor office, as was Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, a member of the faculty.

The third person killed, Angela Denise Dales, 33, of Vansant, Va., was described as a former law school employee who was widely admired for achieving her dream of finally enrolling as a student. She was shot in the school lounge with a .380 semiautomatic pistol.

The gunfire stunned the campus and surrounding town of 1,100 residents as it delivered death to a school envisioned in the 1990’s as a pastoral outpost to answer the chronic problems of educational need in one of the more distant and impoverished parts of Appalachia. It opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school and now has 244 students and 19 faculty members.

Sutin was praised by faculty and students as a dedicated pioneer at the school, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School who had specialized in legislative affairs for former Attorney General Janet Reno before turning to the school as a fresh adventure. Professor Blackwell, a graduate of Duke University School of Law, was recruited to the faculty from his law practice in Dallas.

The three wounded students, hospitalized in fair to critical condition tonight, were identified as Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., who was shot in the abdomen; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, who was shot in the throat; and Stacey Bean, 22, of Berea, Ky., who was shot in the chest.

“There were pools of blood all over,” Chase Goodman, a 27-year-old student, said in describing a scene punctuated with screams and gunfire.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Briggs, who arrived at the first emergency alarm. Two victims suffered point-blank wounds “execution style,” one doctor at the scene said.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 079

Law Student Shoots Six, Kills Three

Vanguard
Africa News

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.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 080

Shattered town mourns ‘irreplaceable’ victims killed during campus shooting spree

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

Hundreds of people gathered to remember a dean, a professor and a student who were killed during a campus shooting spree, allegedly by a man described as “off-balance” and prone to violence.

Students lit tiny white candles and wept in small, shivering circles at the Appalachian School of Law as they remembered the victims Thursday.

“They were irreplaceable, whether you see them as teachers or father figures or friends,” said William Sievers, 25, president of the school’s Student Bar Association. “It’s going to be tough going back to school.”

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a troubled law student who had recently flunked out of school for a second time, opened fire with a handgun at the school on Wednesday, police said.

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.

Kenneth Brown said his fellow students 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,” said Brown, 28. “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.”

Odighizuwa, a native of Nigeria, faces three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges.

At an arraignment Thursday, Odighizuwa 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.”

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

Students described Sutin as a hands-on administrator who knew all of his students’ names.

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

Blackwell, a father of three, was remembered as an avid runner and trumpet player. He recently performed with his family in a Christmas show at a local elementary school, said professor Stewart Harris.

Dales, a mother of an 8-year-old girl, became a student after working as a recruiter for the school. She wanted to work in law education.

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.

Chief Deputy Randall Ashby said Odighizuwa repeatedly approached police with concerns about people breaking into his house on the outskirts of this small town in western Virginia.

Grundy, a gritty coal town of about 1,100 in the shadow of two great mountain ridges, has long been isolated from violent crime, the Rev. Stan Parris said at an afternoon memorial at the Grundy Baptist Church. He asked the crowd of a few hundred to pray and reassured them that “God will bring justice.”

/nd | 083

Laws protect privacy of students, so screening for mental illness difficult, experts say

Arlene Levinson
The Associated Press

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.”

/nd | 084

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


The Associated Press

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.

/nd | 085

Slain law school professor remembered for embracing secluded mountain town

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

A law professor who left practices in big cities for this secluded mountain community was remembered Friday for how he touched lives here.

Thomas F. Blackwell, a 41-year-old Dallas native, was one of three people killed by a gunman Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law.

“I would have taken that bullet for him,” high school buddy Andrew B. Sommerman told a crowd of about 300. “I loved him.”

Since the law school opened in the heart of Virginia coal country in 1997, administrators pushed faculty and students to embrace their host town. Blackwell did this perhaps better than anyone.

He worked with a county river cleanup project and helped build homes. The family participated in programs at the Mountain Mission School, an agency for children of extreme poverty. He and his wife sang in the choir at Buchanan First Presbyterian Church.

“At the moment he died, Tom was going about doing good,” the Rev. Miller Liston said.

Blackwell graduated from Duke University and worked as a corporate lawyer in Dallas and Chicago. But life in the big city wasn’t for him.

The Grundy job was perfect, said Sommerman, a lawyer from Dallas. “He knew every single one of his students. I’m not sure if you could have that at Duke,” he said.

Also slain Wednesday were L. Anthony Sutin, the school’s dean, and student Angela Dales, 33. Three students were wounded.

Former student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, who authorities said had recently flunked out of school a second time, faces three counts of capital murder and other charges. A preliminary hearing is March 21.

For two nights since the shootings, students, faculty and residents have gathered at churches and on the school lawn to embrace and cry.

Before the crowd left the church, Blackwell’s wife stood and thanked everyone.

“Y’all have become our family,” Lisa Blackwell said. “We have more love here than we could possibly have asked for.”

/nd | 086

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


The Australian

UN names date

for E Timor poll

DILI: In a final step towards nationhood, East Timor will hold its first presidential elections on April 14, the territory’s UN administrator announced yesterday.

Independence leader Xanana Gusmao is widely expected to win and become East Timor’s first head of state when it gains full independence on May 20.

Argentina reacts

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina has announced emergency measures to feed the poor and will consider using troops to free up police facing unrest and protests over banking curbs.

Shooting spree

WASHINGTON: Three people were killed yesterday in a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in southwestern Virginia, authorities said.

Elephant kills 10

RANCHI, India: At least 10 people, including a woman and two children, were killed and several others injured when an elephant went on a rampage in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, officials said yesterday.

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‘I WAS SICK,’ SAYS STUDENT


Belfast News Letter (Northern Ireland)

A LAW student who is accused of killing his college dean, a professor and another student told a judge yesterday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into Virginia’s Buchanan County Court in leg chains, surrounded by policemen. Hiding his face behind his green arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson, “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out. I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalised American from Nigeria, went to the Appalachian School of Law yesterday to talk to his dean, Anthony Sutin, about his dismissal for failing grades, officials said.

He shot Sutin and professor Thomas Blackwell, who taught him, with a pistol, authorities and students said.

He then went to a commons area and opened fire at students, killing Angela Dales, 33, and injuring three others.

Students ended the rampage by tackling him

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

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

Odighizuwa said, as he was led into the courtroom, “I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

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Law student: ‘I was sick’;


Bristol Evening Post

AMERICA: A law student who is accused of killing his college dean, a professor and another student told a judge in Virginia yesterday that he is sick and needs help. Peter, a 43-year-old naturalised American from Nigeria, shot his dean at the Appalachian School of Law yesterday as well as professor Thomas Blackwell, who taught him.

He then opened fire on students, killing Angela Dales, 33, and injuring three others. Students ended the rampage by tackling him.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 093

Classmates feared accused gunman


Calgary Herald (Alberta, Canada)

The expelled student accused of killing his dean and two others in a campus shooting spree at Appalachian School of Law in Virginia on Wednesday 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 school Wednesday, killing three people, including a professor.

“He was kind of off-balance,” classmate Kenneth 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.”

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EX-CHARLOTTEAN: I HELPED NAB SUSPECT;

Diane Suchetka
Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)

One of the four students who subdued a gunman at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia on Wednesday is an N.C. native and former Charlottean.

Mikael Gross, 34, a first-year student at the small school in Grundy, Va., told The Observer he worked as a state alcohol law enforcement agent in Charlotte from 1996 until 1998 and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice at UNC Charlotte in 1997.

Two other men who helped bring the gunman under control also have worked as law enforcement officers in North Carolina - in Asheville and Wilmington, Gross said.

Gross was walking back to the law school from lunch just after 1 p.m. Wednesday with four classmates when he heard a gunshot. He yelled to the others to take cover and watched as students ran from a student lounge in the administration building.

“People were running everywhere,” Gross said. “They were jumping behind cars, running out in front of traffic, trying to get away.”

Gross ran to his car, parked about 100 yards away, without dropping the gunman from his sight, grabbed his bullet-proof vest from his trunk and a gun from under his front seat.

While the man pointed his gun at fellow students, Gross and two others ran toward him from different directions.

One of the others was Tracy Bridges, a Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy from Asheville, who also had his gun, Gross said.

When the gunman saw them, Gross said, he put his weapon down and his hands up.

The third man, Ted Besen, who has worked as a police officer in Wilmington, was not armed and ordered the gunman onto the ground. Instead, the gunman lunged at Besen, punching him in the face.

That’s when a fourth student ran up and tackled the gunman. Gross and Bridges jumped on the gunman, pulled his hands behind his back and held him as he tried to fight them off.

When the gunman was under control, Gross ran back to his car for his handcuffs. Police arrived a minute or so later, he said.

Afterward Gross and the others headed into the administration building to help those who had been shot.

“There was blood everywhere,” Gross said. “It looked like somebody had mopped the floor with blood.”

They put some of the injured onto folding tables turned into gurneys, loaded them into SUVs and drove them to the hospital.

“I let my instinct kick in and did what any good law enforcement officer would do, what any good person would do,” he said.

Gross, who graduated from Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge in 1985 and East Carolina University in 1989, has also lived in Raleigh, Burlington and several other N.C. cities.

He worked as the director of police corps training at the N.C. Justice Academy in 1998 and 1999, he said, and the chief of police at Brevard College before heading to law school in August .

During breaks from law school, he works as a police officer in Grifton. His mother, Cecilia Wicker, lives in Charlotte.

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Slain professor’s career started at Chicago-Kent

Mark Skertic
Chicago Sun-Times

Attorney Thomas Blackwell left Chicago for the mountains of Appalachia because he believed he could make a difference in the lives of law students there, his former colleagues recalled Thursday.

Blackwell, who began his teaching career at Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1997, was among three killed Wednesday when a former student at Appalachian School of Law went on a shooting rampage after learning he had been dismissed for failing grades. The school’s dean and a student also were killed.

On Thursday, Peter Odighizuwa appeared in court in Grundy, Va., charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges for use of a firearm in a felony.

Blackwell, 41, graduated among the top 10 percent of his law school class from Duke University in 1986, earning a master’s in philosophy the same year. A Texas native, he immediately joined a large firm in that state. In the next decade, he moved first to a smaller firm and then to a solo practice before he went into teaching.

Professors at Kent, where Blackwell taught legal writing, said he was a natural teacher who was excited when offered the chance to join Appalachian.

“He relished the challenge of being part of a small faculty and making a difference,” said Harold Krent, dean at Kent.

Krent last spoke with his former colleague 10 days ago in New Orleans.

“[Blackwell] was attracted to the school and to the size of the community,” he said. “He wasn’t someone who needed the lights of the big city.”

Blackwell left Kent in 1999 to join the law school in Grundy. It had opened just two years earlier, with a unique mission to train lawyers to work in the economically depressed coalfield region.

The chance to help the school grow and rear his family in the tiny community appealed to him, said Susan Adams, an associate professor at Kent.

“He reveled in the possibility of being in on the ground floor of the development of a very interesting law school,” she said of Blackwell, remembering him as one who always made time for students and faculty. “He was a very good man.”

In 1996, a decade after earning his law degree, Blackwell wrote that he was re-evaluating his professional choices.

“I have now come to the conclusion that money is not only not the priority in life, it is not a priority in life . . .” he said in a story that appeared in the law magazine Legal Times. “As a result, I am re-evaluating what I want to be when I grow up.”

The next year he joined the faculty at Chicago-Kent.

Mary Rose Strubbe, an associate professor there, said Blackwell was excited after his first visit to the Appalachian School of Law.

“He was a person who made a difference,” she said. “He was impressed with the law school’s ambition. He loved the area in terms of its geography and small towniness.”

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Troubled law student faces murder counts

Wire Reports
Chicago Tribune

Townspeople watched in shock and grief Thursday as the law student known on campus as Peter O. was led into the Buchanan County courtroom, shuffling in chains and hiding his face from cameras, to face murder charges in this remote Appalachian coal town.

Peter Odighizuwa looked at the floor as he was accused of assaulting his colleagues at the 5-year-old Appalachian School of Law and murdering the founding dean, a second faculty member and a student caught in the handgun rampage. Three other people were wounded.

“Section 18.3,” the clerk intoned as the bloody rampage was translated into cold subsections of the state criminal code.

Possible death penalty case

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

A few law students listened, appalled at the lesson in life and law unfolding before them.

During his arraignment on three counts of capital murder and six weapons charges, Odighizuwa told the judge he was sick and needed help.

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

As cameras bored in on the lens-shy defendant, the town tried to absorb the fact that the law school, one of the most hopeful innovations in decades in hard-pressed Grundy, had been visited by tragedy just at the moment of its greatest promise.

“Oh, Tony, my dear friend,” said Richard Mullins, a bike shop proprietor and law book dealer, mourning Dean Anthony Sutin, 42.

Sutin, a cum laude Harvard Law School graduate and Clinton administration Justice Department veteran, had retreated from the limelight of Washington to pioneer an adventure in education amid the beauty and chronic poverty of backwoods Appalachia. He was fatally shot at close range Wednesday as he worked in his office.

A second notice of dismissal last week left Odighizuwa increasingly confrontational, students and faculty members said. Police said the shooting occurred after he arrived to protest his dismissal.

Law program had flourished

The school, which had a faculty of 15 and more than 200 students, earned provisional accreditation last year from the American Bar Association. This meant graduates finally had standing to take bar exams.

“The network was starting to take hold,” Mullins said, and so was the rustic professorial life sought by Sutin, whose wife, Margaret Lawton, was also on the faculty.

In their home on Walnut Street, the couple had just adopted a daughter from China to join their adopted Russian-born son, residents said.

Also killed was professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, shot to death seconds after the dean.

A graduate of Duke Law School, Blackwell had built a life in a foothills home with his wife, Lisa, a worker at the school law library, and their three young sons.

Odighizuwa sought no less an idyllic place when he arrived here two years ago, intent on a law degree. Odighizuwa, 43, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Nigeria, brought his wife, Abieyuwa, and four sons with him to Virginia. They soon needed charity, and Grundy residents quietly obliged, with Sutin helping him get a car and a loan, school colleagues said.

But Odighizuwa failed courses and then faced wife-beating charges last August. Those charges are pending.

Access to gun a mystery

It was clear in interviews that there were many questions about Odighizuwa, including why he chose the law school here and, most pressing, how he might have gotten a handgun.

The third person killed, Angela Denise Dales, also had high hopes at the school. Dales, 33, who was raising her 7-year-old daughter alone, first worked at the school office but then realized her dream to enroll and seek a law degree. She was shot in the neck as the gunman moved from the faculty quarter to the students’ Lions Lounge and sprayed students with a .380 semiautomatic handgun.

“We’re all devastated,” said Tom Scott, a local lawyer and close friend of Sutin’s. “This is a sleepy community, but we all understand by now that this type of incident can happen anywhere in the U.S.A.”

Odighizuwa was held without bail pending a March hearing.

GRAPHIC: PHOTOPHOTO: Mourners try to comfort one another Thursday in Grundy, Va., following a memorial service for victims of Wednesday’s attack. AP photo by Steve Helber.

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On campus, a struggle to meet mental-health needs

Gail Russell
Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA)

The Appalachian School of Law is not a typical “sink or swim” campus, but a place where the philosophy is to give second - even third - chances.

That’s why the school, set in rural Grundy, Va., let Peter Odighizuwa return for a second year, after failing his first. It’s also why the faculty got together to buy him a car, after his was totaled in an accident, and helped his children get into a local private school.

Though many in the close-knit academic community seemed aware that Mr. Odighizuwa was often troubled and angry, mental-health services were a luxury the five-year-old law school could not afford. And certainly, no one counted on the gun. Now he is charged in this week’s shooting deaths of the school’s dean, a professor, and a student.

The tragedy presents an acute side of a larger problem: how to address mental-health problems on college campuses.

“One of the trends we have noticed over the last 10 years is an increase of students with much more serious psychological problems,” says Robert Gallagher, former director of counseling and student development at the University of Pittsburgh. He oversees an annual survey of campus counseling-center directors, now in its 20th year.

The challenge of inadequate mental-health services hit public schools hard, after a wave of high-profile shootings in the 1990s. Suddenly, school boards even in rural areas began putting more resources into student counseling and security.

The issue is much less talked about on college campuses. But experts cite many reasons for the growing mental-health caseload: families that don’t function, student drinking and substance abuse that exacerbate psychological problems, and intense academic pressure. After cutting counseling services in the 1980s, colleges and universities began beefing them up in the 1990s to deal with the problem.

Still, on many campuses, demand for such services is outstripping these new efforts. To cope, many colleges reverted to “time-limited therapy” - which restricts the number of sessions a counselor can have with a student on campus - or simply referred students to outside therapists. Those solutions are not meeting the need, says Mr. Gallagher.

At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which tried the referral approach for serious problems, the administration said in November it would significantly expand on-campus counseling services to better oversee students feeling emotional and academic pressure. For years, students and parents had complained about the suicide rate on the campus.

This fall has seen rising mental-health demands on campuses nationwide.

“Talk to counseling directors on campuses across the country, and you’ll find that this year has been particularly intense, especially since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11,” says psychologist Dennis Heitzmann, director of the Center for Counseling at Pennsylvania State University, at University Park. “We are finding that those who had experienced other trauma at other points in their lives were finding that unresolved issues were rising to the surface.”

That’s especially true for foreign-exchange students “concerned about incidents of harassment,” he adds.

Harassment appears not to have been an issue at Appalachian School of Law. When students had problems, the 12 faculty members often put their heads together to help solve them. In the small, tight-knit academic community - whose legal specialty was problem-solving skills - it seemed to work.

Until Wednesday. Former students remember the alleged gunman as a troubled man who often spoke of his need for more money and had great difficulty in his classes.

“Everyone there felt that it didn’t matter if you were not capable of succeeding the first time. If you had the desire, the gumption, to apply again, why shouldn’t you be given a second chance?” says Julie Palas, a former student at ALC, now working as special projects counsel for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

“To allow him to come back and try again was a characteristic of what the school was all about… Perhaps if we had had a trained professional, they might have seen something,” she adds.

The US Department of Education reports that the incidence of crime at colleges and universities is significantly lower than in surrounding areas. “Campuses are typically a safer environment than the areas they serve,” says spokeswoman Lindsey Kozberg. Figures show campus homicides spiked to 24 in 1998, then dropped to 11 in 1999. The department will release campus crime figures for 2000 later this month.

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SUSPECT PARANOID, LAW STUDENT SAYS

Wire Reports
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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

Police say he 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, professor Thomas Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, were slain and three other students were wounded.

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

On Thursday, students wept in small, shivering circles, many 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 arrived here two years ago, intent on a law degree. He, his wife Abieyuwa, and four sons soon needed charity, and Grundy residents quietly obliged, with Sutin helping him get a car and a loan, according to school colleagues.

“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.”

But the student’s life worsened as he struggled in class, flunked courses and then faced wife-beating charges last August. Those charges are pending.

Police said Odighizuwa approached them repeatedly with concerns about people breaking into his house.

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.

“Everybody helped the man,” said Richard Mullins, the town’s combination bike-shop proprietor and official law-school book dealer. “But with Peter, life was always a matter of somebody else’s fault.”

“We’re all devastated,” said Tom Scott, a local lawyer and close friend of Sutin’s.

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LAW SCHOOL EXECUTIONER TELLS COURT: ‘I NEED HELP’


Daily Record

THE law student accused of killing his dean, his professor and a classmate appeared in court yesterday, and announced: “I’m sick and I need help.”

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into a district court in Grundy, Virginia, in leg chains, surrounded by police officers. Hiding his face behind his arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson: “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out. I don’t have my medication.”

As he was led in, he told reporters: “I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

Odighizuwa had been kicked out of the Appalachian School of Law for failing exams. But the 43-year-old naturalised US citizen from Nigeria, returned on Wednesday to talk to his dean, L. Anthony Sutin.

In the office, he shot Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell with a .380 -calibre pistol.

He then went downstairs to a common area and opened fire. Student Angela Dales, 33, was killed in the attack. Three other students were injured.

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, who dropped his weapon.

School financial officer Chris Clifton said: “He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly.”

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SHOOTING SUSPECT: I WAS SICK

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

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 died later at a hospital.

Three other students were wounded.

Odighizuwa also faces three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges. As he was led into the courtroom, Odighizuwa told reporters, “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.

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SLAIN LAW SCHOOL DEAN LEFT D.C. TO HELP THE POOR

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

Law school dean L. Anthony Sutin, slain in his office during a campus shooting rampage, was a highly successful lawyer who left a career in the halls of power to deliver better legal services to the poor of Appalachia.

He came to tiny Grundy in the coalfields of southwestern Virginia in 1999 to become dean of the Appalachian School of Law, a private school established two years earlier.

A student angry over flunking out ended Sutin’s life Wednesday with a gunshot to the head, authorities said. A professor and student also were slain, and three students were wounded.

Sutin served in the Clinton administration as acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs under former Attorney General Janet Reno.

“I lost not only a former colleague, but a friend,” Reno said in a statement. “Tony was an incredibly kind, exceptionally bright, and intensely dedicated public servant who was committed to bettering the welfare of all Americans.”

Before joining the Justice Department, Sutin, 42, was a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson. While at the firm, he represented the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton-Gore 1992 campaign and the Paul Tsongas for President campaign.

Sandy Mayo, a colleague at Hogan & Hartson, said the Harvard Law School graduate could have continued his career in Washington if he had wanted.

Sutin told The Roanoke Times last April that he had found in Grundy the old-fashioned virtues of life, such as knowing all your neighbors and being able to leave your doors unlocked.

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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 Clinton presidential campaign and served under Mr Clinton in the Justice Department.

/nd/tackle/after18 | 104

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

AAGM: FOREIGN STUDENT KILLS 3 IN US

Mike Oduniyi
This Day (Nigeria): AAGM

A Nigerian student angry at being dismissed stormed through the campus of the Appalachian School of Law yesterday with a handgun, killing the dean, a professor and a student and wounding three others before he was tackled by fellow students, the Virginia state police reported.

“Come get me, come get me,” the gunman was heard saying as terrorized witnesses ran for their lives, the New York Times reported

“He was a time bomb waiting to go off,” Dr. Jack Briggs, a county coroner, told news reporters about the alleged assailant, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a student from Nigeria. The authorities said the school had told Odighizuwa on Tuesday that he was being dismissed because of failing grades.

State officials said that Odighizuwa, who was charged with three counts of capital murder, had a history of mental instability and that school authorities had sought to help him.

In a running assault, the gunman confronted and fatally shot the law school dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, who was a senior Justice Department official in the Clinton administration. Mr. Sutin was shot in his second-floor office, as was Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, a member of the faculty.

The third person killed, Angela Denise Dales, 33, of Vansant, Va., was described as a former law school employee who was widely admired for achieving her dream of finally enrolling as a student. She was shot in the school lounge with a .380 semiautomatic pistol.

The gunfire stunned the campus and surrounding town of 1,100 residents as it delivered death to a school envisioned in the 1990’s as a pastoral outpost to answer the chronic problems of educational need in one of the more distant and impoverished parts of Appalachia. It opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school and now has 244 students and 19 faculty members.

Sutin was praised by faculty and students as a dedicated pioneer at the school, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School who had specialized in legislative affairs for former Attorney General Janet Reno before turning to the school as a fresh adventure. Professor Blackwell, a graduate of Duke University School of Law, was recruited to the faculty from his law practice in Dallas.

The three wounded students, hospitalized in fair to critical condition tonight, were identified as Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., who was shot in the abdomen; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, who was shot in the throat; and Stacey Bean, 22, of Berea, Ky., who was shot in the chest.

“There were pools of blood all over,” Chase Goodman, a 27-year-old student, said in describing a scene punctuated with screams and gunfire.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Briggs, who arrived at the first emergency alarm. Two victims suffered point-blank wounds “execution style,” one doctor at the scene said.

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Slain professor had local ties

Peyton D. Woodson
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)

BENBROOK - While juggling calls from reporters, the owner of Benbrook Funeral Home spent Thursday preparing arrangements for a friend of 25 years.

Associate professor Thomas Blackwell, a longtime North Texas resident, was one of three people fatally shot Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

Funeral director Kate Moore has known Blackwell and his wife, Lisa, since they were students at Western Hills High School. Once during a phone interview, she paused to talk to someone else about e-mailing Lisa Blackwell pictures of casket models.

“I knew when I came back to my hometown and opened a funeral home I’d have to bury friends and family,” Moore said. “But nothing prepares you for the violence of this death.”

Blackwell’s funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas.

Authorities in Grundy say Peter Odighizuwa, 43, opened fire with a handgun at the school a day after he was expelled for a second time.

Blackwell and L. Anthony Sutin, a school dean, were slain in their offices. Student Angela Dales, 33, died later at a hospital.

Three other students were wounded.

Blackwell, who was born Jan. 13, 1961, graduated from Western Hills High School in 1978 and from the University of Texas at Arlington and the Duke University School of Law.

He practiced business law in Dallas as an associate with Jenkins & Gilchrist and later opened his own law firm.

From 1995 to 1997, Blackwell taught legal writing, analysis and research to first-year students at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. He then went to the Chicago Kent Law School and finally to the Appalachian School of Law, where he was an associate professor of law.

Thomas Trahan, an assistant director of the legal writing program at Wesleyan, first met Blackwell when they practiced law in Dallas. They were also choir members at the King of Glory church.

“He was extremely bright,” Trahan said. “He could cut to the heart of a problem better than anyone I knew. He was a very successful lawyer, who gave that up to teach others.

“He dedicated himself to the Appalachian School of Law to bring legal education to a part of the country that traditionally had been economically deprived. He believed in the mission of that school.”

Blackwell and his wife also had a humorous side, Trahan said.

They gave their three children - Zebadiah, 14, Jillian, 12, and Ezekiel, 10, - especially long first and middle names so they wouldn’t fit in the allotted spaces on standardized test exams, he said.

“Tom was the class clown,” Moore said. “He was a cut-up.

But he was exactly the person you wanted to be there if you needed something. He was a wonderful person.”

Moore recalled that the Blackwells’ first date ended in a car accident that left him in the hospital with several broken bones.

His future wife stayed by his bedside throughout his recovery.

“He missed almost half the school year and he still graduated valedictorian,” Moore said.

Blackwell could have attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Trahan said, but chose to attend college closer to home because Lisa Blackwell was attending Baylor University in Waco.

Moore said she and Lisa Blackwell were in each others’ weddings, which were a week apart.

Blackwell will be buried in Hamilton County near the family’s ranch, Moore said.

In addition to his wife and children, survivors include his mother, Margaret Cantrell of Benbrook; a sister, Rebecca Miller of Kentucky; and a brother, David Blackwell of Florida.

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Briefly


Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada)

CANADA

New minister declines trip

OTTAWA—Deputy Prime Minister John Manley invited his replacement in the foreign affairs portfolio to go with him to India and Pakistan this week but the new minister had to decline.

Less than 24 hours into his new job, Bill Graham was too busy learning his new job to join the 16-day mission, Canada’s first to the two countries since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted against them last year.

“He’s not travelling anywhere in the next little while,” said Lillian Thomsen, a spokeswoman at Foreign Affairs. “He’s been in office for 27 hours now. He’s got a whackload of things to do.”

Australians hope to stay

FREDERICTON—An Australian mother and daughter have been given their marching orders to leave Canada, but they’re hoping new Citizenship and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre will have a change of heart and allow them to stay.

Elizabeth Sweeney, 84, will be deported to Ireland on Jan. 31 while daughter Veronica Sweeney, 52, will be sent to Australia next Thursday under deportation orders that include medical and immigration escorts for the ailing mother.

Elizabeth Sweeney suffers from deep-vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal blood-clotting disorder that can be aggravated by sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces, such as the economy-class seats of an airplane.

Alberta teachers delay strikes

EDMONTON—Alberta teachers will wait until Feb. 4 before staging widespread strikes that would throw more than 127,000 students out of class.

“There’s still time for the government to address the issues,” Larry Booi, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said yesterday.

“There’s still time for a settlement.”

But Alberta Learning Minister Lyle Oberg was quick to deflate hopes that extra government money would avert a strike. “I am saying definitively there is no more money available to me to bring forward,” he said, adding legislation could end a lengthy strike.

Day defends Bailey

TORONTO—There’s no need for the Canadian Alliance to discipline MP Roy Bailey for criticizing the new veterans affairs minister because of his “Asiatic” background, says the party’s former leader.

Bailey, an MP from Saskatchewan, did the right thing by apologizing to Filipino-born Rey Pagtakhan for calling him a “Chinese chap” and questioning his fitness for his new role in cabinet, Stockwell Day said yesterday.

The furor erupted Wednesday when a Saskatchewan newspaper story described Bailey’s reaction upon learning that Pagtakhan had been named to veterans affairs.

WORLD

Accused killer ‘paranoid’

GRUNDY, Va.—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 yesterday’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.

India-Pakistan resolution near

WASHINGTON—India’s Defence Minister George Fernandes said yesterday he believes that despite another terrorist attack blamed on militants in the disputed Kashmir province, the standoff between his country and Pakistan may be “on the way to resolution.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it is in neither the interest of Pakistan nor India to stay at a high state of readiness for war.

Rumsfeld also said, after talks with his Indian counterpart, that he hopes the standoff will not force Pakistan to move troops from the border with Afghanistan, where they remain on the outlook for fugitive al-Qaeda suspects, including Osama bin Laden.

Volcano erupts in Congo

GOMA, Congo—A volcano in eastern Congo erupted yesterday, sending out plumes of ash and three rivers of lava that destroyed 14 villages near the Rwandan border and drove thousands from their homes.

The sky around Mount Nyiragongo began glowing red, and ash fell on the nearby town of Goma before dawn yesterday. Three lava flows were detected, two coming down the mountain’s east side and one down the west.

Thousands of people were left homeless when the lava destroyed their villages.

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Law school killer

Michael Beach
Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)

A FAILED law student executed two professors then shot dead a fellow student at a small American 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 wrestled to the ground and disarmed of his 38-calibre 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 served under Mr 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 Mr 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 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.

After murdering 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.

The Appalachian School of Law was founded four years ago to help ease a shortage of lawyers in the southwest Virginia coal mining towns.

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.

/nd/tackle/after18/byline | 112

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

STUDENT HELD IN KILLINGS ASKED FOR HELP, GOT IT, CLASSMATES SAY

Lee Mueller
Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky)

GRUNDY, Va.—Throughout his star-crossed career as a law student, classmates said, Peter Odighizuwa had been asking people in this small coalfield town for help, and was receiving it.

Yesterday, the 43-year-old—accused of shooting to death the Appalachian School of Law’s dean, a professor and a former classmate—pleaded for another form of help.

During his arraignment in the Buchanan County Courthouse, Odighizuwa, with his legs shackled, told a judge he was sick and needed help.

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

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, faces three counts of murder and other charges. He will remain in jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing on March 21, Judge Patrick Johnson ruled.

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

Virginia State Police say Odighizuwa opened fire at the school, less than 15 miles from the Kentucky line, after he flunked out for a second time. Police declined to say yesterday where he obtained the .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol used in the shooting.

Police said Odighizuwa went to the law school’s second floor to discuss his suspension with Dale Rubin, a black professor with whom classmates said he felt comfortable. As he left Rubin’s office, Odighizuwa told the professor to pray for him. He then went into the separate offices of Dean L. Anthony Sutin and associate professor Thomas Blackwell and shot them to death, police say.

Afterward, he walked downstairs and opened fire in the student lounge, killing classmate Angela Denise Dales, 33, and wounding three other women, including Berea College graduate Stacey Beans, 22, of Paducah.

Medical officials said yesterday all three women are expected to make full recoveries and probably will be released from Tennessee hospitals next week.

Law student Mikael Gross, 34, of Charlotte, N.C., pointed out that there were men in the lounge, but that the only students Odighizuwa allegedly shot were women. One male student said the gunman “actually walked around” him in order to shoot Dales, Gross said.

Gross, a police officer in Grifton, N.C., was among at least two students with law-enforcement backgrounds who helped subdue Odighizuwa when he emerged, brandishing his pistol.

When one of the students yelled for him to put down his gun, Odighizuwa placed it, along with an extra magazine, on a lamp post, Gross said. Both were empty, he said.

The suspect was tackled and handcuffed by another student, Ted Besen, a deputy sheriff in North Carolina. Gross said both he and Besen were armed.

Gross and the other students who helped capture Odighizuwa were praised yesterday.

“To be honest, I feel I’m surrounded by heroes,” said Paulina Havelka, 27, of Charlotte, a first-year student, after hugging Gross.

Lonnie Ayers, 42, a first-year student from Cumberland in Harlan County, agreed.

“These guys, instead of running away from the situation, ran to the situation,” Ayers said.

Odighizuwa faces three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges, court records show.

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 officers declined to identify the drug.

Before and after a memorial service yesterday at Grundy Baptist Church, students and faculty members embraced, and wondered about the classmate who, some said, was prone to vulgar outbursts.

“He never smiled,” said Misty Kennedy, 24, of Cumberland, a daughter of Harlan County school board chairman David Kennedy.

Kennedy said Odighizuwa often appeared frustrated when he spoke in class because other students, and sometimes instructors, had difficulty understanding him.

He spoke softly, with an accent, classmates said.

“The teachers would really try to help him,” Kennedy said. “They’d look at him closely and let him repeat himself, up to three times.”

Mostly, these episodes appeared to make him angry, classmates said.

Kenneth Brown, 28, said Odighizuwa “was kind of off-balance. 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.”

Court records show Odighizuwa, the father of four, was arrested Aug. 15 for allegedly assaulting his wife. The police report said he hit her in the face, bruising her right eye.

Yesterday, no one answered the door at the home near campus where Odighizuwa and his family lived.

Police said Odighizuwa, who worked a variety of jobs while in Grundy, including bagging groceries, repeatedly approached them with concerns about people breaking into his former residence. Odighizuwa told police last year that someone placed a bullet in a stairway at his home and complained again three months ago that someone had broken into his house.

Police said they checked both complaints and found nothing.

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.

“They did everything in the world to help him out,” said Sean Maynard, 27, a first-year student from Kenova, W.Va.

Dink Shackleford, a former classmate, recalled giving Odighizuwa $20 after he stood up in class and announced, “I’m having a rough time. I’ve got four kids and they cut my electricity off.”

“People in this community bent over backward to help him out,” Maynard said. “He was just a bad student.”

/nd/tackle/gun | 114

BEREA CAMPUS RELIEVED THAT GRADUATE IS OK;

Lance Williams
Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky)

BEREA—Encouraging news yesterday about the condition of a Kentucky woman who was injured in a law-school shooting spree produced widespread relief at Berea College.

Doctors said Stacey Beans, a Paducah native who graduated from Berea last year, is expected to make a full recovery after being shot Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

“I’m hoping she will be able put this behind her,” said Thomas Bosch, an assistant professor of German at Berea. “She is the last person to deserve something like that.”

Beans, 22, was recovering from surgery at a Bristol, Tenn., hospital. The hospital issued a statement from Beans, who could be released within a week.

“I thank God I’m OK,” Beans said in the statement. “I want people to pray for the other victims and our friends and family.”

Beans’ friends at Berea described her as an upbeat student who was involved in several campus activities.

“She was very enthusiastic in whatever she did, and she was able to spread that to others,” Bosch said.

He said Beans helped re-establish a German club at the college after she studied in Munich one summer. She also spent a summer studying in London.

“She didn’t want to lose what she learned,” Bosch said. “She was always eager to learn.”

Beans was a member of the women’s chorus, swim team and president of the German Club. She also helped run a campaign for a Berea city council member and interned in the office of a local circuit judge.

Her swim coach, Bill Best, said Beans’ personality will be an asset in her recovery.

“Stacey was one of those who was never at a loss with an opinion,” Best said. “That’s why she’ll make a good lawyer someday.”

Lynn Patterson, a teammate on the swim team, said Beans, who was team captain, was a good leader.

“She really took care of us, and she made sure everyone felt like a part of the team,” said Patterson, a business administration junior from Knoxville, Tenn.

Beans is the stepdaughter of David Wrinkle, an assistant McCracken county attorney.

Attorneys around the McCracken County Courthouse who knew Beans described her as a bright and articulate woman who can’t wait to become a lawyer.

Bean’s sister, Stephanie Medley, of Paducah, said her sister had recently returned to the law school’s campus after the winter break and was excited about classes starting again.

She said the shooting shook the family, most of whom drove to Kingsport.

“I bawled and cried and prayed. I was almost in disbelief,” Medley said. “I can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt that girl.”

/nd | 116

In Appalachia, an Unlikely Setting for a Triple Murder;

Jeffrey Gettleman
Los Angeles Times

It was an unlikely place for the two to meet, in the gritty heart of Appalachia.

L. Anthony Sutin was a high-ranking Justice Department official, a Harvard-trained constitutional scholar.

Peter Odighizuwa was a father of four and a former cabdriver from Nigeria, trying to start over.

Sutin had just taken a job as dean of the Appalachian School of Law, an ambitious project aimed at improving legal services in one of the most downtrodden areas of the South. Odighizuwa was one of his students.

Time and again, Sutin was there for him. When Odighizuwa was broke, the dean helped buy him a car and a computer and found him a job bagging groceries. When Odighizuwa flunked out of law school his first year, Sutin gave him a second chance and let him back in.

Now Sutin is dead. And Odighizuwa is in a mountainside jail, charged with murder.

“Out of all the people who tried to help him, that’s who Peter killed first–execution-style,” law student Chuck Scherer said. “It’s bothering us all.”

On Thursday, a day after police said Odighizuwa killed the dean, a law professor and a classmate in a 60-second shooting spree, a few clues emerged as to what led to the fatal collision between the student and the dean.

Court records revealed that Odighizuwa, 43, had a violent past, and classmates said he behaved erratically. He was charged in August with hitting his wife in the face and often was moody and depressed.

As he was led into the courtroom, Odighizuwa, with his head down and hands and legs shackled, yelled out: “I’ve been sick! I’ve been sick! I need help!”

Minutes later, after 12 charges had been leveled against him, prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty.

Many people in Grundy, a coal mining town best known for its fierce high school wrestlers, have been ambivalent about the private law school, which opened five years ago in a converted junior high school. Its founders hoped to bring legal services–and a sense of hope–to a historically depressed area.

“People said it’ll help bring jobs,” former coal miner Fred McCracken said. “But I always thought that if you mixed up too many people in a little town, something’s going to happen. It just don’t slide.”

Often in rural areas, locals and college folks don’t mix, but for Sutin, 42, that wasn’t the case.

He’d walk his dog through downtown, past the abandoned movie theater and bronze statue of a coal miner. He’d play T-ball with his son and other boys and their fathers along the Levisa River. And come Sunday, even though he was Jewish, he’d often go to church, just to be part of the community.

His wife, Margaret Lawton, who also taught at the law school, started Buchanan County’s first humane society. The couple adopted two children, a little boy from Russia and within the last six months, an infant daughter from China.

They moved from Washington, where Sutin had served in the Clinton administration as an assistant attorney general under Janet Reno. He also had been a partner in a top Washington law firm and wrote many articles for legal journals.

He came to Grundy, population 1,110, fired by a sense of mission. “He gave his heart to that school,” lawyer and friend Henry Keuling-Stout said. But he didn’t bang his credentials over people’s heads.

“Tony was educated and smart and had every reason to be snobby,” said David Thompson, who works for the county. “But he was as common as anybody. And people liked that.”

“Peter O,” as he was known, stood out in Grundy.

Until the law school opened, “you just didn’t see black people walking down the road,” one resident said. About two dozen of the school’s 250 students are black.

But more than that, in a place where self-reliance and tight-knit families are themes, people remember the many times the Odighizuwas needed help.

There were the clothing drives at the hospital where Odighizuwa’s wife, Abieyuwa, worked, so the family’s four boys would have clothes. And there were the moves from house to house because of rent problems. And several times Odighizuwa burst into faculty meetings at the law school and asked for more money, according to students.

“This guy had an explosive personality,” said Jack Briggs, the county medical examiner.

Odighizuwa had enrolled at the Appalachian School of Law in September 2000, the first year Sutin was dean; he had been a professor there before that. No one seems to know where Odighizuwa went to college and school President Lu Ellsworth said he was told by police not to discuss his record.

Odighizuwa apparently flunked out at the end of the fall semester 2000, took a semester off, bagged groceries at Food City, then came back under academic probation.

On Wednesday, after learning he again had flunked, authorities said Odighizuwa marched into Sutin’s office, pulled out a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol and shot the dean several times; at least two bullets were fired into Sutin’s back from point-blank range. Odighizuwa then allegedly ran into the nearby office of Thomas Blackwell, his professor of contracts, and shot him fatally in the neck while Blackwell was sitting behind his desk.

He dashed downstairs, police say, shooting several classmates, killing 33-year-old Angela Dales, who was his guidance counselor before becoming a student. Three students remained in fair condition Thursday.

Odighizuwa was charged Thursday with three counts of premeditated murder, three counts of attempted murder and six counts of unlawful weapon use.

Later that day, 300 mourners poured out of Grundy Baptist Church where a memorial service was held. Many were law students, but several men wearing work boots and sooty uniforms wiped their eyes as they looked around for someone to talk to.

One by one, Sutin’s students came up to his widow and hugged her. Some left flowers at the law school gates. “God bless Dean Sutin,” read a card attached to a single, plastic-wrapped rose.

/nd | 117

Coal Town’s Hopes Clouded by Killings Of 3 at Law School

Francis X. Clines
The New York Times

Townspeople looked on in shock and grief this morning as the failed law student known on campus as Peter O. was led into the Buchanan County courtroom, shuffling in chains and hiding his face from television cameras, to face murder charges in the bloodiest shooting this remote Appalachian coal town has ever suffered.

Peter Odighizuwa looked at the floor as he was accused of assaulting his colleagues at the Appalachian School of Law and murdering the 5-year-old school’s founding dean, a second faculty member and a student caught in the handgun rampage that ended after the wounding of three others.

“Section 18.3,” the clerk intoned as the rampage was translated into precise, cold subsections of the state criminal code.

A few law students listened at the back, appalled at the painful lesson in life and law unfolding before them.

An older woman wept. Cameras bored in on the lens-shy defendant.

All about him, the town tried to absorb the fact that the law school, one of the most hopeful innovations in decades in hard-pressed Grundy, had been visited by tragedy just at the moment of its greatest promise.

“Oh, Tony, my dear friend,” said Richard Mullins, the town’s combination bike shop proprietor and official law school book dealer. In his shop across from the courthouse, Mr. Mullins mourned Dean L. Anthony Sutin.

A cum laude Harvard Law School graduate and Clinton administration veteran of the Justice Department, Mr. Sutin, 42, had retreated from the limelight of Washington to pioneer an adventure in education here amid the beauty and chronic poverty of backwoods Appalachia. He was fatally shot at close range as he worked in his office.

“Tony was so good natured,” Mr. Mullins said, “he was always helping someone.” And no one received more help than Peter O., Mr. Mullins sadly emphasized, noting that the dean had accepted Mr. Odighizuwa—a troubled and increasingly abrasive figure by most accounts—back into the school after he failed his first year.

A second notice of dismissal last week, however, left Mr. Odighizuwa distraught and increasingly confrontational, students and faculty members said. The shooting followed after he arrived at the school to protest his dismissal, according to the police.

“Tony was killed just as the school could see itself achieving something,” Mr. Mullins said, noting that last year the dean won provisional accreditation for the school from the American Bar Association. This meant graduates finally had standing to take bar exams, and enrollment was already growing.

“You could sense it in town: more students arriving, more involvement by the community,” Mr. Mullins said. “We finally had something going here.” The school has a faculty of 15 and an enrollment of more than 200.

“The network was starting to take hold,” Mr. Mullins continued, and so was the rustic professor’s life sought by Dean Sutin, whose wife, Margaret M. Lawton, was also on the faculty.

In their happiness at home on Walnut Street, the couple had just adopted a daughter from China to join their Russian-born adopted son, residents noted. They wondered what would happen to the fledgling school without Mr. Sutin and without Prof. Thomas Blackwell, who was shot to death seconds after the dean.

Professor Blackwell, 41, a graduate of Duke Law School, was recruited into the Appalachian adventure and proved to be one of the more popular professors, students said. He built a life in a foothills home with his wife, Lisa, a worker at the school law library, and their three young sons.

Mr. Odighizuwa sought no less an idyllic place when he arrived here two years ago, intent on a law degree. Born in Nigeria, the 43-year-old student, a naturalized United States citizen, had his wife, Abieyuwa, and four sons with him. They soon needed charity, and Grundy residents quietly obliged, with Dean Sutin helping him get a car and a loan, according to school colleagues.

But the student’s life worsened as he struggled in class, flunked courses and then faced wife-beating charges last August. Those charges are pending.

It was clear in interviews that there were many unanswered questions about Mr. Odighizuwa, including why he chose the law school here and, most pressing, how he might have come into possession of the handgun.

“Everybody helped the man,” the mournful Mr. Mullins said. “But with Peter, life was always a matter of somebody else’s fault.”

The third person killed, Angela Denise Dales, also had high hopes at the school. Ms. Dales, 33, who was raising her 7-year-old daughter alone, first worked at the school office but then realized her dream to enroll and seek a law degree. She was shot in the neck as the gunman moved from the faculty quarter to the students’ Lions Lounge and sprayed students with a .380 semiautomatic handgun.

“We’re all devastated,” said Tom Scott, a local lawyer and close friend of Dean Sutin’s. “This is a sleepy community, but we all understand by now that this type of incident can happen anywhere in the U.S.A.”

Mr. Scott was an onlooker with other Grundy residents as Mr. Odighizuwa stood before the bar of justice at the courthouse. Then the former law student suddenly spoke up as a defendant, requesting medication and legal representation.

“Your Honor, I had a specific request,” Mr. Odighizuwa complained, trying to choose his lawyer even as he hid his face with his arrest warrant. He was assigned a different lawyer, one well versed in the homicide defense needed now by the former law student, Judge Patrick Johnson explained. He ordered Mr. Odighizuwa back to jail without bail pending a hearing in March.

A noon memorial service soon followed at the Grundy Baptist Church. Then, the half-dozen big TV-dish uplink trucks briefly monitoring the town in its tragedy began breaking camp and moving on with a phalanx of visiting reporters.

“Usually, we cover these things in big cities,” said Jordan Placie, a television technician departing for Ohio along the switchback roads leading from Appalachia.

/nd | 118

Dean Was Man Of Compassion;

Alfonso A; Castillo
Newsday (New York)

He was just 20 at the time, but even at that young age Anthony Sutin was tackling huge responsibilities.

At the Brookhaven Country Day Camp, where Sutin worked several summers in the early 1980s, the job of kitchen manager usually was reserved for older, more experienced people, but camp owner Neil Pollack knew it was in good hands with Sutin.

“He was just so organized and such a bright, bright kid,” Pollack said. “He was well liked by everyone.” Relatives and colleagues said the only thing greater than the Bellport native’s desire to achieve was his desire to give back. It was the latter that led Sutin, 42, to walk away from a job as a high-ranking attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as a dean at a small, upstart Virginia law school.

In the end, one of the people who had most benefited from Sutin’s compassion was the one who Virginia police said ended his life.

Police said Peter Odighizuwa, 42, stormed into Sutin’s office at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., Wednesday and shot him once with a .380-caliber pistol. He then shot and killed another professor and a student and wounded three others before being restrained by students, according to police. Odighizuwa faces three counts of capital murder and related weapons charges.

The student was upset over news that he was being kicked out of school, police said. Just one year earlier, Odighizuwa had flunked out of school, but Sutin was there to open the door for him to return.

“That’s typical of him,” said Pollack.

Yesterday, Bellport residents remembered Sutin’s years as a starry-eyed overachiever. During his years as a student at Bellport High School, Sutin worked on several environmental causes as a member of the school’s Students for Environmental Quality and lobbied to enact New York’s bottle deposit program.

“He was clearly going to go some place,” said Arthur Cooley, a board member of the Manhattan-based Environmental Defense Fund and Sutin’s former high school biology teacher.

After graduating with honors as the school’s valedictorian in 1977, Sutin attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in policy and economics and then enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1984.

After law school, Sutin clerked in a U.S. District Court in Dallas, then joined the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hogan & Hartson. Sutin’s passion for politics led him to work on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and ultimately landed him a job in the U.S. Justice Department in 1994.

Sutin rose through the ranks over the next four years, eventually becoming assistant attorney general for legislative affairs in 1998.

Friends said Sutin had close ties with top-ranking officials in the Clinton administration and was all but guaranteed a long and lucrative career as a Washington player, but he walked away from it all when the opportunity to help establish a law school in a small and desolate Virginia community arose.

“He could have been anything. He was so tied in,” said former neighbor and close friend Rachel Alberts of Grundy, Va. “But he really felt that everyone … had an obligation to take care of the community.”

Sutin’s mother, Bonita Sutin of Bellport, said her son’s compassion extended into his personal life. He and his wife, Margaret Lawton, who also taught at the school, adopted their son, Henry Alexander, 4, from Russia several years ago, and just two weeks ago traveled to Russia to adopt a daughter, Clara Li Bessyes.

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Slain Dean Known For His Compassion

Alfonso A; Castillo
Newsday (New York)

He was just 20 at the time, but even at that young age Anthony Sutin was tackling huge responsibilities.

At the Brookhaven Country Day Camp, where Sutin worked several summers in the early 1980s, the job of kitchen manager usually was reserved for older, more experienced people, but camp owner Neil Pollack knew it was in good hands with Sutin.

“He was just so organized and such a bright, bright kid,” Pollack said. Relatives and colleagues said the only thing greater than the Bellport native’s desire to achieve was his desire to give back. It was the latter that led Sutin, 42, to walk away from a job as a high-ranking attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as a dean at a small, upstart Virginia law school. In the end, one of the people who had most benefited from Sutin’s compassion was the one who Virginia police said ended his life.

Police said Peter Odighizuwa, 42, stormed into Sutin’s office at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., Wednesday and shot him once with a .380-caliber pistol. He then shot and killed another professor and a student and wounded three others before being restrained by students, according to police. Odighizuwa faces three counts of capital murder and related weapons charges.

The student was upset over news that he was being kicked out of school, police said. Just one year earlier, Odighizuwa had flunked out of school, but Sutin was there to open the door for him to return.

“That’s typical of him,” said Pollack.

Yesterday, Bellport residents remembered Sutin’s years as a starry-eyed overachiever. During his years as a student at Bellport High School, Sutin worked on several environmental causes as a member of the school’s Students for Environmental Quality and lobbied to enact New York’s bottle deposit program.

After graduating with honors as the school’s valedictorian in 1977, Sutin attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in policy and economics and then enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1984.

After law school, Sutin clerked in a U.S. District Court in Dallas, then joined the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hogan & Hartson. Sutin worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and landed a job in the U.S. Justice Department in 1994. He became assistant attorney general for legislative affairs in 1998.

“He could have been anything. He was so tied in,” former neighbor and close friend Rachel Alberts said of Sutin and his decision to leave the U.S. Justice Department for the school. “But he really felt that everyone … had an obligation to take care of the community.”

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‘I WAS SICK,’ SAYS STUDENT


Newsletter

A LAW student who is accused of killing his college dean, a professor and another student told a judge yesterday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into Virginia’s Buchanan County Court in leg chains, surrounded by policemen.

Hiding his face behind his green arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson, “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out. I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalised American from Nigeria, went to the Appalachian School of Law yesterday to talk to his dean, Anthony Sutin, about his dismissal for failing grades, officials said.

He shot Sutin and professor Thomas Blackwell, who taught him, with a pistol, authorities and students said.

He then went to a commons area and opened fire at students, killing Angela Dales, 33, and injuring three others.

Students ended the rampage by tackling him

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

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

Odighizuwa said, as he was led into the courtroom, “I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

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Law dean’s death shocks friends

Brian Hicks
The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

The Lowcountry friends and family of a Virginia law school dean gunned down by a student say they are shocked by the death of a man who did nothing his entire life but help people, including the man who killed him.

Anthony Sutin had given Peter Odighizuwa a second chance when the man flunked out of the Appalachian School of Law in rural Grundy, Va., something a lot of deans would not have done, his students and colleagues say.

But when Sutin would not let Odighizuwa re-enroll a third time, police say the man shot Sutin in his office Wednesday afternoon, then killed another member of the law school faculty and a student and injured three students before he was wrestled to the ground by other students and arrested.

It was a sad end to the life of Sutin, the son-in-law of Allendale attorney Thomas O. Lawton—a former law partner of Gov. Robert E. McNair and chairman of the South Carolina Tricentennial Commission.

Sutin, 42, was a humble man who had accomplished much, his family said, and still had much more to do.

“Until something like this happens, you don’t realize how precious life is,” said Angus Lawton, a Charles-ton attorney and Sutin’s brother-in-law. “Our family is saddened by this tragedy, and we will miss Tony greatly. We appreciate the thoughts and prayers of our friends, and we wish the very best for the Appalachian School of Law.”

Nine years ago, Margaret Lawton of Allendale married Sutin, a soft-spoken man from Long Island, N.Y., who loved country music and was so modest he didn’t like to mention he was a graduate of Harvard Law School.

At the time, Sutin was a Washington, D.C., attorney who became acting assistant attorney general under Janet Reno.

The family lived in Alexandria, Va., until Sutin decided to help out with a fledgling law school nestled in the Appalachian Mountains.

Sutin started as a professor but soon was made dean of the Appalachian School of Law, a small school in the economically depressed town of Grundy, 45 miles north of Bristol, near the Kentucky and West Virginia borders.

Sutin loved the small-town feel. In an April interview with the Roanoke Times, Sutin said he loved the old-fashioned qualities of life in Grundy, knowing all your neighbors and being able to leave your doors unlocked.

He felt it was a good place to raise his growing family. Sutin and Lawton had adopted two children, the second one only a month ago—a 14-month-old baby from China.

Sutin’s murder brought reaction from across the country. Attorney General John Ashcroft called him a “dedicated public servant.” Paul Dull, a former student of Sutin’s, told the Roanoke Times that “The legal community has lost a great individual. Dean Sutin was one of those guys you aspired to be. He thought being a lawyer was a commendable profession.”

The local connection to the national news story had trickled into Charleston by early Thursday, and some of the friends of the family made plans to travel to Virginia for memorial services this weekend.

“The Lawton family has a lot of friends in Charleston that are shocked and saddened by this,” said Joseph H. McGee, a friend of the family.

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‘I was sick, I need help,’ accused killer maintains in court

Associated Press
The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario)

A former law student accused of killing his dean, a law professor and another student told a judge as well as bystanders yesterday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into Buchanan County general district court in leg chains, surrounded by police officers.

Hiding his face behind his green arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson: “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out . . . I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa called out to reporters as he was led into the courtroom: “I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, went to the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday to talk to his dean, L. Anthony Sutin, about Odighizuwa’s dismissal for failing grades, officials said. He allegedly shot Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell, who taught Odighizuwa during the fall and winter.

Also killed with a shot from a .380-calibre pistol was student Angela Dales, 33, said Virginia State Police spokesman Mike Stater. Three others are in hospital in fair condition.

Prosecutors charged Odighizuwa with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges of using a firearm in a felony.

When Johnson said he would appoint lawyer James Turk to represent him, Odighizuwa asked for another lawyer, who he named. But Johnson appointed Turk and said, “Once you’ve talked with him, I’m sure you’ll see he can help you.”

Odighizuwa will remain held without bond pending a preliminary hearing March 21.

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, officials said.

“He was angry; he thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

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

The suspect, 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. Clifton met with Odighizuwa a day earlier when the student learned he was to be kicked out of school.

Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a private practice about a kilometre from the school, said Odighizuwa went downstairs from Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices to a commons area and opened fire.

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

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted. Students then tackled him and one who is a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed him.

Odighizuwa kept saying, “I have nowhere to go,” said student Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn.

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.”

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

“I knew he’d do something like this,” said Zeke Jackson, 40.

The private law school has an enrolment 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 the U.S. Justice Department to help found the school, and had worked for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

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SHOOTINGS SUSPECT PRONE TO OUTBURSTS

Chris Kahn
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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 had 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.

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SLAIN STUDENT PURSUED DREAM;

Calvin R. Trice
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

Angela Denise Dales was a single mother in the second semester of her long-awaited pursuit of a law degree when she was killed, a former co-worker said.

Dales, 33, left her administrative job at the Appalachian School of Law to become a student there in the fall.

She was among three people killed Wednesday afternoon in a shooting rampage at the school. The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, also were killed.

Dales’ 8-year-old daughter, Rebecca, has been with her grandparents in Vansant since the shooting, family friends said.

Dales worked for the law school for three years as an admissions counselor in the office of student services, said financial aid director Chris Clifton.

“She was a bright, intelligent person,” he said. “She was also funny, and she was excellent at her job.”

Dales recruited Brandon Short, who later became her classmate in the fall as a first-year law student. Short was impressed with Dales’ concern for his plans, he said.

“She called me constantly to make sure I still had my hopes up for law school,” Short said. “She was a big motivator.”

Clifton said Dales always wanted to pursue a law degree. She served as a tour guide for prospective students of the law school, and friends said the job increased her enthusiasm to attend the school.

“One of her greatest joys was telling students on the phone that they had made it through the admissions process and had been accepted,” professor Stewart Harris said at a candlelight vigil for the victims last night.

Lisa Belcher, a friend and stylist at Hair-4-U beauty salon, which Dales frequented, said, “She was really excited about getting into law school.”

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‘I WAS SICK. I NEED HELP’;

Rex Bowman
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

“I was sick, I was sick. I need help.”

That was the terse explanation Peter Odighizuwa offered yesterday when reporters outside the courthouse asked him why he shot and killed three people at the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday. Three others were wounded.

Inside Buchanan County General District Court, Odighizuwa was less vocal. He hid his face and said nothing as a court clerk read the charges against him: three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

Odighizuwa, who was wrestled to the ground by fellow students, one of whom aimed his own revolver at Odighizuwa, could face the death penalty if convicted.

The shooting rampage, which claimed the life of the law school’s dean, has rocked the town of Grundy, which until Wednesday had been known mostly for its high school’s championship wrestling squad. Now, the entire town is grieving on national television over what everyone can describe only as an act of senseless violence.

“The Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center, Columbine - at the time they seemed like worlds away,” the Rev. Stan Parris said yesterday during a memorial service for the three dead. “This time the tragedy has struck home, a remote, tiny town, a place protected by mountains and family values.”

“Those who were killed were some of our finest people,” Buchanan Supervisor Ed Bunn said. “It’s on everybody’s mind.”

The man accused of the killings, 43-year-old Odighizuwa, is being held without bail. Yesterday, General District Judge Patrick Johnson appointed Radford attorney James C. Turk Jr. to represent the Nigerian-born Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa protested briefly, saying he wanted area lawyer James Carmody to represent him. Carmody had represented Odighizuwa in August when he was charged with assault and battery against his wife.

But Carmody is not on Virginia’s short list of lawyers qualified to represent capital defendants, so Johnson appointed Turk.

In his only courtroom outburst, Odighizuwa complained loudly that he is not getting proper medical attention.

“I was supposed to see my doctor,” he said, his voice rising. “He was supposed to help me out. I need my medication.”

Bailiffs then led Odighizuwa from the courtroom. He wore shackles on his feet and handcuffs on his wrists. He hid his face behind the green court documents that stated the crimes he is accused of committing.

Those killed in Wednesday’s shooting rampage were the school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, of Grundy; associate professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, of Grundy; and student Angela Denise Dales, 33, of Vansant. The wounded are Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy; and Stacey Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky.

State police and school authorities allege that Odighizuwa, upset about being dismissed from school for poor grades, shot and killed Sutin and Blackwell in their upstairs offices, using a Jennings .380 semiautomatic pistol he had concealed beneath his trench coat. He then allegedly went downstairs and fatally shot Dales and wounded the three other students.

Police said they do not know how many shots were fired, but by the time fellow students tackled Odighizuwa, the two magazine clips he had with him were empty. Each magazine could hold eight rounds.

One of the students who subdued Odighizuwa was Tracy Bridges, a 25-year-old sheriff’s deputy from Buncombe County, N.C., who is studying to become a lawyer.

“We went to get to class after 1 o’clock, and [student] Ted Besen and other students and I were in the classroom when we heard the first three shots,” Bridges said yesterday. “It sounded kind of muffled, and a few seconds later we heard the next round of shots, and a scream.

“Me and Ted and [student] Rob Sievers went out to look. A professor ran up the stairs and said, ‘Peter [Odighizuwa] has got a gun and he’s shooting.’ I ran back and told the class to get out. They went out the back way,” Bridges said.

“We went down, too, and Peter was in the front yard. I stopped at my vehicle and got a handgun, a revolver. Ted went toward Peter, and I aimed my gun at him, and Peter tossed his gun down.

“Ted approached Peter, and Peter hit Ted in the jaw. Ted pushed him back and we all jumped on,” Bridges said.

Yesterday, the day after the killings, authorities and students who knew Odighizuwa painted a picture of a man who had hit rock bottom.

In addition to being charged with abuse last year, Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had flunked out of the law school last spring, a fact he kept hidden from his wife and four young sons. His wife, who worked as a nursing aide at an area hospital, left him three months ago and moved away, taking the children with her.

Odighizuwa and his wife and children had rented a small house just outside Grundy. Trying to make ends meet, Odighizuwa tutored students and also worked other part-time jobs.

David Branham, who works at his family’s real estate and insurance business in downtown Grundy, said Odighizuwa had an out-of-state real estate license and was looking for a job at the family business, but it did not have any openings.

“When I saw him after that, I would throw up my hand and wave at him, but we weren’t boozing buddies or anything,” Branham said.

Odighizuwa found a part-time job at the Vansant Food City working as a maintenance man, the manager said. The manager, who would not give his name, said Odighizuwa worked there a few months before quitting.

Odighizuwa then went to work at Issues and Answers, a market research firm above the Vansant Food City.

Branham said that at one point, a few people, including employees at Buchanan General Hospital, took up a collection for the Odighizuwa family at Christmas. Odighizuwa’s wife worked at the hospital.

The departure of his wife, the loss of his children and the failing grades sent Odighizuwa into a well of depression, said law student Kenneth Brown, of Rougemont, N.C. “The last time I really sat and talked to him was last semester, in November. We were at a dance and he came alone. He was really down. All he was saying were negative things.”

Other students said Odighizuwa was a loner with an abrasive personality and a chip on his shoulder, convinced that faculty members had it in for him.

Odighizuwa began attending the school again last fall after Sutin agreed to give him another chance, allowing him to re-enroll. Once again, though, according to financial aid director Chris Clifton, Odighizuwa’s grades were too poor.

Last week, he was informed that he was being academically dismissed, and he was told his financial aid was being suspended Wednesday.

According to state police, as he left professor Dale Rubin’s office, Odighizuwa said, “Pray for me.” Then the shooting began.

State Sen. Leslie L. Byrne, D-Fairfax, said the shootings in Grundy point to the need for more gun control.

“A man described as a ticking time bomb was able to get a semiautomatic weapon,” Byrne told Senate colleagues yesterday.

“We’ve heard a lot about homeland security and domestic defense, but the likelihood of being injured by a gun” is far greater than the likelihood of a plane flying into an office building, she said.

But Sen. William C. Wampler Jr., R-Bristol, said now is a time to mourn, not to cast blame.

Yesterday, the town of Grundy and the students and teachers at the law school tried to find solace.

“From a human standpoint, we see no sense in this tragedy,” said Parris, the clergyman who led the memorial service attended by about 250 people. “So we find ourselves asking, ‘Why? Why does God allow these senseless acts of violence?’*”

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PROFESSOR ROOTED IN FAITH;

Calvin R. Trice
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

The wife of law professor Thomas F. Blackwell described her husband as generous, loving and firmly grounded in his Christian faith.

Blackwell, 41, was one of three people killed in a shooting rampage at Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday afternoon. The school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and first-year student Angela Dales, 33, also were killed.

A member of Blackwell’s church said she was on the phone with him during the gunfire.

Charlotte Varney, the church secretary, said Blackwell was on the search committee for a pastor of the 130-member Buchanan First Presbyterian Church.

About 1:15 p.m., Blackwell returned a call that Varney made earlier that day. The two spoke for several minutes before the conversation ended abruptly with what Varney described as a “loud, muted pop noise.”

“The telephone apparently just fell to the floor, and I could hear running and people’s voices in the background,” Varney said. “I didn’t know what it was until I got a call here about a half-hour later about it.”

Blackwell’s wife, Lisa, a librarian at Appalachian School of Law, detailed in a statement yesterday her husband’s love of music and running. He played trumpet, trombone, piano and flute and sang in the choir of Buchanan First Presbyterian Church.

Blackwell was an active church member and a man of abiding faith, his wife said.

“Tom Blackwell - my best friend, life companion and husband - was a very generous and loving man to his children, his wife, his friends, family and work companions,” she said in a statement read by a family friend.

Besides his wife, Blackwell is survived by three children - sons Zeb, 14, and Zeke, 10, and daughter Jillian, 12.

Blackwell, a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, earned his law degree with high honors from Duke University in 1986. He practiced law for 10 years, his wife said. Blackwell was a law professor for five years.

Student Jason Kincer, who took a legal-writing course with Blackwell, said, “He was very entrenched in serving the community and building relationships between the school and the community.”

CORRECTION-DATE: January 22, 2002 Tuesday

CORRECTION:

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.

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GRIEF FLOWS FROM GRUNDY AS IT MOURNS FOR VICTIMS

Paul Dellinger
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Hundreds of people turned out Thursday to honor three people killed a day earlier in a shooting spree at the Appalachian School of Law.

Tragedies at Columbine High School, Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center seemed far from this coalfield community, said the Rev. Stan Parris. “But now we, too, have tasted violence. . . . This is a terrible reminder of the reality of evil that exists in the human heart.”

The sanctuary and balcony of Grundy Baptist Church overflowed with faculty and students from the 5-year-old law school and friends and family of the three shooting victims: Anthony Sutin, 41, the school’s dean; Thomas Blackwell, 41, a professor; and Angela Dales, 33, who worked at the school before becoming a student.

Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a student who recently learned he would be dismissed because of insufficient grades, is charged with capital murder in all three deaths.

Three other students were injured and taken to two hospitals in Tennessee. Dr. Dale Sargent said Rebecca Brown, Martha Madeline Short and Stacey Beans were all in fair condition Thursday afternoon. “We would expect each of these patients to be released from the hospital within a week, and all are expected to make a full recovery,” he said.

Mikael Gross, one of several students who tackled Odighizuwa and held him for authorities Wednesday afternoon, said after the memorial service that Dales was his admissions counselor when he entered the school three years ago. Dales was in her first year of law school.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Mary Kilpatrick, a third-year student, said after the service. Kilpatrick said people at the school had obtained a car for Odighizuwa and helped him in other ways.

“Dean Sutin was one of the ones that was involved in that,” she said. “Everyone in this community, I feel like, has gone above and beyond to help him.”

Grundy Town Manager Chuck Crabtree said Gov. Mark Warner had wanted to attend the service, but scheduling did not allow it. Warner, who served on the law school’s board, sent a statement, in which he said the best memorial to the victims would be continued support of the school.

Warner said Sutin was at the height of his career in the U.S. Justice Department when he embraced the concept of a law school in Virginia’s coalfields and came to Buchanan County to help make it happen. Warner said he considered Blackwell a friend and remembered hiking with him and his family at Breaks Interstate Park.

Warner said he saluted the students who took control of “this barbaric situation.”

The memorial service was organized by the Buchanan County Ministerial Association.

The Rev. Paul McNalley opened the service with a prayer to “protect us all from the violence of others and keep us safe from the weapons of hate.” Rabbi Stanley Funston urged the community to keep its faith “in the face of senseless tragedy.”

Thursday night, about 250 people from the law school and the town attended a candlelight vigil in front of the school.

One speaker, professor Stewart Harris, said, “We are standing tonight on sacred ground. Innocent blood was shed here, blood of three people who achieved, who cared and who dreamed. . . . Let us honor them by keeping our own dreams alive.”

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CHANGE IN CAREER PLANS TOOK VICTIM TO GRUNDY;

Emi Kojima
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

A Roanoke woman who was injured in the shooting rampage at Appalachian Law School Wednesday only decided to attend law school about a year ago, after years of working as a respiratory therapist, said a close family friend.

Rebecca Clair Brown, 38, was shot in the abdomen and arm in the downstairs lobby of Grundy’s Appalachian School of Law. After surgery, the first-year law student was listed in fair condition at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.

“Out of all people, I know this shouldn’t have happened to her,” said Glenda Link, 59, of Roanoke. Link is a close friend of the family and was house-sitting and dog-sitting for Brown’s mother, Norma Brown Waddell, who was at the hospital with Brown. “She’s a very hard-working individual and dedicated,” she said.

Brown, who attended Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, had worked as a licensed respiratory therapist for a number of years, Link said. The job took her to many different cities.

About a year ago, Brown decided to make a career change and go to law school, Link said.

“I’m not exactly sure what made her change,” she said, although she remembers Brown asking advice from lawyer Charles Osterhoudt, who has been a friend of Brown and her mother for a number of years. He declined to be interviewed for the story.

Brown, the youngest of four children, has an exuberant personality and her own sense of style, Link said. She said Brown treated her twin nieces as if they were her own daughters.

“She’s a very caring and thoughtful person,” Link said. “You just couldn’t ask for a better person.”

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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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MAN CHARGED IN KILLINGS;

Laurence Hammack And Tad Dickens
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

As Peter Odighizuwa was led to court Thursday, handcuffed and hunched over, someone in a throng of reporters shouted, “Peter, why’d you do it?”

“I was sick; I was sick,” Odighizuwa replied. “I need help.”

A few minutes later, as the 43-year-old was arraigned on charges that he killed three people and wounded three more in a shooting spree at the Appalachian School of Law, he told Judge Patrick Johnson that he had not seen his doctor or received his medication while in jail.

Speaking rapidly and almost incomprehensibly, the former law student leaned over in his chair and used his arrest warrants to shield his face from a bevy of news photographers who crowded the courtroom.

Odighizuwa’s comments and interviews with neighbors and fellow students suggest that his mental state may become an issue in his capital murder prosecution.

Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Sheila Tolliver said she expects Odighizuwa’s defense attorney to request a psychiatric evaluation. “That’s one of the first things they will look at,” she said.

But based on what police say - that Odighizuwa killed the school’s dean, a professor and a student because he was angry that he had been suspended from school for the second time - Tolliver has already decided to seek the death penalty.

“I don’t think I would be doing my job if I didn’t,” she said. “It’s just a senseless, violent act.

“From what I understand, these all were people who knew him and were trying to help him,” she said of the victims. Authorities say they think that Anthony Sutin, dean of the fledgling law school, was the first to die after Odighizuwa arrived on campus about 1 p.m. Wednesday to discuss his academic suspension, which became effective that day.

Sutin, 42, was shot with a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his second-floor office. Professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, was shot next in his office. After that, four students were fired upon in the student lobby on the first floor of the school’s main building.

Angela Denise Dales, 33, a former staffer at the school who became a student, died at a hospital. Three other students - Martha Madeline Short, 37; Stacey Bean, 22; and Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke - were all listed in fair condition Thursday.

Hospital officials said all three women are expected to be released within a week.

On Thursday, police added three counts of attempted capital murder to the list of charges that Odighizuwa faces. He was charged immediately after the shooting with three counts of capital murder. In Virginia, killing two or more people as part of a single offense is a capital crime.

Court records show that Odighizuwa was charged in August with assaulting his wife, who ended up leaving him the following month. In October, a judge took the case under advisement for a year with the understanding that the charge would be dismissed if there were no further problems.

Although an emergency protective order was issued, Abieyuwa Odighizuwa did not seek a permanent restraining order. Had she done so, it would have been illegal for her husband to possess a firearm.

The gun used in Wednesday’s killing was purchased some time before the assault charge was filed, said Tolliver, who said he was not aware of any reason - such as a prior felony conviction - that Odighizuwa would not have been allowed to legally possess a firearm.

At Thursday’s arraignment in Buchanan County General District Court, Judge Johnson appointed Radford attorney Jimmy Turk to represent Odighizuwa. He scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 21.

Meanwhile, those who knew Odighizuwa portrayed him as a troubled student and a distant husband.

“He was an angry man,” said Shirley Trent Stanley, who lived next door to the Odighizuwas before they moved away last fall. As Odighizuwa’s grades fell at the law school, he would complain that the professors and students were harassing him, she said.

Stanley said that while Odighizuwa was always a quiet loner, he seemed nice enough until his first semester of law school. After flunking out in 2000, he was not allowed to visit the library, she said. “I’m sure that was persecution, in his mind,” she said.

As Odighizuwa’s mood appeared to darken, Stanley suggested to his wife - with whom she was close - that he should seek psychiatric help.

Odighizuwa refused to seek treatment, Stanley said.

Buchanan County authorities said that in the past year, Odighizuwa twice made complaints to them, saying that his home had been entered by someone who apparently did not take anything, and that on another occasion a bullet was left on his basement steps.

Police found the steps covered with dust and cobwebs, with no indication that anyone had been on them recently, said Chief Deputy Randall Ashby. And at the time Odighizuwa’s home was reportedly entered, the back door had been left open.

Odighizuwa and his family moved to Grundy from Ohio in 2000 so he could attend the law school.

Descriptions of Odighizuwa by people in Dayton, Ohio, sound like a cliche - he was quiet, kept to himself, didn’t make trouble, they said.

He was helpful to at least one set of neighbors at the Neal Avenue apartment building where he lived for about four years. Josephine Percy, who with her husband, Jefferson, lived downstairs from the Odighizuwas, said he brought in the groceries and took out the trash for the elderly couple.

“He would help us with anything we needed to have done,” Josephine Percy said. “He asked to see how we were, if we needed anything, all that sort of stuff.”

Odighizuwa and his wife were very quiet and stable people who worked “all the time,” she said.

“They were just nice, mannerly people.”

He never discussed any law school plans but did tell acquaintances that he planned to eventually move back to his homeland of Nigeria “to help his people,” according to Percy and Paula Bartley, the apartment house manager.

Odighizuwa was licensed as a substitute teacher in the Dayton area, according to the state board of education. He was licensed in Montgomery County, Ohio, for the 1999-2000 school year, but that school system had no records Thursday of his having taught there.

He was licensed to teach the following school year in the Trotwood-Madison City school district, although it was unclear Thursday whether he actually taught there.

Odighizuwa’s family suddenly packed a car full of belongings and left town more than a year ago, Paula Bartley said. He told her that the family had to move because he had lost his job. Bartley said she did not know what the job was. She said that after they left, Bartley found the apartment a mess.

“It surprised us when they just up and moved,” she said. “When they left here, they just literally packed stuff into their car and left.”

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NATION & WORLD BRIEFING


Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota)

SMALLPOX VIRUS TO BE PRESERVED

GENEVA—Acting on fears of bioterrorism, the World Health Organization’s governing body on Thursday reversed a long-standing order for the destruction of all smallpox virus stocks and recommended they be retained for research into new vaccines or treatments. The U.N. health agency’s 32-member Executive Board endorsed a recommendation by WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland to drop a 2002 deadline for destroying the virus, held at top security laboratories in the United States and Russia. U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Kenneth Bernard said research into improved vaccines is vital after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent anthrax scare.

Hart building reopening delayed

WASHINGTON—The Senate has postponed plans to reopen the Hart Senate Office Building today after a bag with gloves and a protective suit was found above a hallway ceiling. Preliminary tests found no evidence of the bacteria on the protective gear, which was used in a massive cleanup after an anthrax-contaminated letter was opened in the building three months ago. Officials said a decision to reopen would depend on final test results, expected this afternoon.

Study: Stress leaves brain hypersensitive

WASHINGTON—Even relatively short periods of stress may cause changes that leave brain cells hypersensitive for weeks, report Israeli scientists trying to uncover the molecular root of post-traumatic stress disorder. The experiments were with mice, and it’s far from clear if human brain cells react the same way. In today’s edition of the journal Science, Hermona Soreq and colleagues at Hebrew University argue that a key player is a brain protein called acetylcholinesterase, or AChE, which is important in helping messages jump from one neuron to the next. Within minutes, relatively short periods of stress caused the mice to produce a usually rare, abnormal version of AChE that doesn’t provide the same help in neuronal signaling. That somehow left the mice’s neurons hypersensitive.

Sharon retains Labor Party backing

JERUSALEM—The Labor Party voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to remain in the coalition government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, beating back left winger Yossi Beilin’s argument that the party was being used to make the hard-line policies of Sharon look more acceptable to moderates. Party leader Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said it should stay in the government, but leave if Sharon doesn’t work toward the resumption of peace talks.

Lyme disease cases rise 8%

ATLANTA—Reported cases of Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that can cause fatigue, sore joints and heart damage, climbed to a record high in 2000, the government reported Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it recorded 17,730 cases, up 8 percent from 1999. The disease was found in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Lyme cases nearly doubled in the 1990s, in part because more Americans built homes in the woods, exposing themselves to ticks, according to the CDC. Lyme disease can badly damage the heart and nervous system if it goes untreated by antibiotics.

Jury mulls whether priest touched boy

BOSTON—Jurors deciding whether to convict defrocked Catholic priest John J. Geoghan of indecent assault on a young boy a decade ago began deliberations Thursday and will continue today after a swift trial of less than two days. The former priest, who has pleaded not guilty, is charged with one count of indecent assault and battery on a child, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The jury must decide if Geoghan intentionally slid his hand beneath the boy’s bathing suit and squeezed the boy’s buttocks while in a boys and girls club swimming pool a decade ago.

2 Air Force jets collide, killing 1 pilot

TUCSON, Ariz.—Two single-seat A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets collided and crashed Thursday while on a training mission over Arizona, the Air Force said. One pilot was killed, the other was airlifted to a hospital where he was in stable condition. The pilots were assigned to the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The crash site was in a rugged area north of the U.S.-Mexico border in the southeast corner of Arizona.

Law student foresaw attack

GRUNDY, Va.—An 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. “He was supposed to help me out. … I don’t have my medication.” Police said 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. Classmate Kenneth Brown, 28, said of the suspect: “He was kind of off-balance. 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.”

Jury convicts pilot impostor for lying

NEW YORK—An Egyptian man who flew to Kennedy International Airport in September with a fake pilot’s uniform and license was convicted Thursday of lying to investigators about his plans to attend aviation school. But jurors acquitted Wael Abdel Rahman Kishk, 21, on a second charge of trying to impersonate a pilot by carrying a forged document. Kishk faces up to five years in prison on a federal charge of making false statements. Kishk was detained at Kennedy Airport in New York on Sept. 19. Defense attorney Michael Schneider told the jury his client was guilty of nothing more than “poor judgment.”

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EX-STUDENT FACING MURDER CHARGES

Wire Reports
San Jose Mercury News (California)

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. “I don’t have my medication.”

Police said Odighizuwa, who was evaluated and given medication in jail, opened fire with a handgun at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy on Wednesday, a day after he was dismissed from the school for a second time.

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Et cetera


The Seattle Times

Update

• Peter Odighizuwa, a former law student charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of three people at Appalachian School of Law, told a court in Grundy, Va., yesterday that he is sick and needs help. Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

• Carolyn Murphy, a Lennox, Calif., woman who raised puppies related to a mastiff that fatally mauled a San Francisco woman, has averted a trial by pleading no contest to breeding dogs without a license and other violations.

Upcoming

• East Timor will conduct its first presidential elections April 14, the territory’s U.N. administrator announced. Independence leader Jose “Xanana” Gusmao is widely expected to become the nation’s first head of state when it gains full independence May 20.

• Pope John Paul II’s July schedule will include visits to Toronto for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day and to Mexico for the canonization of a Mexican Indian. The pope also will visit Bulgaria in May, a week after he turns 82.

Critters

A hibernating bear named Saga and her cubs are spending the long Scandinavian winter isolated in their den, blissfully unaware that the whole world could be watching. A bear park in Orsa, 170 miles northwest of the Swedish capital, Stockholm, has installed a Web cam (www.orsa-gronklitt.se/ index.php?page) in the artificial den.

By the numbers

The largest glacier in Europe, Iceland’s Vatnajokull, is melting away and thinning by an average of 3 feet a year because of a warmer climate, an expert said.

Upbeat

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has declared war on street prostitution, met two former sex workers and was so moved by their horror story that he gave them 5 million lire ($2,286). A priest introduced the east European women to Berlusconi so he could hear how they had been forced into the trade.

People

• Actress Lani O’Grady, found dead in her Valencia, Calif., mobile home in September, died of a drug overdose involving high levels of anti-depressant Prozac and painkiller Vicodin, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said. O’Grady, 46, played the eldest daughter on television’s “Eight is Enough” from 1977 to 1981.

• After two days of treatment for exhaustion and stomach pain, the Dalai Lama left Patna, India, and flew to a 10,000-person gathering at Bodhgaya, where Buddhists believe the founder of their religion gained enlightenment.

Today in history

• In 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. (Scott and his party perished during the return trip.)

• In 1788, the first English settlers arrived in Australia’s Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.

• In 1943, the Soviets announced they had broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

P.S.

A plaque prepared to honor actor James Earl Jones at celebration of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. tomorrow in Lauderhill, Fla., instead has this inscription: “Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive.” Ray was convicted of assassinating King in Memphis in 1968. Georgetown, Texas-based Merit Industries prepared the plaque at the request of Adpro, a Lauderhill business. Adpro refused Merit’s offer to fix the plaque and is having the damage repaired locally.

Passages

Paul Fannin, 94, a Republican who served in the U.S. Senate from 1964-77 and as Arizona governor from 1959-64, died Sunday in Phoenix.

Camilo Jose Cela, 85, a flamboyant novelist from Spain who won the 1989 Nobel Prize in literature with his crude, straightforward writing style, died of chronic heart disease yesterday in Madrid.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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Va. Town, Law School Linked in Mourning; Grundy Residents Pay Tribute to 3 Killed 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.

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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

Shooting suspect ‘a real oddball’;

Mary Shaffrey
The Washington Times

Peter Odighizuwa had a history of violent behavior that ended Wednesday in a shooting spree at the rural Appalachian Law School, leaving three dead, including L. Anthony Sutin, dean of the school and former Clinton administration official, and three others injured, police reported.

Court documents show that in August 2001, Mr. Odighizuwa, a Nigerian immigrant, was arrested in the assault and battery of his wife, Abieyuwa. Mrs. Odighizuwa was given an emergency protective order against her husband, and the charges were later suspended for a year, pending review. Another hearing in the matter was scheduled for Aug. 6.

Mr. Odighizuwa became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1989. It is not clear when he arrived in the United States, or under what circumstances he applied for citizenship. He spent most of the past 13 years in Chicago driving a taxi cab, before coming to ALS in 1999.

School officials said Mr. Odighizuwa went on a shooting rampage on Wednesday after being told he was not allowed to return because of poor grades. Fatally shot and killed along with Mr. Sutin, 42, were Thomas Blackwell, 41, an associate professor, and Angela Dales, 33, a student. Three other students injured and listed in fair condition were Rebecca Brown, 38; Martha Short, 37; and Stacey Bean, 22. The injured were taken to different hospitals.

Mr. Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, left the District five years ago to help establish the law school, which opened in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a small town a few miles from the Kentucky border. The school was established with the goal of bringing more lawyers to the southwest region of the state.

While in the District, Mr. Sutin had worked for the Hogan and Hartson law firm, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992. He served as acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Affairs at the Department of Justice.

Yesterday, Mr. Odighizuwa, surrounded by police officers, shuffled into Buchanan County General District Court hiding his face behind a green arrest warrant.

“I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out. . . . I don’t have my medication,” he told Judge Patrick Johnson.

Mr. Odighizuwa was charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of use of a firearm in a capital murder. He is also charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of attempted capital murder with a firearm. Messages were left on the cell phone and office phone of his attorney, James Turk Jr., but they were not returned.

Commonwealth Attorney Sheila Tolliver, who is prosecuting the case, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Those who knew Mr. Odighizuwa said he was strange and they didn’t seem surprised by his actions.

“Everyone on campus knew he was a real oddball,” said Dr. Jackie Briggs, Mr. Odighizuwa’s former physician, who tended to the ALS shooting victims. Dr. Briggs’ son-in-law attended classes with Mr. Odighizuwa and often told his father-in-law about the erratic behavior of “Peter O,” as he was known by other students.

“He would walk into a class and just start making demands of the professors.

. . . His mannerisms were very odd,” Dr. Briggs added.

Mrs. Odighizuwa left her husband three months ago, Dr. Briggs said. She is currently working at Buchanan General Hospital as a nurse’s aide. Friends said Mr. Odighizuwa was not able to support his family, so they collected a money for food for his four sons, ages 3 to 9.

“She has been a good employee, but of course she is distraught over the incident, and I think took her family to New York to be with relatives,” said Kemper Bausell, marketing director for Buchanan General Hospital, who added later, “she is a very pleasant person, but very hard-working.”

* This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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Faculty here remember law prof slain in Va.

Adam W Lasker
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

A former visiting professor at the Chicago-Kent School of Law was among three people who were shot to death at a Virginia law school.

Thomas F. Blackwell, who had taught legal research and writing here for two years, was slain Wednesday along with the dean of the Appalachian School of Law and one of its students. A former student is accused of going on a shooting rampage that also left three students wounded. “He was a talented teacher and scholar and was respected by both our faculty and our students,” said Harold J. Krent, Chicago-Kent’s interim dean. “His death is a tragic loss to the legal community and to his many friends and colleagues.”

Blackwell, the father of three children, moved to Virginia and joined the law school’s faculty in 1999.

He was in the top 10 percent of his graduating class at Duke University School of Law in 1986, the same year he received a master’s degree in philosophy from that university.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, went to the law school, located in Grundy, Va., to talk to the dean, L. Anthony Sutin, about his recent dismissal for failing grades. Officials and students said he then used a .380-caliber pistol to shoot and kill Sutin, Blackwell and student Angela Dales, 33, said Virginia State Police spokesman Mike Stater.

“They were irreplaceable, whether you see them as teachers or father figures or friends,” William Sievers, president of the school’s Student Bar Association, said Thursday outside the school during a candlelight remembrance gathering of about a hundred people.

“It’s going to be tough going back to school,” he said.

Three other students were injured and were hospitalized in fair condition, Stater said.

Krent said Blackwell also taught corporate finance, copyright law and law office technology during his time in Chicago, which lasted from August 1997 to May 1999.

Associate Professor Mary Rose Strubbe, who is now the director of Chicago-Kent’s research and writing program, said she worked closely with Blackwell in Chicago helping first-year students prepare oral arguments and working with second- and third-year students in the school’s moot court society.

“He loved teaching. He was a good teacher and had tremendous respect for the students,” Strubbe said. “He would spend an immense amount of time with students who needed help or had questions or just wanted to come and talk.”

Strubbe and Blackwell had kept in touch since he left Chicago, and they saw each other several times about two weeks ago in Texas at a meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. At that event, Strubbe said, they had time for a fairly long conversation during a luncheon for the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

“He was leaving the conference early … to hook up with his wife and kids, who were on the way back from spending the holidays in Texas,” Strubbe said. “He was very full of enthusiasm for teaching, research and writing, the Appalachian school and his family, and how well they were enjoying living and going to school in the area.”

Ralph Brill, a Chicago-Kent professor who was director of the school’s research and writing program for 14 years, said Blackwell was a skilled legal writer who could have taught at any law school.

“He passed up many opportunities to use his immense talents at more prestigious places to go to Appalachian and make it a place for poor people to gain entrance into the profession,” Brill said. “He worked very hard, undertook far too many projects, but somehow completed them on time and highly competently.”

Sutin, the Virginia law school’s dean, was a 1984 Harvard Law School graduate and also was an associate professor at the school, which has an enrollment of about 170 students. He left the Justice Department five years ago to help found the school, which is housed in a renovated junior high school.

Sutin had worked for the Democratic National Committee and former president Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. Sutin had said he helped develop the law school to ease the shortage of lawyers in the region and to help foster renewal in Appalachia.

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, appeared Thursday in Buchanan County General District Court for an arraignment hearing, during which he told Judge Patrick Johnson that he is sick and needs help.

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

Prosecutors charged Odighizuwa with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges of using a firearm in a felony. Odighizuwa, who was arrested on Aug. 15 for allegedly assaulting his wife, will be held without bond pending a preliminary hearing on March 21.

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer, said Odighizuwa was recently dismissed permanently from the school because of his poor grades. Clifton met with the student the day before the shooting, and said Odighizuwa had been struggling with his grades for more than a year and had been dismissed once before.

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly and he wanted to see his transcript,” Clifton said. “I don’t think Peter knew at this time that the dismissal was going to be permanent and final.”

Jack Briggs, a doctor with a private practice a half-mile from the school, said that after Odighizuwa shot Sutin and Blackwell in their offices, he went downstairs to a commons area and opened fire on students.

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

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted by students, who then tackled him to the ground. One student who is a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed the gunman until police arrived and took him into custody.

Grundy, a gritty coal town of about 1,100 in the shadow of two great mountain ridges, has long been isolated from violent crime, the Rev. Stan Parris said Thursday afternoon at a memorial at the Grundy Baptist Church. He asked the crowd of a few hundred to pray and reassured them that “God will bring justice.”—The Associated Press contributed

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Shattered town mourns ‘irreplaceable’ victims

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Mourners lit tiny white candles, passing the flame wick to wick in a quiet, shivering circle.

One day after gunfire killed three people and shattered the serenity of this tiny mountain town, students from the Appalachian School of Law and the community they call home wearily watched the glow, lost in their agony and questions of “why?”

“We are standing tonight on sacred ground,” Professor Stewart Harris told the crowd of about 250 mourners who had assembled Thursday on the school’s front lawn. “Innocent blood was shed here.”

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a troubled law student who had recently flunked out of school, opened fire with a handgun at the school on Wednesday, police said.

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 already has said she will seek the death penalty - a goal that some law students have trouble accepting.

Cristy Cooper, 23, a first-year student from Dresden, Tenn., said she hopes Odighizuwa can avoid execution, even though he killed three others.

“I still think it’s morally wrong to kill,” Cooper said. “I’ve always been against capital punishment.”

William R. Sievers, 25, president of the school’s Student Bar Association, said he doesn’t want to think about Odighizuwa or his fate. “I just want to be with the people here and help them in any way I can,” Sievers said.

Odighizuwa, a native of Nigeria, faces three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six weapons charges.

Earlier in the day, Odighizuwa told a judge that 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.”

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.”

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.

He also repeatedly approached police with concerns about people breaking into his house on the outskirts of this small town in western Virginia. Chief Deputy Randall Ashby said Odighizuwa would file complaints and regularly nitpick with deputies over the wording of the reports they filed.

Grundy, a gritty coal town of about 1,100 in the shadow of two great mountain ridges, has long been isolated from violent crime, Rev. Stan Parris said at an afternoon memorial at the Grundy Baptist Church. He asked the crowd of a few hundred to pray and reassured them that “God will bring justice.”

“We’ve never had something this scary,” said Constance C. Bausell, 52, a school teacher who knew Blackwell at church.

Students and family members gathered on the lawn and wept in small circles throughout the day for the dean, the teacher and the student they knew so well.

“They were irreplaceable, whether you see them as teachers or father figures or friends,” Sievers said Thursday night. “It’s going to be tough going back to school.”

Beside him, people were laying their extinguished candles in front of a makeshift memorial of flowers and stuffed animals around the school’s concrete sign.

Students described Sutin as a hands-on administrator who knew all of his students’ names.

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

Blackwell was remembered as an avid runner and trumpet player.

“I knew him from choir, Brown said. “We were going to start a little band.”

Blackwell, a father of three, recently performed with his family in a Christmas show at a local elementary school, Harris said.

Dales, a boisterous mother of an 8-year-old girl who became a student after working as a recruiter for the school. She wanted to work in law education.

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Two killed in apparent murder-suicide on college campus


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

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

No one else was injured in the shootings just before 11 a.m. at Broward Community College.

The two died at Broward General Medical Center; their names were not immediately released. The woman, a student at the college just southwest of Fort Lauderdale, was the man’s ex-girlfriend, police Maj. Edward Taylor said.

The man shot the woman with a .357 Magnum and then turned the gun on himself between two buildings at the school’s main campus, said Davie police Lt. Gary Killam.

The shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute, Killam said.

Several students witnessed or heard the shooting between the performing arts building and the English department.

“I turned around and I saw the girl was shot,” said Joe Fazio, a student from Plantation. “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.”

Classes at the English department building were canceled for the rest of the day, according to school security.

It was the third shooting at a school in the past week.

On Wednesday, the dean, a professor and a student at Appalachian School of Law were shot and killed on campus. Charged in the deaths was Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a student who had recently flunked out of school for a second time.

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.

/nd | 150

Texas friends prepare to attend funeral of Virginia law school shooting victim


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Friends of a professor gunned down at a Virginia law school earlier this week say he was dedicated to his family and job, but also had a humorous side.

“Tom was the class clown. He was a cut-up,” said high school friend Kate Moore of Benbrook. “But he was exactly the person you wanted to be there if you needed something. He was a wonderful person.”

Blackwell and L. Anthony Sutin, a school dean, were slain Wednesday in their offices at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. Student Angela Dales, 33, died later at a hospital. Three other students were wounded.

Authorities say Peter Odighizuwa, 43, opened fire with a handgun a day after he was expelled for a second time. He faces three counts of capital murder and other charges.

Blackwell’s funeral was set for 2 p.m. Monday at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas.

Blackwell, born Jan. 13, 1961, graduated from Western Hills High School in 1978 and from the University of Texas at Arlington and the Duke University School of Law.

He practiced business law in Dallas as an associate with Jenkins & Gilchrist and later opened his own law firm.

From 1995-97, Blackwell taught legal writing, analysis and research to first-year students at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth. He then went to Chicago Kent Law School and finally to the Appalachian School of Law.

Thomas Trahan, an assistant director of the legal writing program at Wesleyan, first met Blackwell when they practiced law in Dallas. They were also church choir members.

“He was extremely bright,” Trahan said. “He could cut to the heart of a problem better than anyone I knew. He was a very successful lawyer, who gave that up to teach others.

“He dedicated himself to the Appalachian School of Law to bring legal education to a part of the country that traditionally had been economically deprived. He believed in the mission of that school.”

Blackwell and his wife also had a humorous side, Trahan said. They gave their three children - Zebadiah, 14, Jillian, 12, and Ezekiel, 10, - especially long first and middle names so they wouldn’t fit in the allotted spaces on standardized test exams, he said.

Moore recalled that the Blackwells’ first date ended in a car accident that left him in the hospital with several broken bones. His future wife stayed by his bedside throughout his recovery.

“He missed almost half the school year, and he still graduated valedictorian,” Moore said.

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Two killed in apparent murder-suicide at Broward college


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

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

No one else was injured in the shootings just before 11 a.m. at Broward Community College.

Michael Holness, 23, of Miramar, shot Moriah Ann Pierce with a .357 Magnum and then turned the gun on himself between two buildings at the school’s main campus, police said. They died a short time later at Broward General Medical Center.

Pierce, 20, of Dania Beach, was studying to become an elementary school teacher, according to a statement from the college just southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

The shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute, Lt. Gary Killam said.

Peter Arnold told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale that his daughter was a good friend of Pierce’s and was walking with her to class Friday morning when Holness came up behind Pierce and shot her in the head.

Arnold said Moriah and Holness had dated about two years but she tried to end the relationship recently.

Several students witnessed or heard the shooting between the performing arts building and the English department.

“I turned around and I saw the girl was shot,” said Joe Fazio, a student from Plantation. “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.”

Classes at the English department building were canceled, but the building would be reopened later Friday, according to school security.

Broward Community College, which opened in 1960, is located near Nova Southeastern University, where the Miami Dolphins hold their training camp and practice.

The school’s main campus has about 15,000 students, with the school’s total enrollment about 35,000.

It was the third shooting at a school in the past week.

On Wednesday, the dean, a professor and a student at Appalachian School of Law were shot and killed on campus. Charged in the deaths was Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a student who had recently flunked out of school for a second time.

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.

/nd | 152

Thu, 17 Jan 2002

ABC’s World News Now headlines


World News Now (2:00 AM ET) - ABC

ALINA CHO, co-anchor:

Here are this morning’s top stories at ABC News:

In a visit to Kabul this morning, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the US would re–remain committed to Afghanistan for a long time, and that Washington would make a significant contribution to its rebuilding. Powell met with interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai immediately after his arrival.

The body of the seventh Marine killed in last week’s crash of a refueling plane in Pakistan was given a color guard salute as it was put on a plane for the trip home.

And a student at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia is under arrest for the shooting deaths of the school’s dean, a professor and another student. The alleged gunman had been dismissed from the school.

And those are some of the stories we’re following this hour at ABC.

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Suspended student from Virginia law school goes on a shooting rampage; Hart Senate office building to reopen tomorrow


World News Now (2:00 AM ET) - ABC

ALINA CHO, co-anchor:

A dismissed student from a small law school in Western Virginia is under arrest for a deadly shooting rampage. The dean at the Appalachian School of Law, a professor and a student were killed. Three other students were wounded. The alleged gunman is a naturalized US citizen from Nigeria who flunked out last year but was allowed to return, only to be dismissed again this week.

DEREK McGINTY, co-anchor:

On Capitol Hill, the Hart Senate office building is being prepared to reopen tomorrow. Officials say it is now free of anthrax three months after a letter filled with billions of spores was sent to Majority Leader Tom Daschle. And two House office buildings where anthrax was detected are expected to reopen next week.

You know, a good friend of mine works for a senator in another office building who was nice enough to let some other senators use his office.

CHO: Cramped quarters.

McGINTY: He didn’t know they’d be hanging around for three or four months after the thing began last Fall.

CHO: Right. I’m just glad it’s open because now we don’t have to say the words ‘anthrax-free’ anymore. It’s hard to say.

McGINTY: Tough one. That is a tough one.

/nd | 154

Man kills three at Appalachian Law School in Virginia


Good Morning America (7:00 AM ET) - ABC

ANTONIO MORA, anchor:

A small Virginia law school is still reeling from a deadly shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a student furious at being thrown out. Police say the man stormed on the campus of Appalachia Law School and killed his dean, a professor and a student. ABC’s Steve Osunsami is in Grundy, Virginia, this morning.

Good morning, Steve.

STEVE OSUNSAMI reporting:

Good morning, Antonio. A memorial service will be held today at noon for the people who died yesterday. Witnesses who were here say the accused gunman, 42-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, appeared mentally distressed. He was here, they say, to speak with professors about failing grades, and it was after he walked out of one office that the shooting began.

Dr. JACK BRIGGS (Alleged Gunman’s Doctor): He went upstairs, I guess, and he–he killed the dean and the professor who was well-liked in an execution style, you know, with powder burns on their shirts and everything.

OSUNSAMI: Dean L. Anthony Sutin, was a former Justice Department official who worked on the Clinton campaign. Both the present and former attorneys general shared their condolences with his wife and two young children. There are also three young ladies, both students at this college who are hospitalized this morning in fair condition. Antonio:

MORA: Thank you, Steve. ABC’s Steve Osunsami.

/nd | 155

Three dead, three wounded in US school shooting: report


Agence France Presse

Three people were killed and three others wounded when a foreign-born student, apparently angry over bad grades, opened fire at a law school in southwestern Virginia, a state official said.

The shooter was in police custody after being apprehended by other students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia after the incident Wednesday afternoon. Confirming the number of victims, a spokeswoman for the governor of Virginia said school dean Anthony Sutin was killed along with a professor and a student. Sutin was a top official in the administration of former president Bill Clinton.

Three wounded students were hospitalized, the spokeswoman, Ellen Qualls, said.

“The suspect was tackled by a group of students,” she said.

The student—whose identity and nationality had not yet been revealed—fired a .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol several times.

Founded in 1997 in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, the school has about 170 students.

It is the second shooting to occur in two days at a US education establishment. On Tuesday, two New York youths were wounded at a high school in Manhattan by an armed student.

/nd/tackle | 156

Nigerian law student charged in Virginia triple homicide


Agence France Presse

A Nigerian law student charged with shooting three others to death in Grundy, Virginia was apparently unhappy that he had been placed on academic suspension, a police source said Thursday.

Police say Peter Odighizuwa, 42, went on a shooting spree Wednesday that wounded three others at Appalachian Law School in Grundy, Virginia. “(He was) apparently angered at his academic suspension,” according to a source at the Buchanan County Sheriff Department in the western part of the state.

“He is currently held at the Buchanan’s County Jail. He’s been charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm to commit a felony,” according to the sheriff’s department.

Odighizuwa has also been charged with using a firearm with the intention of committing a crime and could face the death penalty.

A former Chicago taxi driver and father of four, Odighizuwa hoped to earn a law degree.

The scenic college with 170 students was founded in 1997.

Wednesday afternoon, Odighizuwa argued about his suspension with a professor. When he left the office, Odighizuwa asked the professor to pray for him. He went to the office of the dean, Anthony Sutin, a former high Justice Department official in the Bil Clinton administration and shot him with a .38 semi-automatic pistol before killing another professor who was there, said police.

Downstairs, he again opened fire, killing a 33-year-old student and wounding three others, according to police.

As he was about to leave, three students held him until police arrived.

This was the second US school shooting in two days. Tuesday, two New York youths were allegedly wounded by an armed high school student in Manhattan.

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LAW STUDENT KILLS 3 IN SHOOTING SPREE


Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)

A failing student allegedly shot three people to death and wounded three more yesterday at the Appalachian School of Law in western Virginia.

The midday attack ended when students overpowered the gunman and held him for sheriff’s deputies, officials said.

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.

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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, 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 tackled by students 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 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.”

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

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

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.”’

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Dean, professor, student killed in shooting rampage at Virginia law school

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

A student upset about flunking out of law school shot his dean and a professor to death in their offices and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing one and injuring three others, authorities said.

Peter Odighizuwa, 42, was tackled, pinned to the ground and handcuffed by students after the shooting and was later taken into custody by police. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Grundy General District Court.

Odighizuwa went to the campus of 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 contract law to Odighizuwa, with a .380-caliber pistol, authorities and students said.

Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33. The injured students were in fair condition at area hospitals.

The suspect, 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 the student 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.

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.

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 students.

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

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted. Students then tackled him and helped hold him down. A student who is a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa kept saying, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go,” said student Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn., who helped subdue the alleged shooter.

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,” Marlowe said. “He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this.”

“The dean bent over backwards to get him enrolled again” when Odighizuwa flunked out last spring, Marlowe said.

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

“I knew he’d do something like this,” said Zeke Jackson, 40, who tried to recruit him for the school’s 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 the Justice Department to help found the school, and had worked for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, 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.

Blackwell, who enjoyed running and playing the trumpet, moved to the area from Dallas 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 somewhat new to the area, she said, “he fit in like a glove.”

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Dean, prof, student dead in shooting rampage at Virginia law school; man who flunked out held

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

A former law student who is accused of killing his dean, a law professor and another student told a judge Thursday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa shuffled into Buchanan County General District Court in leg chains, surrounded by police officers.

Hiding his face behind his green arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson, “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out. … I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, went to the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday to talk to his dean, L. Anthony Sutin, about Odighizuwa’s dismissal for failing grades, 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.

Also killed was student Angela Dales, 33, said State Police spokesman Mike Stater. Three other students were injured and were hospitalized in fair condition.

Prosecutors charged Odighizuwa with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges for use of a firearm in a felony.

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.”

When Johnson said he would appoint lawyer James C. Turk Jr. to represent him, Odighizuwa asked for another attorney who he named. But Johnson appointed Turk and said, “Once you’ve talked with him, I’m sure you’ll see he can help you.”

Odighizuwa will remain held without bond pending a preliminary hearing March 21.

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, officials said.

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

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

Odighizuwa was arrested Aug. 15 for hitting his wife in the face and bruising her eye, according to court records. A hearing on assault and battery charges is scheduled for Aug. 6.

He and his wife, Abieyuwa Odighizuwa, have four children. Residents said the family had been having financial trouble and townspeople were trying to help out.

The suspect, 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. Clifton met with Odighizuwa a day earlier when the student learned he was to be kicked out of school.

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 students.

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

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted. Students then tackled him and one who is a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed him.

Odighizuwa kept saying, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go,” said student Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn.

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,” Marlowe said. “He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this.”

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

“I knew he’d do something like this,” said Zeke Jackson, 40, who tried to recruit him for the school’s 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 the Justice Department to help found the school, and had worked for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, 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.

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‘I was sick’ - murder charges filed against former law student in deadly school rampage

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press

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.

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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

‘I was sick’ _ murder charges filed against former law student in deadly school rampage

Chris Kahn
Associated Press Worldstream

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.”

Prosecutor Sheila Tolliver said she will seek the death penalty.

Police say Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, 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.

L. Anthony Sutin, the dean, and professor Thomas Blackwell were slain in their offices and student Angela Dales, 33, was shot in an ensuing shooting rampage and died later at a hospital. Three other students were wounded.

He dropped his weapon when tackled by several students.

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.”

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.

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.

“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 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.

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Three killed in college shootings


Belfast Telegraph

A CLOSE-knit American community was today in mourning after a college student killed his dean, a lecturer and another student, and injured three women students during a shooting rampage.

The gunman, named as Peter Odighizuma, was overpowered by four other students while still wielding his semi-automatic handgun at the tiny college campus at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

The remote town was in shock after the shootings. Dr Jack Briggs, the first doctor on the scene, said the dean, Anthony Sutin, had apparently been shot twice in the head at point-blank range, while the professor, who has not been named, was shot while he lay wounded on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were fired after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range,” the doctor told Fox News.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on the rampage in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school, which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor.

“They got him down and kept him for the police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off.”

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‘FAILED STUDENT’ KILLS DEAN;


Belfast News Letter (Northern Ireland)

FOUR students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as “executions”.

The four students tackled the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi -automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three other students critically injured. The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene said the dean of the school, Anthony Sutin, had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point-blank range,” said Dr Jack Briggs.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed. It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor. “They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The three students were described as being “critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off. There are lots of things that will come out in the trial that I think are probably pretty pertinent to his personality.”

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal-mining area’s economy and Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15.

Dr Briggs paid tribute to the dean and said: “He was a real good guy.”

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STUDENTS CAPTURE KILLER GUNMAN

Hugh Dougherty
Birmingham Post

Four students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as ‘executions’.

The four tackled the man while he was still armed with a .38 semi-automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

Gunman Peter Odighizuma, aged 43, was being held in jail last night. One of the dead men was the Dean - Anthony Sutin - the chief legal adviser to former Presidential candidate Al Gore’s failed bid for the White House in 2000. He had also been an assistant US attorney-general in Washington before being appointed to the college.

The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene said Mr Sutin had been ‘executed’ with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground. A third staff member was also killed.

‘It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point-blank range,’ said Dr Jack Briggs.

‘Two shots were fired into the dean - in the head. It appears he was executed.

‘It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.’ Two of the staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a ‘foreign exchange student’ and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has 170 students.

‘Four students tackled him and took him down,’ said the doctor.

‘They got him down and kept him for the police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

‘This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

‘He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

‘He took his anger out on the

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U.S. GUNMAN KILLS THREE


Birmingham Evening Mail

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 a 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. She said the weapon was a .380 semiautomatic handgun.

Grundy is in the Appalachian foothills, 120 miles west of Roanoke.

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Three killed in shooting;


Bristol Evening Post

AMERICA: Four students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as “executions”. The four students tackled the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi -automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three other students critically injured.

The gunman was allegedly on the point of being told to leave the law school due to poor results.

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Law school gun frenzy;


Bristol Evening Post

A DISGRUNTLED student shot and killed three people and wounded three others at a US law college. Police said the college dean, a professor and another student were killed in the incident in Virginia.

Peter Odighizuma, 43, pictured, is being held by police over the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, which happened after he was suspended.

Witnesses said the man began firing a .380 semi-automatic handgun in the dean’s office before shooting at random in the student lounge.

Three students were wounded and taken to Buchanan General Hospital.

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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

AP-News Agenda


Broadcast News (BN)

(Kabul, Afghanistan-AP)—Secretary of State Colin Powell pledges the U-S will support Afghanistan now and in the future.

He’s on a quick visit to Afghanistan before going to India. His movements are being kept secret for security reasons.

In Kabul today, Powell met with Afghanistan’s interim president Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) and declared, We will be with you in this current crisis and in the future.”

He said the U-S will be making a substantial financial commitment at next week’s Afghan donor conference in Tokyo and will help make sure Afghanistan is never again used as a launch-pad for terrorism.

Powell is also thanking Afghan employees of the U-S Embassy, who protected the site during the years the U-S was not there.

(Pentagon-AP)—The U-S military hasn’t given up the search for the elusive Osama bin Laden or for evidence linking his network to weapons of mass destruction.

Defense officials say, so far, there’s no proof the terrorists were able to possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. A search of some 45 of 50 suspected sites has found nothing conclusive.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday did mention some suspicious canisters that might have contained chemical weapons. But later, defense officials cast doubt on that, saying they’re believed to be innocuous. But the hunt for further proof continues, as does the chase for bin Laden.

Rumsfeld says the U-S military is operating on the basis that bin Laden remains in Afghanistan. And the defense secretary still insists the terrorist leader eventually will be found.

(Boston-AP)—The government says Richard Reid trained with al-Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan, and he could get five life terms in prison.

A new federal indictment accuses the British citizen of trying to blow up a plane by lighting explosives in his shoes. His lawyer notes he’s not accused of trying to further the cause of any terrorist organization.

Investigators say Reid’s travels match those of an al-Qaida operative listed on a computer obtained in Afghanistan by The Wall Street Journal.

And a U-S military official said Reid has been linked to an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan by a detainee at the U-S naval base in Cuba.

(Jerusalem-AP)—The blockade is back.

Israel has blocked off four West Bank cities today, after more Palestinian shooting attacks. Palestinian gunmen have killed three civilians in the past three days.

The Israeli Security Cabinet agreed on the action early today.

A bomb blast Monday killed a Palestinian militia leader. The Palestinians say it was an Israeli assassination.

Palestinian security officials say a Palestinian militia member was killed early today in a clash with Israeli soldiers outside the town of Nablus.

Israeli police say a Palestinian doctor was gunned down yesterday by fellow Palestinians who mistook him for a Jew because he was driving a car with Israeli license plates. Two other civilians were killed Tuesday.

(White House-AP)—President Bush is pitching his energy plan today in a visit to Teamsters headquarters in Washington.

The big union was a key Bush ally in last year’s House passage of the plan—and the president’s hoping the Teamsters can help convince Senators to go along this year.

The union visit is part of the build-up to Bush’s State of the Union speech, in which energy policy is expected to play a prominent role. The president argues America urgently needs to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, and his plan would do just that. It emphasizes developing domestic sources of energy.

But environmentalists say Bush is giving short-shrift to conservation. And they especially don’t like his plan to allow drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.

Teamsters officials see that drilling as a source of jobs.

(Washington-AP)—Republicans and Democrats are sharpening their contrasting views of the economy as they begin planning for this fall’s elections.

Both parties are beginning their three-day winter meetings today. The Democrats are meeting in Washington. The Republicans are convening in the capital of President Bush’s home state, Texas.

Democrats are hoping to build on their victories this past November, with an eye toward retaking control of the House.

The Republicans will be looking for ways to win back control of the U-S Senate while increasing their grip on the House. The G-O-P is stepping up efforts to broaden the party’s appeal among Hispanics and improve turnout of grassroots voters.

The challenge for Democrats is how to expand their appeal to rural voters and retain their core minority and women voters.

(Grundy, Virginia-AP)—Violence at a western Virginia law school has left the dean and two other people dead.

Yesterday’s shootings at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, have stunned the community.

Investigators say suspect, Peter Odighizuwa (ah di-guh-ZOO’-muh), went to the school to discuss his academic dismissal. Officials say he met a professor, asked him to pray for him, then went to the offices of the dean and another professor and shot them.

Witnesses say the student then went to a common area, opening fire on a crowd of students, killing one and seriously wounding three others.

The suspect is a naturalized U-S citizen from Nigeria who had flunked out last year but been allowed to return this year.

A spokeswoman for Virginia’s governor says the suspect had a history of mental instability and says school officials knew about it.

(Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba-AP)—A Marine commander at the U-S navy base in Cuba says some of the latest arriving Afghan war prisoners have made death threats.

Brigadier General Michael Lehnert says several of the detainees have publicly stated their intent to kill an American before leaving Guantanamo Bay.

Heavily armed Marines met the latest group of 30 Taliban and al-Qaida war prisoners yesterday, bringing to 80 the number being detained. Thirty more are due to arrive today.

There’s been some criticism of the treatment of the prisoners and a team from the international Red Cross is to inspect conditions at the camp today. Amnesty International says keeping detainees in cages falls below minimum standards for humane treatment.” The group says the six-by-eight-foot cells are smaller than considered acceptable for ordinary prisoners.

The U-S says the Afghan detainees are not ordinary. As General Lehnert puts it, These are not nice people.”

(Washington-AP)—Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is putting a new emphasis on security and privacy in the company’s operating systems and software applications.

The Associated Press has obtained e-mail to Microsoft employees in which Gates calls the new philosophy, Trustworthy Computing.” He says his highest priority is ensuring computer users can use the Internet without fear of getting hacked.

The announcement follows revelations of serious security flaws in the Windows X-P operating system unveiled last autumn and previous security holes in Microsoft applications.

Industry watchers are praising the move. Analyst David Smith says it may be overdue.

Gates’ message to employees says new software features will have to take a backseat to resolving security issues.

(Maryland City, Maryland-AP)—Fire officials say people who thought they were buying kerosene at a gas station in Maryland got gasoline instead.

A delivery of gasoline was mistakenly substituted for kerosene at a Citgo station in Maryland City, outside Baltimore.

Fire officials say anybody who bought what they thought was kerosene at the station this week should check the fuel carefully before using it. Using gasoline in devices like kerosene heaters can cause an explosion.

/nd | 177

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

Shooting at a small law school in Virginia kills three and wounds three


CBS Morning News (6:30 AM ET) - CBS

JULIE CHEN, anchor:

Three people are dead and three others were wounded in a shooting at a small law school in western Virginia. Police say the suspect, Peter Odighizuma, opened fire at Appalachian School of Law, killing a dean, a professor and a student. He had flunked out last year, had been allowed to return and was at the school Wednesday to talk to the dean about his second dismissal. Witnesses say after shooting the dean, Odighizuma fired into a crowd of students.

Mr. JOHN HARRIS (Witness): I ran. I got out because I–I could–can’t do anything. The guy has a pistol. What do you do? So you run. So I ran out the door and ran to the library, told people that he has a gun, that they would–should probably leave.

CHEN: Other students tackled the gunman. Officials say he had a history of mental instability.

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Jason Arthur, Ted Besen and Tracy Bridges discuss the shooting at their school in which three people were killed


The Early Show (7:00 AM ET) - CBS

BRYANT GUMBEL, co-host:

An immigrant law student is being held on three counts of capital murder after opening fire at his Virginia school on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring three others. Forty-three-year-old Peter Odighizuwa was apparently upset about being kicked out of the Appalachian School of Law because of poor grades. Jason Arthur, Ted Besen and Tracy Bridges were among a group of students who took the gunman down. They’re all in Grundy, Virginia.

Gentlemen, good morning.

Mr. JASON ARTHUR (Shooting Witness): Good morning, sir.

Mr. TED BESEN (Helped Subdue Suspect): Good morning.

Mr. TRACY BRIDGES (Helped Subdue Suspect): Good morning.

GUMBEL: Mr. Arthur, let me start with you, if I might, because I’m told you actually witnessed the sooting–shooting. Tell me what you saw.

Mr. ARTHUR: It was shortly after 1:00 and I had returned from lunch and I was walking through the lobby of the school when Peter–was very close to me when he pulled a gun and began shooting.

GUMBEL: Was this after he had already shot Dean Rubin and Professor Blackwell?

Mr. ARTHUR: I–I’m–was not sure, sir. I had just gotten back to campus. I–I–I don’t know exactly in what order the shootings occurred.

GUMBEL: You say he began shooting. Was he picking out particular students or–or just spraying wherever he wished?

Mr. ARTHUR: He seemed to, as he walked all the way to the–to the back corner of the lobby area and walked up to a group of three females and opened fire.

GUMBEL: A group of three females. Was he necessarily going after female students? I ask that because supposedly he’d had problems with female students before.

Mr. ARTHUR: I can’t comment as to that, sir.

GUMBEL: Mr. Besen and Mr. Bridges, you two, I’m told, were together when the shooting started. You both have police backgrounds. Did you know immediately that it was gunfire you were hearing?

Mr. BESEN: No. We couldn’t tell exactly what it was at first. We thought it might have been maintenance in the hallways because there’s an echo. But after the–the second group of shooting–shots and the screams, that’s when we knew that something was going on.

GUMBEL: You say the second group. Can I assume that the first group was the grouping that–that took down Dean Sutin and Professor Blackwell?

Mr. BESEN: I–I believe was the first was that–was Professor Blackwell was shot first, and then I believe the second grouping was Dean Sutin.

GUMBEL: Yeah. You chased Peter O–which I understand he’s called–you chased Peter O down outside. Tell me about what happened.

Mr. BESEN: Well, we came–we exited our class. We came out. That’s when other professor had come out and stated that Professor Blackwell had been shot by Peter O. Tracy and I went back to the room, got the students out of the classroom, we went down the stairs in the back of the building and showed them the door so they could go to the rear of the–the school. I went around the–the back corner, opposite side of the school here, to get a visual on him as he was walking out of the–the Lions Lounge downstairs.

GUMBEL: Was he still armed?

Mr. BESEN: And at that–at–at that point in time he was still armed. He had walked over to a light just directly back over here, where he had set down the weapon. He put up his arms and he was yelling and screaming something. I couldn’t tell. I was trying to creep up on him, and when he turned toward the street out here, that’s when I–I rushed him.

GUMBEL: Did he try to fight back or resist?

Mr. BESEN: Oh, yes. I–I ordered him to get down to the ground when he turned back on me because he–he obviously heard me coming from behind. He said no, and then I went to put him on the ground. He punched me in the jaw, then started swinging at me furiously. At that point in time I just let him come toward me, keep him busy while some other students…

GUMBEL: Yeah.

Mr. BESEN: …came and hit him from the backside.

GUMBEL: And, Tracy, I understand that’s when you came along. You helped pin him down. Once you had him down, did–did Peter O say anything to you?

Mr. BRIDGES: The only comment that I know that he was mumbling was something about him being a Muslim and to be taken to a mosque.

GUMBEL: Did you know him, Tracy? Did you know him? What was he like?

Mr. BRIDGES: I knew of him. It’s a relatively small school here, so we know most of the faces here at the school. So I did know of Peter.

GUMBEL: We’re told he had a history of mental instability. Did that surprise you?

Mr. BRIDGES: I’m not really sure. I–I didn’t have any classes or anything with Peter. You know, I’ve heard rumors of him having conflicts with other students, but I’ve not personally dealt with him.

GUMBEL: Yeah. Campus will be closed there for a while. What’s the mood there?

Mr. BRIDGES: It’s just kind of surreal right now. It is a very close campus. Everybody was very close with the students who were injured and the faculty and their families. And we just hope we can help them get through this.

GUMBEL: Don’t we all. Gentlemen, I thank you all very much. Tracy Bridges, Ted Besen, Jason Arthur, I appreciate you getting up with us. Thank you.

Mr. ARTHUR: Thank you, sir.

Mr. BESEN: Thank you.

Mr. BRIDGES: Thank you.

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3 shot dead at Va. law school Dean, professor among victims ; student who flunked in custody

Wire Reports
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)

GRUNDY, Va. - 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 tiny mountain community in western Virginia.

Cool Ridge, W.Va., resident Melanie E. Page, a second-year student at the 170-student school, said she did not believe any of the West Virginia students enrolled in the law school were harmed.

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.

“I saw one of the girls that was shot and she was screaming for a tourniquet,” said former Charleston, W.Va., resident Jeremy Burnside, a student who was in the library when the shooting erupted.

The University of Charleston graduate had seen Odighizuwa earlier in the day. “I knew him from class, and I knew he was mad because he flunked out,” Burnside said.

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.

Rubin, the professor who spoke with the suspect moments before the rampage, declined 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.”

Odighizuwa had children and a wife, students said. He once told classmates he had no money to feed his children and other students gave him money.

“He’s just a little bit not there,” said Burnside, a former state employee in Charleston.

“He was hostile,” said Charleston resident Eric Wilson, a student at the school. “We called it [a shooting incident] jokingly, but we never thought it would happen.”

Page said she only slightly knew Odighizuwa. “He barely spoke English. No one understood him,” she said.

The private law school 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, 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 Delegate 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 Virginia law school kills 3

Roger Alford
Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

GRUNDY, Va.—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 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.

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 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.

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.”

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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.

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LAW SCHOOL GUN SPREE KILLS DEAN, TWO OTHERS

Associated Press
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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 Wednesday night.

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

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.

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, first stopped in professor Dale Rubin’s office 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. Witnesses said Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on students, killing Dales and wounding three others.

Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn., was 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.’ “

Ellen Qualls, a spokesman 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.

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STUDENTS TACKLE KILLER GUNMAN


Daily Post (Liverpool)

FOUR students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as “executions”.

The four students tackled the man who was armed with a .38 pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia. He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three female students critically injured.

The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene said the dean of the school, Anthony Sutin, had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range, ” said Dr Jack Briggs.

The doctor said the gunman was a foreign exchange student whom he had treated for stress and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.”

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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.

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GUNMAN IN COLLEGE RAMPAGE

Anna Adams
Daily Record

A LAW student shot dead three people, including the dean of his school, after seeing his exam results.

A lecturer and a student were also killed and three other students were left fighting for their lives. The bloodbath only ended when brave students overpowered the gunman, who has not been named.

Early reports said the killer was a third-year foreign exchange student who was about to be thrown out of the school due to poor grades.

He ran amok with .380 semi-automatic pistol on the campus of the Appalachian Law School in the sleepy US town of Grundy, Virginia, after seeing his exam results posted on a notice board.

The first medic on the scene said the dean, Anthony Sutin, had been “executed” and the lecturer, Tom Blackwell, had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

Dr Jack Briggs said: “They were shot at point-blank range. The dean was shot twice in the head. It appears he was executed.”

The doctor said the gunman had flunked out of the school last year but had been given one last chance to make the grade. However, he was still failing.

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off.”

The college has around 170 students and was set up in 1997 to help the run -down coal mining area’s economy.

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Failing student shoots three dead at law college

Ben Fenton
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON)

THREE people including a former assistant US attorney general were shot dead by a disaffected law school student last night.

Three female students were wounded when the man, who was on the verge of being expelled, opened fire.

Two professors at the school in rural Virginia were “executed at point blank range” in front of their secretaries and the third victim, a student, was shot at random as the gunman emerged into a crowded lounge.

Police said that Peter Odighizuma, 43, a foreign student who was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, was then tackled and arrested by students of the Appalachian School of Law in the small town of Grundy.

The dead were Anthony Sutin, the dean, another professor and a female student at the school, police said.

Mr Sutin served under Janet Reno in the Clinton administration and was legal adviser to Al Gore, the Democrat presidential candidate, in the 2000 election campaign. The three injured, all of whom are in critical condition, were also shot randomly as the man started to look for additional victims.

Dr Jack Briggs, who tended the dead and wounded, said the death toll would have been greater if the gunman had had a bigger magazine in his gun. He was pulled to the ground by students when he ran out of bullets.

Dr Briggs, who is also the county coroner, said the killer had difficulty during his first year and had left.

“He came back again to try to start again, but he was failing again and I think they were ready to bring him in and tell him that, so he was ready to take his anger out on those who he felt were responsible,” Dr Briggs said.

The doctor added that he had treated the gunman for stress about six months ago.

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off,” Dr Briggs said.

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3 KILLED, 3 WOUNDED IN LAW SCHOOL SHOOTING DISMISSED STUDENT GOES ON FATAL SPREE

Associated Press
Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

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 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.

Warner is a former member of the school’s board of trustees.

“I’m shocked and deeply saddened. I commend the students who acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect, who is now in custody. My heart goes out to the school and the community,” he said.

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 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.

TIME LINE

Here is a time line of the events leading to the dismissal, according to Chris Clifton, financial aid officer at the school:

* Fall 2000: Odighizuwa is put on academic probation.

* Spring 2001: Odighizuwa is dismissed.

* Fall 2001: Odighizuwa is reinstated after appealing his dismissal.

* Tuesday, Jan. 15: Odighizuwa is dismissed for good after failing to maintain the necessary grades.

* Wednesday, Jan. 16: Authorities say Odighizuwa came to the school to meet with the dean and went on a shooting spree, killing three people and wounding three more.

- The Associated Press

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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 MANIAC KILLS 3 IN SCHOOL


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 semiautomatic 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.

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3 KILLED BY COLLEGE EXAM DUNCE


Daily Star

A NUT who was angry after flunking his law exams killed his dean, a professor and a fellow student in a shooting spree at his US college last night.

Peter Odighizuma, 43, also critically injured three others when he stormed a commonroom at the college and opened up with a .380 semi-automatic pistol. Four students wrestled the Nigerian and held him until police arrived.

Dr Jack Briggs, who counselled the student for stress six months ago, said: “Two shots were fired into the dean’s head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a warzone. There were bodies everywhere.”

He said: “The gunman flunked out of school last year. He got another chance, but I believe the Dean was about to tell him he had to leave.”

Police, ambulances and counsellors rushed to the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

The dean, Anthony Sutin, was shot in front of his secretary.

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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.

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ACROSS THE NATION


Detroit Free Press

NEW YORK

Helper in New Year bomb plot sentenced

An Algerian man 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 amid turn-of-the-century celebrations.

Mokhtar Haouari, 32, was convicted by a Manhattan jury in July on federal charges that he supplied fake IDs and cash to two others in the plot.

The plot—planned for Jan. 1, 2000—was foiled when its mastermind, Ahmed Ressam, was arrested at Port Angeles, Wash., while trying to enter the United States from Canada in a car with explosives in December 1999. Ressam had trained in terrorist camps financed by Osama bin Laden, whom the United States accuses of masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks.

GRUNDY, Va.

3 dead in shooting spree

A law school student upset about his grades 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.

Those killed included a student, a faculty member and the dean of the Appalachian School of Law, said Ellen Qualls, spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner.

The student, who used a .380-caliber handgun, was not identified.

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 paid tribute to James Earl Ray, the man who killed the black civil rights leader in 1968, officials said Wednesday.

The plaque read, “Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive.”

Texas plaque manufacturer Merit Industries blamed a typographical error. It was being corrected before Jones’ Saturday visit to the Ft. Lauderdale suburb.

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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.

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ROUNDUP: 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 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 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 kilometres southwest of the capital Washington.

Briggs told broadcaster CNN that 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”. dpa fz ff

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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

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U.S. GUNMAN KILLS THREE


Evening Mail

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 a 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. She said the weapon was a .380 semiautomatic handgun.

Grundy is in the Appalachian foothills, 120 miles west of Roanoke.

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3 KILLED BY GUNMAN


The Express

THREE people were killed and three others were wounded when a gunman ran amok at a US law college. The suspect was later seized by students, police said last night.

One of the dead was named as Anthony Sutin, dean of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, 200 miles west of Washington, DC.

A student and another member of the faculty were also killed, and three badly injured students were taken to hospital.

The law school, which opened in 1997, has 170 pupils.

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‘SEA OF BODIES’ IN GUN FRENZY AT US LAW COLLEGE AFTER GUNMAN RETURNED FOR REVENGE; THREE DEAD AS SUSPENDED STUDENT GOES ON RAMPAGE

Toby Moore
The Express

A DISGRUNTLED student shot dead a law school professor, the head teacher and a fellow pupil in a shooting spree at the school in Virginia yesterday.

Peter Odighizuma, 43, who had been suspended from the Appalachian School of Law earlier in the day, returned with a handgun and killed the three at around 6pm British time.

Three other students, all women, were wounded when Nigerian foreign exchange student Odighizuma opened fire on the college campus. “It looked like a war zone, ” said a witness to the carnage.

“There was blood all over. There was just a sea of bodies everywhere.”

Among the dead was the head of the school, Anthony Sutin, who served under former President Clinton at the Justice Department and was a leading adviser to Al Gore during his presidential election campaign last year.

Odighizuma was subdued by other students before police arrived. State policeman Jason Miles said: “He was suspended from school for some unknown reason and came back. He used a .380 semi-automatic handgun.”

Dr Jack Briggs, who knew the adult victims, spoke of his shock.

He said the dean and professor were “well liked by everybody”.

“It was not a matter of picking out a professor who has picked you out unfairly and shooting him, ” said Dr Briggs.

“It was just a matter of him releasing his anger at the world, I guess.”

The law school, which opened just five years ago in Grundy, a small town at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, has 170 students.

It was opened with the hope of easing a historic shortage of lawyers in the coal fields of south-west Virginia, to help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia.

The shootings came a day after two teenagers were shot in the back by a pupil at a high school in New York. The first shooting at a school in the city since 1994.

Both victims, one 15 and the other 17, were said to be in a “satisfactory” condition at the Manhattan hospital where they are being treated.

Tim Baylor, a spokesman for two hospitals where the injured were taken, said the three were in a “fair” condition. Two required surgery.

The shootings at Grundy are just the latest in the tragic history of school murders in the US.

The worst massacre took place at Columbine High School, Colorado, in April 1999 when 15 students were killed.

In March 2000, two people died and 13 were wounded at Santana High School in California.

A week before, four students and two teachers were wounded when an 18-year-old opened fire at a school in El Cajon, California.

The third shooting that month took place at a school in Indiana when a teenage boy was killed by one of his schoolmates.

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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.

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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. The dead included the dean. Police believe students apprehended the suspect.

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3 slain in shooting spree at Virginia law school Ex-Clay lawyer met with suspect


Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)

GRUNDY, Va.—Minutes before a struggling law school student allegedly went on a campus shooting spree yesterday, killing the dean, a professor and a student, he was in the office of a former Northeast Florida attorney, complaining about grades, the lawyer said.

The attack also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law before the gunman was tackled by students and taken into custody. The wounded students were in fair condition.

Just before the attacks, the gunman was in the office of Stewart Harris, 40, a former Clay County lawyer who began teaching at the school last fall.

‘He did not seem the least bit agitated, the least bit violent,’ Harris said last night in a telephone interview with the Times-Union. ‘He was complaining about his grade. He was not one of my students.’

Harris said he talked to the man, later identified as 42-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, for about a minute, just before lunch. Odighizuwa had been dismissed from the school.

When Harris returned from eating, police were on a scene Harris described as ‘chaos.’

Jack Briggs, a physician who practices near the school and was one of the first to arrive after the shooting in this tiny mountain community in western Virginia, echoed Harris.

‘When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,’ Briggs said.

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.

Odighizuwa had arrived at school to meet with the dean about his academic suspension, which went into effect yesterday, 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.

Harris said his office is next to Blackwell’s and about 50 feet from Sutin’s. Harris said he had known the two men for about a year. He said he only knew Odighizuwa vaguely.

Harris said students had just gotten grades from last semester and it was not unusual to discuss them with instructors.

‘The only thing that was the least bit unusual was that he was not one of my students,’ he said.

Harris, who teaches two classes, said the three wounded students were in his classes.

‘The entire day has been a very tumultuous day,’ he said.

Harris practiced law in Clay County from 1994 to May 2000.

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.’

Odighizuwa 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 comment after the shooting.

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, W.Va., said Odighizuwa 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, will close for the rest of the week. Times-Union staff writer Dana Treen contributed to this report.

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Law school dean and two others killed by student

Oliver Burkeman
The Guardian (London)

A Nigerian student was being held last night for killing the dean of a small American law school and two other people at the college in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.

The dean, Anthony Sutin, and a professor were shot dead at close range in what were described as “executions”.

A male student was also killed, and three female students were injured and taken to hospital before the gunman was tackled by four students. Peter Odighizuma, 43, was being held in police custody last night after the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in the mining town of Grundy, south-west Virginia.

Earlier in the day he had been told that he was to be suspended.

He was already repeating the first year course, having dropped out last year.

Jack Briggs, the first doctor to arrive on the scene, said Mr Odighizuma had attended his surgery complaining of stress six or seven months ago.

He described the student as “a timebomb waiting to go off”.

Lieutenant Jason Miles of the state police said Mr Odighizuma was suspended from school yesterday “for some unknown reason” and returned.

“He used a .38 semi-automatic handgun”.

A spokesman for the Virginia hospital system said two of the three injured students, who were airlifted to hospital, were undergoing surgery . The third was described as stable.

Dr Briggs said the dean and the murdered professor had powder marks on their skin, indicating point-blank executions. Their killing had been witnessed by their secretaries, he added

“It looked like a war zone - there was blood all over,” he added.

Mr Odighizuma was wrestled to the floor by four male students. “They just wanted the guy. They weren’t worried about their own personal safety.”

Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was a United States attorney during the Clinton administration and chief counsel to Al Gores 2000 presidential campaign.

The Appalachian school was opened in 1997 to remedy a critical shortage of lawyers in the poor coalmining communities of south Virginia, and has about 240 students.

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Failed law student kills three at school


Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada)

GRUNDY, Va.—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.

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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.

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Law student with low grades kills three

Roger Alford
Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada)

A law school student upset about his grades went on a shooting spree yesterday, 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 lying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a private practice one kilometre 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 four male students as he left the building.

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

Other details were not immediately available, but Qualls said the weapon used was a .380-calibre semiautomatic handgun.

The three wounded students were in critical condition.

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Gunman kills three in law school rampage

Cameron Simpson
The Herald (Glasgow)

A GUNMAN killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree at a law school in the western Virginia foothills yesterday.

The killer, armed with a .380 semi-automatic handgun, was later overpowered by four students. The three deaths were described by Jack Briggs, the first medical worker on the scene, as “executions”. Anthony Sutin, the dean of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, one of the professors and a student were killed. The wounded, all students, were taken to Buchanan General Hospital, where their conditions were described as critical.

The incident came just a day after a shooting at a school in New York, in which two people were injured.

Dr Briggs said the dean had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range. It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

He said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school, which has around 170 students.

“He took his anger out on the people who, I think, he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.

“The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress. He was a timebomb waiting to go off,” said Dr Briggs.

Alicia O’Quin, a special assistant to the president of the law school, said a male student had apparently entered a student lounge area on the campus at about 1pm local time and opened fire.

She said it was unclear how many people were in the lounge at the time. “Nothing like this has ever happened before, either here or even in this county. It’s usually a very quiet campus, very intimate.”

Mark Warner, the state governor, 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.

“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.”

Mr Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, was also an associate professor at the school.

The private law school opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town of about 1100 just a few miles south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

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Gunman kills three in law school shooting

Cameron Simpson
The Herald (Glasgow)

A GUNMAN killed three people and wounded three others yesterday in a shooting spree at a law school in the western Virginia foothills.

The dead included the dean of the Appalachian School of Law, Anthony Sutin, one of the professors, and a student. The gunman was named as Peter Odighizuma, a 43-year-old Nigerian student who had been suspended. Armed with a .380 semi-automatic handgun, he was overpowered by four students after the killings, which Jack Briggs, the first medical worker on the scene, described as “executions”. The attack in the town of Grundy came just a day after a shooting at a school in New York that injured two people.

The three wounded, all students, were taken to hospital where they were described as critical.

Dr Briggs said the dean had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

He said Odighizuma, a foreign exchange student, was about to be told to leave the law school, which has around 170 students.

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off,” said Dr Briggs.

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GUN-TOTING STUDENT ‘EXECUTES’ THREE AT VIRGINIA LAW SCHOOL

Rupert Cornwell
The Independent (London)

A FOREIGN student went on a shooting rampage at a small law school in the remote west of Virginia yesterday, killing three people and wounding three. One of the dead was the dean of the school.

Peter Odighizuma, 43, was believed to have been suspended from the Appalachian School of Law in the small town of Grundy earlier in the day, before returning with a .380 semi-automatic pistol. Jack Briggs, a local doctor and coroner who was one of the first to the scene, said the dean, Anthony Sutin - the chief legal adviser to the Democrat Al Gore in his failed bid for the American presidency in 2000 - and a professor had been “executed” in their offices.

Powder marks on their clothes showed that they had been shot dead at point -blank range. The gunman then emerged, firing indiscriminately at other students.

In the pandemonium, one student was killed and three others were critically wounded before four male students overpowered the gunman. “They just wanted the guy. They weren’t worried about their own personal safety,” said Dr Briggs. “Blood and bodies were everywhere.”

Last night, Mr Odighizuma was being held in custody in Grundy. Dr Briggs described him as a Nigerian who had failed his first year.

The three wounded students, one of whom had been struck by a bullet in the back and two hit in the chest, were airlifted to a nearby hospital. Dr Briggs described their condition as “critical”.

The incident is the latest in a string of shootings in schools and factories in the United States in recent weeks. The attack has had a shattering impact on a small and close-knit community in one of the poorest parts of the state, deep in the Appalachian mountains.

The school was established in 1997 to ease a shortage of lawyers and to spur development in Grundy, which has a population of only 1,400. Mark Warner, the Democratic Governor of Virginia, is a former member of the school’s board, whose first class of 34 students graduated in 2000. The school currently has 170 students and 15 members of faculty.

Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15. A former Justice Department official, he left the Clinton administration to become dean of the school.

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Disgruntled law student kills three in US school

Patrick Smyth
The Irish Times

A disgruntled law student yesterday shot and killed the college dean, another member of staff and a fellow student in a small rural college in Virginia. Three others were injured before students subdued the killer, according to state police.

The Appalachian School of Law is in Grundy, Buchanan County, near the Kentucky border. It has a student body of only 170. Early reports said that the foreign exchange student had been upset at his grades and had opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol.

He was tackled and apprehended by his fellow students after killing the dean, Dr Anthony Sutin, and firing on others. He is now in custody. “It looked like a war zone,” reported Dr Jack Briggs, the local coroner who was one of the first on the scene. He said the killer was a former patient of his whom he treated for stress. He believed the student was about to be expelled from the school.

Dr Sutin was a former US Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs who served in the Clinton administration under the former Attorney General, Ms Janet Reno. The law school opened in 1997 in a renovated junior high school in this small town 120 miles west of Roanoke.

The school was opened to ease a historic shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of south-west Virginia, and to help change the region’s image and foster renewal in Appalachia. The first class of 34 graduated in 2000. The school has about 15 academic staff.

Despite a number of high-profile school-killing incidents, including the Columbine high-school massacre, US schools are becoming safer. There are fewer violent deaths every year, although there has been an increase in incidents involving multiple victims.

The FBI Uniform Crime Reports showed that between 1993 and 1999, youth homicides decreased 68 per cent to their lowest rate since 1966. In 1998, the National Crime Victimisation Survey showed that youth crime overall was at its lowest rate in the survey’s 25-year history.

The number of children killed in high-school violence is about half the number of Americans killed every year by lightning. A federal study of 253 school-related violent deaths published last week found that in most cases there were warning signs, such as a note, diary entry or a threat. The killings were usually not random but stemmed from personal disputes over romance or money, or were related to gang activity.

Student killers were more likely to have been bullied by peers, to have been involved in discipline problems at school or uninvolved in school activities.

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News in brief

Nina Gilbert, Greer Fay Cashman, Gil Hoffman, Tal Muscal, AP
The Jerusalem Post

Burg ready to speak to PA body in Ramallah

Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg yesterday welcomed an invitation to address the Palestinian Legislative Assembly in Ramallah. Burg said, however, he is waiting for a formal invitation for him and a Knesset delegation to meet with the Palestinian lawmakers.

“Every opportunity must be exploited to open dialogue and end the cycle of violence,” Burg said from the US, after he learned of the invitation from broadcast on Israel Radio. Nina Gilbert Katsav interview with Egyptian TV to air today

President Moshe Katsav is to appear on Good Morning Egypt today, when Egyptian Television broadcasts an hour- long interview with Katsav filmed at Beit Hanassi, from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

In the interview, which Katsav called a goodwill gesture, the president invited Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek to pay a state visit to Israel, and also stressed the necessity for Egypt to return its ambassador to Israel. Katsav said exemplary Egyptian leadership has facilitated peace with Israel, and contrasted the Egyptian leadership with that of the Palestinians. Katsav has said PA Chairman Yasser Arafat must take strategic decisions to bring about an end to terrorism, and that he must emulate the courage of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.

Greer Fay Cashman

High hopes for late-night budget meeting

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Finance Minister Silvan Shalom, and Shas chairman Eli Yishai met late last night at the Prime Minister’s Office in an effort to hammer out a compromise on the Large Families Law, the last obstacle to passing the budget. Spokesman for Shalom and Yishai said progress had been made in talks throughout the day and expressed confidence about last night’s meeting, which ended after press time. Shas and United Torah Judaism rejected one compromise, whereby child allowances would paid only for children under 16. Yishai prefers limiting the allowances to families that receive a monthly income of less than NIS 10,500. Gil Hoffman

PM may oust Government Companies head

The Prime Minister’s Office said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed his dissatisfaction last night with Government Companies Authority Director Yaron Jacobs. Sharon said Jacobs has not acted according to his instructions, despite a September meeting during which both men discussed Jacob’s actions. Jacobs has been a main supporter of privatizing state-owned companies. Sharon called on Jacobs not to request a renewal of his special contract, which expires March 31. They will meet Tuesday. If the prime minister decides not to extend the contract, Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander will head a search committee for a new authority head. Tal Muscal

Three slain in shooting spree at US law school

GRUNDY, Virginia (AP) - A gunman killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree yesterday at the Appalachian School of Law in the western Virginia foothills, officials said. The slain included a student, a faculty member, and the dean, L. Anthony Sutin. State police believe students were able to apprehend the suspect, a spokeswoman said. Details on the suspect or the capture were not immediately available, but the weapon used was a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun. Three students were wounded but their conditions were not immediately known. The private law school has an enrollment of about 170 students.

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Students grab college gunman after ‘executions’

The Journal
The Journal (Newcastle, UK)

USA: Four students last night overpowered a gunman who “executed” three people at their college.

The four tackled the man as he wielded a .380 semi-automatic pistol and held him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

He had shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and a professor, and wounded three other women students. One was last night in a faire condition, the other two were critical and undergoing surgery.

The first medical worker on the scene said dean Anthony Sutin had been “executed” with shots to the head and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“They were shot at point blank range,” Dr Jack Briggs said.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two teachers were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said: “This student was a foreign student who flunked out of school.”

He was given another chance but the dean was about to tell him that he would have to go.

Dr Briggs said the three shot students had been helicoptered to hospitals near the small town in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

He said the gunman had been a patient of his. “I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress. He was a timebomb waiting to go off. “

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal mining area’s economy.

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Three Killed at Virginia Law School

Associated Press
The Legal Intelligencer

Grundy, Va. - A gunman killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree yesterday at a tiny law school in the western Virginia foothills, officials said.

The slain included a student, a faculty member and the dean of the Appalachian School of Law, L. Anthony Sutin, said Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner, served on the school board until he took office last week.

State police believe students were able to apprehend the suspect, Qualls said. Details on the suspect or the capture were not immediately available, but Qualls said the weapon used was a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Three students were wounded and taken to Buchanan General Hospital, Qualls said. Their conditions were not immediately known.

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

The governor 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 previously worked on election law and campaign finance issues at the Hogan & Hartson law firm in Washington and worked 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.

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LAW STUDENT KILLS 3 AT APPALACHIAN COLLEGE;

Lee Mueller
Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky)

GRUNDY, Va.—Three people were shot to death yesterday at a small Appalachian law school near the Kentucky border by a troubled student who apparently had just flunked out for a second time, officials said.

Three students, including a woman who graduated from Berea College, were injured in the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law before the alleged attacker was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed by other students.

Killed were the school’s dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, and Professor Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, both of Grundy, who were gunned down in their offices; and first-year student Angela Denise Dales, 33, of Vansant, Va.

Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a native of Nigeria who was living in Grundy, was charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, said Mike Stater, public information officer for the Virginia State Police. Odighizuwa was being held last night in the Buchanan County, Va., Jail.

“When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a practice a half-mile from the school, which is 13 miles from the Pike County border.

Student Chase Goodman, 27, of Pikeville, described a horrifying scene of screaming and blood.

“There were pools of blood all over,” Goodman said.

Stater said Odighizuwa went to the school to discuss his academic dismissal, which went into effect yesterday, with Professor Dale Reuben. As he left Reuben’s office, “he reportedly asked professor Reuben to pray for him,” Stater said.

Odighizuwa went into the offices of Sutin and Blackwell about 1:15 p.m. and opened fire with a Jennings .380 semiautomatic pistol, Stater said. Sutin and Blackwell died at the scene.

Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on the students, killing one and injuring three, Stater said.

Among the injured was Stacey Beans, 22, a first-year student who was shot once in the chest, police said. She was taken to Bristol, Tenn., Regional Hospital, where she underwent surgery and was listed last night in fair condition.

Beans, a 2001 graduate of Berea College, is from Paducah.

Her sister, Stephanie Medley of Paducah, said Beans wanted to go to school in Grundy to escape the dangers of a big city.

“They wanted to go someplace where they would feel safe. That was the main attraction,” Medley said. “It was a safe place, they thought.”

Also injured were first-year student Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., who was shot in the abdomen and the arm, and second-year student Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, who was shot in the throat. Both were in fair condition last night at a Kingsport, Tenn., hospital.

The school’s 3.5-acre campus, which opened in 1997 in the town of 1,100, includes a building constructed in 1939 as Grundy High School and another building that had been a junior high.

Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn., a third-year law student, said he was standing outside the former high school building when he heard five to seven shots coming from the direction of the student lounge, which is in that building.

He said he saw Odighizuwa come out of the building with his gun pointed upward. Ross said he yelled at Odighizuwa to throw down the gun, and he did.

“I asked him to step over toward the flagpole and get down on the ground,” Ross said.

At that point, Ross said, another student, former Wilmington, N.C., police officer Ted Besen, approached Odighizuwa, who swung at him. Ross then wrestled Odighizuwa to the ground.

A third student, also a former police officer, went to his car, got a pair of handcuffs and put them on Odighizuwa before police arrived, Ross said.

“He kept saying, ‘I didn’t have anyplace else to go’” Ross said.

Zeke Jackson, 40, of Fort Worth, Texas, a second-year student who said he entered school with Odighizuwa in the fall of 2000, said Odighizuwa flunked out after that semester. He said Odighizuwa didn’t tell his wife, and went to campus every day, often hanging out in the library.

He was allowed to re-enroll last fall, but was dismissed again.

“He was isolated and abrasive,” Jackson said.

Justin Marlowe, a first-year law student from Richwood, W.Va., also said Odighizuwa had flunked out a year ago and “the dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again.”

Briggs, the Grundy doctor, said he had treated Odighizuwa for depression in the past year. In an interview with CNN, Briggs said that, although Odighizuwa had not indicated that he planned violence, “he was a time bomb waiting to go off.”

Odighizuwa’s next-door neighbor, Shirley Trent Stanley, said Odighizuwa had four children, ages 3 to 9. The family moved into the yellow frame house in Grundy in July 2000, Stanley said.

Odighizuwa’s wife, whom Stanley called Abby, 34, works at a local hospital.

The couple had been separated since last summer, but had attempted a reconciliation of late, Stanley said.

Stanley said Peter Odighizuwa had been in the United States about 20 years. He had previously lived in Washington state, and came to Grundy from Dayton, Ohio, she said.

The law school graduated its first class of 34—including two Kentuckians—in May 2000.

The private school has an enrollment of about 234 students. There are about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law, was also an associate professor at the school who taught constitutional law. He left the U. S. 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.

Sutin was instrumental in establishing the school to provide better legal services for Appalachian communities.

The school was closed until Tuesday as the town and students struggled to cope with the tragedy. A memorial service is scheduled for noon today.

Sallie Lawson, 35, of Johnson City, Tenn., who was introduced to Odighizuwa yesterday morning by Jackson, her friend, said Odighizuwa acted peculiar and distracted.

“I shook the guy’s hand. I never imagined anything like this was going to happen,” Lawson said.

*

Staff writer Lance Williams, The Associated Press and the New York Times News Service contributed to this report.

GRAPHIC: STEVE HELBER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Virginia State Police investigators conducted an interview yesterday in an office at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. A Nigerian native who had flunked out of the school is being held.

JOSH MELTZER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A police officer took video images yesterday of the Appalachian School of Law. A Paducah woman who graduated from Berea College was wounded in shootings that killed three people, including the school’s dean and a professor.

STEVE HELBER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police and emergency workers removed the body of a victim at the law school, 13 miles from Pike County.

L. Anthony Sutin, the dean, was killed.

Peter Odighizuwa is facing murder charges.

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GUNMAN RAMPAGE


Liverpool Echo

A STUDENT killed three people and injured three others during a shooting rampage. The gunman, who has not been named, shot dead his dean, a lecturer and another student at the tiny college campus at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

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Dean, Professor and Student Killed at Law School in Va.; Crime: Students tackle the gunman minutes after the shootings. The suspect, a student, is a Nigerian immigrant.

Jeffrey Gettleman, Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles Times

A student apparently irate over failing grades burst into the dean’s office with a semiautomatic pistol and killed the dean, a professor and then another student Wednesday at a small private law school amid the coal fields of Appalachia, authorities said.

Other students tackled the gunman minutes after he stalked through the tiny campus of the Appalachian School of Law where he wounded three others during the shooting spree.

State police said they were holding Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old Nigerian immigrant, as the suspected gunman. He had been dismissed from the law school earlier Wednesday; other students said it was the second time that he had failed first-year classes.

“Pray for me,” Odighizuwa said to a professor right before he started shooting, according to police.

They described Odighizuwa as a loner, a Nigerian immigrant who spoke with such a strong accent that it was difficult for them to understand him.

Odighizuwa allegedly shot dean L. Anthony Sutin and professor Thomas Blackwell in their offices, then opened fire, emptying two magazines of .380 bullets in a student lounge, where his classmates were gathered over lunch.

The third fatality was identified as Angela Dales, 33, a former recruiter for the law school who had enrolled as a student last semester.

“The dean and the professor were executed . . . at point-blank range,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, the county medical examiner. “The dean had a white shirt on, and you can see the two bullet holes in his back. You could see the powder burns.”

Two of the wounded students were shot in the back, apparently as they attempted to flee the lounge, Briggs said. “It looked like a war zone,” he said. All the wounded were airlifted to hospitals in Tennessee.

Students who responded to the sound of the gunshots described a nightmarish scene in the lounge–and what seemed an interminable wait before police and paramedics arrived. Using folding coffee tables as makeshift stretchers, several students bundled the wounded into cars and drove them to the local hospital. Two other students, both former police officers, took control of the room and tried to maintain the integrity of the crime scene.

“There was a huge puddle of blood [around one victim] and a trail of blood across the floor,” said first-year student Eric Creed, who helped organize the stretcher brigade. “We were just shocked. Everyone is so shocked.”

Odighizuwa was described as a foul-tempered student who would talk back in class and kick cars when he was angry.

“Peter would snap at you for no reason–even when you tried to reach out to him,” said second-year law student Zeke Jackson.

He seemed to have struggled from the moment he arrived, an immigrant with four young children and a wife and a serious grudge.

“He always thought he was getting picked on,” said Kenneth Brown, a first-year student. “I had been told to stay away from him.”

Grundy, population just over 1,000 and sandwiched between the rolling hills of Appalachia, was in disbelief Wednesday as news crews rolled in one after the other and Virginia state troopers cordoned off the two-story brick law school with yellow police tape.

“Such a close-knit community,” said Gov. Mark Warner, a former member of the law school’s board, “will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.”

Grundy is indeed close-knit; rather than abandoning the town in the face of repeat flooding, the residents have banded together, with state and federal help, on a proposal to move Grundy to higher ground. The historic downtown is expected to relocate, and nearly the whole population will likely follow.

Coal mining long had been king here in far southwestern Virginia. But as the industry has slumped in recent years, civic leaders have been searching for new ways to stimulate development.

Amid all the town’s problems, the Appalachian School of Law became a source of immense pride–and promise.

Established five years ago in a renovated junior high, the school set forth a mission of training attorneys to serve rural Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Its founders hoped that the school would bring prestige to a region long stereotyped as hillbilly.

Although its students–many of them middle-aged and launching a second career–come from all over the country, locals have come to view the school as an integral part of the community and hope that its presence will spur more and more area residents to strive for higher education.

Last year the school, which has about 250 students, graduated its first class of 34.

“It was a very big deal to get the school in the first place, and then to get it accredited,” said Ed Talbott, director of the local library.

One fervent believer in that mission was the 42-year-old Sutin, a 1984 Harvard Law School graduate who came to Appalachia after serving as an assistant attorney general during the Clinton administration.

Gettleman reported from Grundy and Simon from St. Louis. Times staff writer Massie Ritsch in Los Angeles and researchers Edith Stanley in Atlanta and John Beckham in Chicago contributed to this report.

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EXAM KILLER;

Andy Lines
The Mirror

AN angry law student “executed” his college dean and two other people yesterday after failing his exams.

The student went on the rampage with a gun killing Anthony Sutin, another professor and a female student. Three other students were “critically ill” last night after being shot in the back as they fled the Nigerian gunman.

Other students overpowered the man and held him until police arrived.

Witness Chase Goodman said: “There was blood all over the place. I saw a girl hit in the neck.”

Dr Jack Briggs, who treated victims at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, said Mr Sutin and the professor were “executed at point blank range” before the gunman started firing at random.

He said the gunman, who was a foreign exchange student, had failed his exams last year but had been given a second chance.

Dr Briggs said: “I believe the dean was just about to tell him he was no longer able to come back. It appears to be revenge.”

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Suspended pupil kills 3


MX (Melbourne, Australia)

COLLEGE SHOOTING

A suspended student shot and killed three people at a law college in Virginia today, including the school’s dean, and wounded three others.

Peter Odighizuma, 43, suspended from the Appalachian School of Law early today, was being held in jail in the town of Grundy in connection with the shooting.

“He was suspended from school effective today for some unknown reason and came back,” state police Lieutenant Jason Miles said.

“He used a .380 semiautomatic handgun.”

Miles said the three people killed were faculty members at the school, but he did not release any names, pending notification of relatives.

The three wounded all women were flown to hospital in a critical condition.

“If they’re airlifted, it’s severe,” Miles said.

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The shootings at Appalachian School of Law


Today (7:00 AM ET) - NBC

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

On CLOSE UP this morning, the law school shooting. As we’ve been reporting, on Wednesday, a student opened fire at Virginia’s Appalachian School of Law, killing the dean, a professor and another student. Three others were wounded in the attack. In the crucial moments after the rampage, a few students moved quickly to try to apprehend the suspect and stop the shooting.

One of those students is Tracy Bridges.

Mr. Bridges, good morning.

Mr. TRACY BRIDGES (Helped to apprehend law school student): Good morning.

COURIC: I know the–the shooting broke out around 1:30, I guess, in the afternoon. Can you describe what you witnessed?

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am. We were–we had a class at 1:30. We had arrived a little earlier, around 1:00. Shortly after we got to the classroom, we heard three shots fired. It kind of was muffled and we thought it was a gunshot. Just a few seconds later we heard three more shots and a scream. Myself and another student, Ted Besen, left the classroom. We ran into a professor and he said that Peter had a gun and that he was shooting. I ran back to the classroom and told the other classmates to get out, that we had a shooter in the building.

COURIC: When he…

Mr. BRIDGES: At that time…

COURIC: When he said, Tracy that ‘Peter has a gun,’ you knew exactly who he was talking about, didn’t you?

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am.

COURIC: Why?

Mr. BRIDGES: It is a relatively small school. That’s really the only Peter that I know. I know that he was a repeat student. I mean, that was the only Peter that I knew at the time.

COURIC: Did you know that this Peter was having trouble in school, or that there was–was any reason for him to be upset or agitated or angry?

Mr. BRIDGES: I knew he had some academic problems, that he was a restart student, which means that he didn’t do so well the first semester he was here. And the school allowed him to come back and try again. That’s all, you know, that’s all I knew at the time.

COURIC: What happened next, Tracy, after you heard a professor say that Peter had a gun?

Mr. BRIDGES: I went back to the classroom and told the students to get out, that there was a shooter in the building. We herded them out the–the back stairwell. At that time, me and Ted Besen went down the back stairwell, and my vehicle was parked in a parking spot between the shooter and the back stairwell. We seen the shooter, started to approach him, stopped at my vehicle, and got out my handgun, and started to approach Peter. At that time, Peter throwed up his hands and throwed his weapon down. Ted was first person to have contact with Peter, and Peter hit him one time in the face. So there was a little bit of a struggle there. After that, Ted pushed him back, me, Ted and another student, Todd Ross, took Peter to the ground and subdued him until we had some handcuffs to put him in.

COURIC: I should mention, Tracy, that you are a police officer, a trained police officer. You were one in–in North Carolina. And another student, I understand, who was able to help, Michael Gross, he handed you a pair of handcuffs so you could handcuff the suspect. Must have been incredibly fortuitous that you all had police training and a police background that you were able to–to act in such a–a quick and appropriate way.

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am. It all kind of happened real fast. We, you know, just kind of done what we could at the time.

COURIC: Tell me a little bit about the dean who was killed as a result of this, Anthony Sutin. I understand that you and he had a very close relationship.

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am. Me and Dean Sutin, I got to know him when I was a first year student here before he was dean. He was a professor. I had him in class and he was a very close friend and mentor. Usually during the day if I found a few minutes extra time, I went by and had discussions with Dean Sutin. He’s written me several job recommendations. Just an extraordinary guy.

COURIC: Along with Dean Sutin, Thomas Blackwell, a professor, and Angela Dales, a student, were both also killed. What is the reaction? I mean, this is such a shocking event, particularly for your community, which is a very quiet community normally?

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am. It’s just real shocking right now. Our hearts go out to, of course, Professor Sutin, or Dean Sutin’s family, and Professor Blackwell’s family, and Angela’s family as well. Professor Blackwell, and also Dean Sutin, had children, and everybody is just real worried about that. And it just seems kind of surreal right now.

COURIC: Well, Tracy Bridges, we thank you so much for talking with us this morning. And thank you for your quick–quick and steady action. I’m sure you were a big help given the–the chaos of the situation. Tracy, thank you so much.

Mr. BRIDGES: Yes, ma’am.

COURIC: Now, here’s Matt.

MATT LAUER, co-host:

Katie, thank you.

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Disgruntled student goes on shooting rampage, killing three and wounding three others


Today (7:00 AM ET) - NBC

ANN CURRY, anchor:

A small law school in Virginia, as you just heard, is reeling this morning after a shooting rampage on campus Wednesday. Three people were killed, including the dean of the law school. A suspect is in custody. NBC’s Virginia Cha is in Grundy, Virginia, with more on this story.

Virginia, good morning.

VIRGINIA CHA reporting:

Good morning, Ann.

The suspect faces arraignment this morning on three counts of capital murder. He’s accused of shooting to death two members of the faculty and one student. Officials say he had a history of mental instability, and that just before the shooting rampage, asked a professor, who he did not harm, to pray for him.

Students at this tiny law school shocked by the tragic killings. A struggling law student, 43-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, apparently angry about being suspended because of his grades. Police say he took out his frustration with deadly violence first shooting two faculty members, including L. Anthony Sutin, the dean of the Appalachian School of Law.

Mr. MICHAEL SLATER (Virginia State Police): The suspect then went downstairs to the first floor and shot the other students as he exited the building. As he walked out of the building, three students grabbed him and subdued him and forced him to the ground.

CHA: The school of just 170 students described as a tight knit community, now grieving over the death of their friends.

Three students seriously injured in that shooting are listed in fair condition this morning. The school is holding a memorial service later today, open to the public. Ann:

CURRY: NBC’s Virginia Cha. Thank you, Virginia.

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NBC’s Today show, 7:00 AM


Today (7:00 AM ET) - NBC

MATT LAUER, co-host:

Good morning. Death on campus. A 43-year-old law student is in custody in Virginia after going on a shooting rampage killing three and wounding three others before he was captured. The stunned community at Appalachian Law School holds a memorial service for the victims today, Thursday, January 17th, 2002.

Announcer: From NBC News, this is TODAY, with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, live from Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza.

LAUER: And welcome to TODAY on a Thursday morning. I’m Matt Lauer.

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

And I’m Katie Couric. Killed in this rampage, the dean of the school, a professor and a student. It’s just a terrible story.

LAUER: It really is. Apparently the gunman failed to make the grade last year and was allowed to come back this year, but he was suspended again for low marks and was on campus to discuss that with school officials. We’ll have details on the story from the newsdesk in a moment, and then we’ll talk to one of the students who helped to subdue the shooter.

Then we’ll talk about airport security. It is supposed to get much tighter tomorrow. That’s when airlines will be required to screen all baggage, the deadline set by the Airline Security Law passed after the September 11th attacks. But will the system be ready? And what about delays? We’ll talk to the transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, about that.

COURIC: And if you’ve been frustrated with long waits at the doctor’s office, how would you like your doctor on call for you all the time? Well, if you can cough up the money, you can take advantage of the newest trend, luxury medical care. We’re going to be talking with two doctors setting up this new boutique form of medicine. Plus, the curse of the cover, why one magazine is breaking with tradition and did not put a famous face on its cover. The question is, will the jinx be broken?

LAUER: Remember the miniseries “Roots?”

COURIC: Of course, I do. I sure do.

LAUER: A full week that stopped this nation 25 years ago, hard to believe. We’re going to look back at the groundbreaking television drama, and we’ll talk to one of the stars about its legacy.

COURIC: We’ll also show you the latest in workout clothes. They’re not just for the gym anymore. And I’ve got two scary words for you ladies, flash dance.

LAUER: Oh! All right, before we get to that, let’s head over to the newsdesk. Ann Curry has the overnight developments.

ANN CURRY, anchor:

All right, thanks a lot, Matt and Katie. Good morning.

Good morning, everybody.

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3 Slain at Law School; Student Is Held

Francis X. Clines
The New York Times

A distressed student facing suspension stormed through the campus of the Appalachian School of Law today with a handgun, killing the dean, a professor and a student and wounding three others before he was tackled by fellow students, the state police reported.

“Come get me, come get me,” the gunman was heard saying as terrorized witnesses ran for their lives here in this coal mining town in a remote corner of mountainous Appalachia.

“He was a time bomb waiting to go off,” Dr. Jack Briggs, a county coroner, told news reporters about the alleged assailant, Peter Odighizuwa, 42, a student from Nigeria. The authorities said the school had told Mr. Odighizuwa on Tuesday that he would be suspended because of failing grades.

State officials said that Mr. Odighizuwa, who was charged with three counts of capital murder, had a history of mental instability and that school authorities had sought to help him.

In a running assault, the gunman confronted and fatally shot the law school dean, L. Anthony Sutin, 42, who was a senior Justice Department official in the Clinton administration. Mr. Sutin was shot in his second-floor office, as was Thomas F. Blackwell, 41, a member of the faculty.

The third person killed, Angela Denise Dales, 33, of Vansant, Va., was described as a former law school employee who was widely admired for achieving her dream of finally enrolling as a student. She was shot in the school lounge with a .380 semiautomatic pistol.

The gunfire stunned the campus and surrounding town of 1,100 residents as it delivered death to a school envisioned in the 1990’s as a pastoral outpost to answer the chronic problems of educational need in one of the more distant and impoverished parts of Appalachia. It opened five years ago in a renovated junior high school and now has 170 students and 15 faculty members.

Mr. Sutin was praised by faculty and students as a dedicated pioneer at the school, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School who had specialized in legislative affairs for former Attorney General Janet Reno before turning to the school as a fresh adventure. Professor Blackwell, a graduate of Duke University School of Law, was recruited to the faculty from his law practice in Dallas.

The three wounded students, hospitalized in fair to critical condition tonight, were identified as Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Va., who was shot in the abdomen; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, who was shot in the throat; and Stacey Bean, 22, of Berea, Ky., who was shot in the chest.

“There were pools of blood all over,” Chase Goodman, a 27-year-old student, said in describing a scene punctuated with screams and gunfire.

“When I got there there were bodies laying everywhere,” said Dr. Briggs, who arrived at the first emergency alarm. Two victims suffered point-blank wounds “execution style,” one doctor at the scene said.

Mr. Odighizuwa was subdued by three law students who were experienced police officers, the authorities said.

“We’re trained to run into the situation instead away from it,” said one of the three, Mikael Gross, 34, of Charlotte, N.C., who ran to his car for his bulletproof vest and service pistol before tackling the suspect.

Mr. Gross said that when he returned to the building he saw the gunman strike Ted Besen, another former officer, in the head. Mr. Gross said that he and another former officer, Tracy Bridges, then tackled the man.

Students described Mr. Odighizuwa as a troubled, sometimes abrasive classmate who became particularly upset after receiving failing grades a year ago.

“The dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again,” Justin Marlowe, a first-year student from Richwood, W.Va., told The Associated Press. Students said that Mr. Odighizuwa had been separated from his wife and that they shared custody of their four children, an additional factor of stress after he failed his first-year classes.

“I knew he would destroy some property or take something from the school, but not kill people like he did,” said Zeke Jackson, 40, a student from Fort Worth , who is head of the Black Student Association.

Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a statement of condolence to Dean Sutin’s wife and their two children. “The entire Justice Department is mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant,” Mr. Ashcroft said.

Appalled witnesses emphasized the remoteness of the school as a presumed safety factor that failed here in this rustic outpost.

“You know, the World Trade Center is in New York, but Appalachian Law School is right here in a very small community in southwest Virginia,” Dr. Briggs told CNN. “This is about as close as you can get to a war zone.” The doctor said the shootings were “just a matter of him releasing his anger on the world, I guess.”

Gov. Mark R. Warner of Virginia, who was on the school’s board until he took office last week, commended the students who apprehended the suspect.

“My heart goes out to the school and the community,” Mr. Warner said. “I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply.”

http://www.nytimes.com

CORRECTION-DATE: January 21, 2002, Monday

CORRECTION:

An article on Thursday about a rampage shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., in which a student was charged, misstated the number of people shot to death in 1991 by a student at the University of Iowa. It was five, not four, besides himself.

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Law School Slayings;

Hugo Kugiya
Newsday (New York)

A student who had been dismissed from law school opened fire at the campus yesterday, shooting to death three people, including the dean of the small Appalachian School of Law in rural Grundy, Va., authorities said. Police said the gunman, identified as Peter Odighizuwa, 42, also wounded three female students at the school before being overpowered by classmates and taken into custody by police. The dead included Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell, said Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who served on the board of the law school until he took office last week. Police identified the third victim as a student, Angela Dales, 33. The three wounded students were hospitalized yesterday in fair condition. Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had been dismissed for academic reasons effective yesterday, authorities said. Qualls said Odighizuwa had a history of mental instability, of which school officials were aware. Justin Marlowe, a first-year law student from Richwood, W.Va., attended all the same classes as Odighizuwa. “He was a real quiet guy who kept to himself,” Marlowe said. “He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this.” Marlowe said Odighizuwa had flunked out a year ago and “the dean bent over backward to get him enrolled again.” Other students said he had failed first-year classes at least twice. When he arrived on campus yesterday, Odighizuwa first stopped in the office of Prof. Dale Rubin to talk about his grades and as he left he asked Rubin to pray for him, police said. He then walked to Sutin’s and Blackwell’s offices and shot each one with a .380-caliber pistol, said state police spokesman Mike Stater. Blackwell had taught contract law to Odighizuwa. Odighizuwa then went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Dales and seriously wounding three others, according to witnesses. 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.” Dr. Jack Briggs, the county medical examiner, said Odighizuwa was tackled by four male students as he left the building. The suspect was being held at the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder and three weapons counts, authorities said. The school will be closed for the rest of the week. “This affects everyone,” said a woman who works in the town’s library one-quarter mile away. “Most of the people in the town know at least some of the people at the law school. It’s heartbreaking.” The private law school opened in 1997 in a former junior high school building and graduated its first class of 34 in 2000. About 170 students are enrolled at the school, which has yet to be accredited by the American Bar Association. Tuition is $16,000 a year. Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, also taught two courses in constitutional law. He was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Hogan & Hartson before joining the U.S. Department of Justice. Blackwell, an associate professor, previously worked in private practice in Dallas. The school was opened with the hope that it would ease a shortage of lawyers and attract economic activity in the rural and depressed area. This story was supplemented with wire service reports.

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‘FAILED STUDENT’ KILLS DEAN


Newsletter

FOUR students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as ”executions”.

The four students tackled the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three other students critically injured.

The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene said the dean of the school, Anthony Sutin, had been ”executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point-blank range,” said Dr Jack Briggs.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed. It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a ”foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor. “They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The three students were described as being ”critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

The doctor added: ”The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off. There are lots of things that will come out in the trial that I think are probably pretty pertinent to his personality.”

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal-mining area’s economy and Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15.

Dr Briggs paid tribute to the dean and said: ”He was a real good guy.”

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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.

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EXPELLED LAW STUDENT KILLS 3 ON CAMPUS;

Stephanie Simon
Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

A student apparently irate over his failing grades killed three people and seriously wounded three others Wednesday at a small private law school in Grundy, Va., amid the coal fields of Appalachia, authorities said.

Other students tackled the gunman to the ground minutes after he stalked through the tiny campus of the Appalachian School of Law with a semiautomatic handgun—killing a student, a popular professor and the school’s dean.

State police said they were holding Peter Odighizuma, 43, in custody as the suspected gunman. He had been dismissed from the law school earlier Wednesday; other students said it was at least the second time that he had failed first-year classes. They described Odighizuma as a loner, a Nigerian immigrant who spoke with such a strong accent that it was difficult for them to understand him.

Odighizuma allegedly shot Professor Thomas Blackwell and Dean L. Anthony Sutin in their offices, then opened fire in the hallway and in a student lounge, where his classmates were gathered over lunch.

Sutin previously worked at the U.S. Justice Department for then-Attorney General Janet Reno, and as director of legislative affairs at the department before moving to the law school.

“The dean and the professor were executed at point-blank range,” said Dr. Jack Briggs, the county medical examiner. “The dean had a white shirt on, and you can see the two bullet holes in his back. You could see the powder burns.”

Two of the students were shot in the back, apparently as they attempted to flee the lounge, Briggs said. Police identified the slain student as Angela Dales.

Students who responded to the sound of the gunshots described a surreal scene of carnage in the lounge—and what seemed an interminable wait before police and paramedics arrived. Using folding coffee tables as makeshift stretchers, several students bundled the wounded into cars and drove them to the local hospital. Two other students, both former police officers, took control of the room and tried to maintain the crime scene.

Established five years ago, the school set forth a mission of training attorneys to serve rural Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

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COMMUNITY IN MOURNING AFTER COLLEGE MASSACRE

Hugh Dougherty
Press Association

A close-knit American community was today in mourning after a college student killed his dean, a lecturer and another student, and injured three women students during a shooting rampage.

The gunman, who has not been named, was overpowered by four other students while still wielding his semi-automatic handgun at the tiny college campus at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

The remote town was in shock after the shootings, with the dean of the college, a professor and a student all dead, while the three injured women were recovering in hospital after surgery.

Dr Jack Briggs, the first doctor on the scene, said the dean, Anthony Sutin, had apparently been shot twice in the head at point-blank range, while the professor, who has not been named, was shot while he lay wounded on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were fired after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range,” the doctor told Fox News.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on the rampage in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor.

“They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off. There are lots of things that will come out in the trial that I think are probably pretty pertinent to his personality.”

Harvard-educated Mr Sutin had been the top legal adviser to former US vice president Al Gore when he made his failed bid for the presidency in 1994 and had also been an assistant attorney-general, one of America’s top prosecutors.

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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.

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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.

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THREE KILLED AT LAW SCHOOL;

Rex Bowman
Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

A student suspended for poor grades is charged with killing three people and wounding three others yesterday at the Appalachian School of Law before fellow students tackled and subdued him, according to authorities.

L. Anthony Sutin, 42, the dean of the school, and associate professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, were in their offices when they were shot and killed. The third person killed was student Angela Dales, 33, of Vansant, according to state police.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a Nigerian student who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, has been charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony, state police said. He is being held in the Buchanan County Jail.

Odighizuwa was dismissed last week for poor grades and was notified that his financial aid would be suspended effective yesterday, said Chris Clifton, financial aid director in the office of student services.

Odighizuwa came into the financial aid office Tuesday and was threatening and verbally abusive, Clifton said.

“He was very hostile.” Clifton said. “This student had previously threatened the entire office of student services. He had even stolen his file once before.”

Clifton said he was in his office on the first floor yesterday when the shootings occurred at about 1:15 p.m.

“We heard a lot of commotion outside [the office] and heard some gunshots,” he said.

“When we heard all that, I immediately locked the door and I got the people in the office out. We climbed through a window - me, two employees and three students who were in the office. I went back in to see if everybody was OK. By the time I got in, the students had [the gunman] on the ground.”

The wounded students are Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, who was shot in the abdomen and arm and taken to Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, Tenn.; Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, who was shot in the back and was taken to Holston Valley; and Stacey Beans, 22, of Berea, Ky., who was shot in the chest and was flown to Bristol Regional Hospital.

All three were in fair condition last night, according to hospital officials.

State police spokesman Mike Stater said the suspect entered professor Dale Rubin’s office to discuss his grades and suspension.

“As he left that office, he reportedly asked professor Rubin to pray for him. The suspect then went into the offices of Sutin and Blackwell and opened fire with a Jennings .380 semiautomatic pistol,” Stater said.

“He then went downstairs and opened fire on the students, killing one and injuring the other three. As he walked out of the building, he was subdued by students and forced to the ground until Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies arrived to make the arrest.”

Zeke Jackson, of Fort Worth, Texas, a student at the law school, said of Odighizuwa: “He was a loner, somebody who would snap on you. He had an abrasive attitude.

“I thought he was going to hurt a student. I thought he was going to lash out at a student. He had been explosive when he was told he was wrong. I feel kind of guilty. I really wish I had talked to the dean of students or somebody. I wish I had gone into the dean’s office and said, ‘You need to get rid of this guy.’”

Dr. Jackie Briggs of Grundy, whose son-in-law is a student at the law school, said Odighizuwa’s wife was a nursing aide at Buchanan General Hospital. The nurses there had taken up a collection to “keep the kids from starving,” he said.

Odighizuwa’s wife had left him about three months ago and taken their four children with her, according to Clifton.

Del. Jackie T. Stump, D-Buchanan, disclosed the killings yesterday during a packed hearing on the state budget in the General Assembly Building in Richmond. The money committees observed a moment of silence to remember the victims.

Later, a tearful Stump, standing by the governor, told reporters, “You read about it and hear about it in other areas. When it comes home, it really hurts - good people.”

Gov. Mark R. Warner provided a state plane to Dr. Lucius F. Ellsworth, president of the Appalachian School of Law, to fly him back to Grundy. He had been in Richmond for a gathering of college presidents.

Warner, who had served on the law school’s board for almost two years, described the shootings as “a tragedy. We deplore this senseless act of violence. . . . I send out my personal sympathies to the families of the victims.”

At a news conference at the law school last night, Ellsworth said, “We are deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy. At this time, we find little meaning in these senseless acts. We know we can come together as the law school family in a loving, caring, supportive way.

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

U.S. Sen. George Allen, a member of the school’s board of trustees, said, “The staff and faculty at Appalachian have always gone far out of their way to provide individual attention to students, so the loss of a student, a faculty member and Dean Sutin have hit the school especially hard.”

Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, said, “It was with great sadness that I learned of the shootings. . . . As natives of Southwest Virginia, my wife, Marty, and I extend our sympathies to the families and friends who lost loved ones in the senseless act.”

The law school opened in 1997 in an old school building in the Buchanan mountain town of 1,100 residents. The school, which has an enrollment of about 170, was opened with the hope of easing the shortage of lawyers in Southwest Virginia.

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RAMPAGE LEAVES 3 DEAD;

Laurence Hammack
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Minutes after he was told that he had flunked out of law school, a student went on a shooting rampage Wednesday, killing three people and wounding another three at the Appalachian School of Law.

“Pray for me,” Peter Odighizuwa reportedly told a law professor before gunfire rang out on the normally tranquil campus.

Authorities said other students wrestled Odighizuwa to the ground outside the school’s main building following the afternoon shooting, which claimed the lives of the dean, a professor and a first-year student. One of the three wounded students was from Roanoke.

Odighizuwa - described by fellow students as a loner convinced that school officials were out to get him - was being held in the Buchanan County Jail on three counts of capital murder.

Anthony Sutin, 42, who as dean of the school had allowed Odighizuwa to re-enroll after he flunked out once before, was among the victims. Also killed were professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, and Angela Denise Dales, 33, a former staffer at the school who became a student last year.

In the months before the shooting, Odighizuwa had become increasingly distraught about his trouble in school and a marriage that was also failing, students said.

“He just thought everyone was conspiring against him,” student John Harris said.

As students restrained him outside the building, Odighizuwa “kept saying, ‘I tried to get help; I tried to get help,’ ” said Mike Melkersen, a student who came upon the scene minutes after the shooting. “He said: ‘I even went to church; I tried to get help.’ “

Virginia State Police spokesman Mike Stater said that Odighizuwa, who was from Nigeria, went to professor Dale Rubin’s office about 1:15 p.m. to discuss his academic suspension, which became effective Wednesday.

After telling Rubin to pray for him, the suspect then went to the second-floor offices of Sutin and Blackwell. Both men were then shot with a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, Stater said, and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Odighizuwa then went downstairs to a lobby, where Dales was shot along with three other students.

Rebecca Clair Brown, 38, of Roanoke, was shot in the abdomen and arm. She was listed in fair condition after surgery at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.

Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy, was shot in the throat and was listed in fair condition at the Kingsport hospital.

Stacey Bean, 22, of Berea, Ky., was shot in the chest. She was listed in fair condition after surgery at Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Dales, who was shot in the neck, was taken to Buchanan General Hospital in a hearse because it was the only vehicle at the scene that had a gurney, according to Dr. Jack Briggs, who has a family practice less than a mile from the school and was one of the first rescue workers on the scene.

Briggs said Dales died in the emergency room. “Everybody pitched in and tried to save these girls’ lives,” he said.

Minutes after the shooting, Odighizuwa walked out of the school and put his gun on the ground before he was confronted by passers-by. Two eight-shot magazines - both empty - were recovered by police.

After Odighizuwa was overpowered by students, police took him to the Buchanan County Jail.

Gov. Mark Warner, who previously served on the school’s board of trustees, said “We’ve experienced a great tragedy today. We deplore this senseless act of violence.”

The school will be closed for the rest of the week.

Zeke Jackson, president of the school’s black student association, said Odighizuwa was one of about 20 black students at the school.

Race was not the cause of Odighizuwa’s apparent resentment, Jackson said. But for some reason, the 42-year-old - known on campus as “Peter O” - became convinced that both faculty and students were behind his failure in the classroom, Jackson said.

“That was his prime motive: to get back at ASL,” Jackson said. “He used to say that people were messing with him, bothering him, trying to aggravate him.”

Odighizuwa, who often confided in Jackson about his problems, never made any direct threats that he would resort to violence, Jackson said. But whenever they tried to talk in detail about his problems, Odighizuwa became defensive, he said.

Jackson said that when Odighizuwa flunked out of school the first time in 2000, he never told his wife. He would continue to come to the campus, hanging out in the library but mostly keeping to himself.

Odighizuwa was allowed to re-enroll last fall - a decision that Sutin had a hand in, Jackson said.

“Dean Sutin was a wonderful guy,” Jackson said. “Dean Sutin didn’t have to give him another chance, but he did.”

Alex Vanburen, a second-year student who had several classes with Odighizuwa, said he “was a pretty isolated guy. He didn’t have a lot of friends.”

Some time last fall, Odighizuwa stood up in class and began to talk about how he could not afford groceries for his wife and children, Vanburen said. After that, students took up a collection for Odighizuwa and left the cash in his mailbox.

Odighizuwa never acknowledged receiving the money, he said.

Odighizuwa’s wife left him last September, Jackson said. She later returned long enough to claim their four small children, ages 3 to 9, and moved to a nearby community, he said. Since then, Odighizuwa had become increasingly despondent, he said.

“He wasn’t a good accepter of rejection,” Jackson said. “With his wife leaving him and people looking down on him at the law school, he didn’t handle it very well.”

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jackson and his friend Sallie Lawson came across Odighizuwa at the school’s library, sitting off to himself and reading The Wall Street Journal. Jackson tried to introduce his friend, but Odighizuwa hardly spoke.

“He was just weird,” Lawson said. “It didn’t feel right when he shook my hand.”

Authorities declined to say if Odighizuwa had made a statement. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Buchanan County General District Court.

It was not clear Wednesday how he came to enroll at the Appalachian School of Law, which was created in 1997.

Odighizuwa has been a naturalized citizen since 1989, Stater said.

Of the shooting, Stater said, “This incident was absolutely not connected to terrorism in any way, shape or form.”

Yet the events of Sept. 11 were on the minds of many in Grundy, where no one could recall a slaying of Wednesday’s magnitude.

“The World Trade Centers are a long way away,” Briggs said. “Grundy is right here.”

Shirley Trent Stanley, who had lived next door to Odighizuwa and his family until the couple separated and moved last fall, struggled to make sense of the shootings.

“I’d like to be on the map, for Grundy,” she said. “But not for this.”

Stanley said Odighizuwa’s wife, Abieyuma - whom Stanley called “Abby” - and the four boys had many friends. But Peter Odighizuwa was a peculiar neighbor who complained frequently that he was harassed wherever he went, Stanley said.

“He stayed in the house,” said Max Stanley, Shirley Stanley’s son. “You didn’t see him outside.”

Odighizuwa told the Stanleys he had come to the United States 20 years ago, and had worked in Ohio as a substitute teacher, cab driver and pizza delivery driver. He said he had a mathematics degree and had worked as an engineer. The family moved to Grundy in the summer of 2000.

Abieyuma Odighizuwa supported the family by working as an aide at Buchanan General Hospital. She was studying to be a nurse, Shirley Stanley said.

Shirley Stanley’s niece Jennifer Brewer, a retired psychiatric examiner, thought Peter Odighizuwa had been frustrated for a long time. She recalled a conversation with him before the Odighizuwas separated.

According to Brewer, Odighizuwa said: “You people in America are so wealthy. You have so much. You have the Statue of Liberty standing there saying, ‘Bring me your tired and your hungry and poor.’ I am a poor man but no one will help me. No one will help me feed my children.”

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VICTIMS TOUCHED MANY LIVES

Kimberly O’Brien
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Anthony Sutin was the dean students aspired to emulate.

Thomas Blackwell was the professor whose door was always open.

Angela Dales was the cheerful former recruiter for the school who was in her first year of law school.

All three died Wednesday when a recently dismissed student with a history of mental instability walked into the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy and went on a shooting spree.

Three others were wounded.

The news of the shooting sent shock waves across Virginia and beyond. In Florida, former Attorney General Janet Reno mourned the loss of Sutin, who was acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs before he left in 1999 to become dean of the fledging law school.

“In today’s shooting, I lost not only a former colleague, but a friend,” Reno said in an e-mailed statement. “Tony was an incredibly kind, exceptionally bright, and intensely dedicated public servant who was committed to bettering the welfare of all Americans.”

Attorney General John Ashcroft also issued a statement, calling Sutin, 42, a “dedicated public servant.”

At the Department of Justice, Sutin served as deputy director and general counsel for the Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. Before working for the government, he was a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where he worked for nine years specializing in civil litigation. While at the firm, he represented the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton / Gore 1992 campaign and the Tsongas for President campaign.

“Tony was an absolutely brilliant lawyer,” said Sandy Mayo, who worked with Sutin at the law firm. “He was very committed to delivering legal services to the poor and pro bono work.”

Mayo described Sutin, a 1984 Harvard Law School graduate, as “the easiest person in the world to get along with.”

At the Appalachian School of Law, where everyone seemed to know one another, Sutin was just as well-liked, students, alumni and colleagues said. Sutin was also an associate professor of law.

Paul Dull, a Roanoke lawyer who graduated in 2000 and is now president of its alumni association, called Sutin “the greatest guy you ever want to know.” Julia McAfee, a former adjunct professor, said Sutin was instrumental in the school’s receiving accreditation by the American Bar Association last year.

“Dean Sutin was one of those guys you aspired to be,” Dull said. “He thought being a lawyer was a commendable profession.”

Said second-year law student Alex Vanburen: “He came here because he wanted to give back. He wasn’t here because he wanted a job. A guy like that could get a job anywhere in the world.”

Sutin left his home in Northern Virginia for Grundy in 1999 with his wife, Margaret Lawton, and then-3-year-old son, Henry, who was adopted from Russia. Lawton is an adjunct professor at the law school.

In a story in April in The Roanoke Times, Sutin was quoted as saying he had found in Grundy the old-fashioned qualities of life, such as knowing all your neighbors and being able to leave your doors unlocked. Wednesday, Grundy residents said Sutin and his family had truly become part of the community.

“Wonderful people,” said lawyer Tom Scott. “Good citizens of the community.”

Last month, the couple adopted a second child, traveling to China to get their little girl, Clara Lis. Dull said he got a letter from Sutin this past weekend thanking him for a Christmas card and explaining about the new addition to the family.

“The legal community lost a great individual,” Dull said.

Also lost was Blackwell, 41, a professor who taught such classes as law office management and legal process. His wife, Lisa Blackwell, is the acquisitions librarian, according to the school’s Web site. Dull said he thought the Blackwells had several children.

McAfee, now a lawyer in Norton, said Blackwell was always very concerned about his students and worked long hours at the school to be available to them.

“He gave 110 percent,” McAfee said. “His door was always open.”

Vanburen described Blackwell as tough, but laid-back and always smiling. Everyone loved him, he said.

“His class was hard as hell,” Vanburen said. “It was hard, but it was hard because he taught you.”

Angela Dales, 33, the only student killed Wednesday, was a former recruiter for the school in her first year of law school. A single mother with a young daughter, Dales, of Vansant, was always a smiling, happy person, said Dull, who worked part time in the recruiting office while he was in law school.

Kenard Dales described his cousin as an intelligent, “easygoing and a real friendly person” who was easy to talk to.

“She was just really a sweet, nice person,” said Vanburen, who was recruited by Dales. “It was like she was a motivational speaker, except it wasn’t fake. It was real.”

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STUDENTS HEROICALLY TACKLE AND RESTRAIN SUSPECT

Paul Dellinger
Roanoke Times & World News (Roanoke, VA)

Todd Ross was walking toward the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday when he heard the shots.

Then he saw dozens of his fellow students pouring out of the main door. He would learn later that two faculty members and a student inside had been killed and that three other students had been wounded.

Ross, a third-year law student from Johnson City, Tenn., had no idea what was happening, but he retreated into the parking lot.

“That’s when he came out,” Ross said.

Peter Odighizuwa, who had been a student at the school, emerged with both hands in the air, Ross said. In one of them, he held a pistol.

Mike Stater, a Virginia State Police spokesman, later said the eight-shot Jennings .380-caliber semiautomatic was empty, but Ross had no way of knowing that.

“I yelled at him to throw his gun down,” Ross said. Ross stood between two cars in the parking lot in case he had to duck for cover.

Odighizuwa did put the gun onto the ground, Ross said. “I told him to walk towards me.” He said Odighizuwa started to do so.

Then another student, Ted Besen, approached Odighizuwa and the two started to struggle, Ross said. He said Odighizuwa began swinging at Besen. “I ran across the lot and tackled him,” he said.

The struggle probably lasted only a few seconds, Ross said. “With me and Ted, it was pretty rough. He put up a pretty good fight,” Ross said.

A third student, who had been a police officer before entering law school, got a pair of handcuffs from his car, and the three men got them onto Odighizuwa’s wrists, Ross said.

Odighizuwa stopped fighting after that. The other students stayed and watched him until Buchanan County deputies arrived three to five minutes later, Ross said.

It was only after Odighizuwa was taken into custody that Ross and the others learned that three people had been killed and three others wounded.

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THREE DIE AS US STUDENT GOES ON SHOOTING RAMPAGE

Foreign Staff
The Scotsman

A STUDENT killed three people and wounded three others in a shooting rampage yesterday at a law school in south-western Virginia.

Among the dead was Anthony Sutin, the dean of the school in the small town of Grundy, and another professor. Both were found “executed” in their offices, staff said. A student was also shot dead before others wrestled the gunman to the ground. Peter Odighizuma, 43, who had been suspended from the Appalachian School of Law earlier in the day, was being held in jail in Grundy in connection with the shooting, according to Virginia police.

He was described as a Nigerian student who failed his courses at the school last year, but was allowed to return.

Lieutenant Jason Miles of the state police said: “He was suspended from school effective today for some unknown reason and came back.”

Jack Briggs, a doctor who has a private practice half a mile from the college, said: “When I got there, there were bodies laying everywhere.” Dr Briggs said he had treated the suspect in the past year. “I think they were getting ready to tell him that he had not made the grade this year,” he added.

After Mr Sutin - the dean and a former official of the US justice department, who worked for the former president Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign - was shot dead, the gunman went downstairs into a common area and opened fire on a crowd of students, killing one and wounding three others. He was tackled by four male students as he left the building.

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

The weapon used appeared to be a single .38 semi-automatic handgun.

The three wounded students, airlifted from the scene, were described as being in a critical condition.

The shooting marked a tragic setback for recent attempts by authorities to improve the region’s image of lawlessness.

The law school in the Appalachian foothills, which has an enrolment of about 170 students, opened in 1997 with the hope of easing a historic shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of south-west Virginia. It has about 15 faculty members, including alumni of law schools at the prestigious University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Harvard and Howard universities.

Police in New York’s schools kept a wary vigil yesterday a day after two students were wounded in the first shooting inside a city school since 1994. One teenager remained in serious condition after two boys were shot from behind in a hallway in the Martin Luther King Jr High School in Manhattan. No suspect has been named.

American colleges and universities have stayed largely free of the wave of shootings that have swept US schools. Six years ago, an engineering student shot dead three professors who were about to review his thesis at a university in San Diego, California.

The killer was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison.

In the past two years, about 10,000 convicted criminals and others barred from buying guns have acquired weapons after faulty background checks.

Critics have long complained that American gun laws allow free and easy access to weapons for people from all walks of life, including children.

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Across the Nation


The Seattle Times

Felons easily purchased guns, advocacy group says

WASHINGTON—Since mid-1999, 9,976 felons and others legally barred from buying guns—including 343 in Washington—cruised past background checks and purchased firearms, an advocacy group said yesterday.

A report by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation said most states, including Washington, rely on outdated records and computer technology for background checks, which allows thousands of felons to purchase guns with little trouble. Twenty-two states received failing grades in the report for not maintaining maintain felony-conviction, mental-disability and domestic-violence records; Washington was given a “B-.”

Background checks to determine whether prospective gun buyers have criminal records have been required since 1994 under the Brady Act, staunchly opposed by gun-rights groups. The foundation advocates a “don’t know-don’t sell” policy for those with uncertain backgrounds.

The National Rifle Association agreed the system is sloppy but said the blame should fall on an out-of-control bureaucracy, not lawful gun owners.

Dismissed law student kills dean, professor, wounds 3

GRUNDY, Va.—A student who had been dismissed from law school went on a campus shooting spree 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. They were hospitalized in fair condition.

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.

Police fatally shoot iguana latched onto owner’s finger

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—Police shot and killed a 4-foot iguana after it latched onto its 14-year-old owner’s finger and bit off the tip.

Christopher Charlie’s mother called police, who tried unsuccessfully to stun the iguana with a Taser gun. Police then shot the iguana in an attempt to retrieve the finger tip, thought to be in the iguana’s stomach.

The fingertip was found in the yard, but doctors said it was too severely damaged to be reattached.

Suspect in 26 bank heists arrested—in front of bank

BRADENTON, Fla.—A man suspected of robbing 26 Florida banks in three years was arrested yesterday after police said they found him sitting in a car parked outside a bank with a gun in the front seat.

Raymond Norman, 45, of Tampa, was being held in the Sarasota County Jail, officials said. Armed-robbery charges were pending.

‘Controlled’ landing goes out of control; military pilot OK

SAVANNAH, Ga.—A military jet malfunctioned yesterday as it was landing, veering off the runway and catching fire. The pilot was slightly injured as he was ejected from the F/A-18 Hornet.

“It was a controlled landing that went out of control,” said Mike Wilson, a Chatham County police spokesman. He said the accident apparently was the result of a landing-gear problem.

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SCIENTISTS FIND UNIQUE MICROBES IN NORTHWEST HOT SPRINGS


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Scientists say the organisms are very similar to life as it might exist on Mars and other planets.

The one-celled organisms, known as Archaea, grow by consuming hydrogen that is produced by hot water reacting with bedrock 600 feet below the Beaverhead Mountains. They produce tiny amounts of methane as a byproduct of their metabolism.

Although types of Archaea have been found before, this community is unlike anything else on Earth. Details of the discovery appear in today’s issue of the Nature.

Microbes like these have been the subject of speculation for 30 years. But finding them was another matter. A team of seven government and university scientists found the microbes at the Lidy Hot Springs near the Idaho-Montana line.

Two professors and student

killed in law school shootings

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

The attacker also wounded three students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy. They were hospitalized in fair condition.

Dean 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.

Peter Odighizuwa, a 42-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, had gone to the school to meet with the dean about his academic dismissal, which went into effect yesterday, police said.

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SUSPENDED LAW STUDENT REPORTEDLY KILLS DEAN, TWO OTHERS ;

Wire Reports
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

A law school student who had just been suspended went on a shooting rampage at the school Wednesday, killing the dean, a professor and a student before he was wrestled to the ground and arrested, school officials and witnesses said.

Three students also were critically injured in the hail of gunfire at the Appalachian School of Law.

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

Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, school officials said. The third person slain was a student, said Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner.

State police identified the suspect as Peter Odighizuma, 43. Briggs said Odighizuma was a Nigerian who had flunked out last year and been allowed to return.

Odighizuma had been suspended from school earlier Wednesday, Qualls said. She said Odighizuma had a history of mental instability of which school officials were aware.

Sutin, a former Justice Department official who left the Clinton administration to become dean, 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.

The gunman was tackled by four male students as he left the building.

The wounded students were hospitalized in critical condition, the governor said. Qualls said the weapon used was a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

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

Justin Marlowe, a first-year law student from Richwood, W.Va., said the suspect had been in all 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 Odighizuma had flunked out a year ago and that “the d ean had bent over backward to get him enrolled again.”

Sutin arrived at the Justice Department in 1994, working on community policing issues, and then served as deputy associate attorney general. He was acting assistant attorney general in the office of legislative affairs until November 1998, when he left to join the school staff.

Sutin, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1984, also had worked for the Democratic National Committee and President Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, according to the Web site of Jurist, the Legal Education Network.

Sutin’s death prompted a statement of condolence from U.S. 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 statement said.

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.

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GUN NUT KILLS 3 AT LAW SCHOOL

Brian Flynn
The Sun

A STUDENT angry at his low grades shot dead three people at a law school yesterday.

The man went berserk with a handgun and also wounded three girl students. Peter Odighizuma, 43, was said to have opened fire in the dean’s office before targeting people throughout the small campus. Four students finally overpowered him at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

College dean Professor Anthony Sutin was shot in the head at point blank range. A lecturer and a student also died.

Student Chase Goodman said: “The guy was upset about his grades. He came back from lunch and started shooting.”

The gunman had been suspended by the college earlier in the day.

Local doctor Jack Briggs said: “It looked like a warzone, bodies everywhere. It appears the dean was executed.

“I used to treat the person who did the shooting. He was complaining of stress and was a timebomb waiting to go off.”

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Three shot dead at US law school

Roland Watson
The Times (London)

Washington: A college dean was among three people shot dead by a disgruntled student who rampaged through his Virginia law school firing an automatic handgun (Roland Watson writes).

Three others, all female students, were injured before the gunman, Peter Odighizuma, 43, an exchange student from Nigeria, was overpowered by fellow students at the Appalachian School of Law. Jack Briggs, the first doctor at the scene, said that some of the dead had been “executed”.

Anthony Sutin, the dean of the college in Virginia’s Appalachian mountains, had been an Assistant Attorney-General for legislative affairs in the Clinton Administration and a senior adviser for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. A lecturer, Thomas Blackwell, was also killed. The third victim, a student, was not named.

Dr Briggs said that he had treated the gunman for stress.

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Law school rampage kills 3 in Virginia

Fredrick Kunkle and Craig Timberg
Toronto Star

A failing student shot three people to death and wounded three more yesterday at the Appalachian School of Law, police said.

The ambitious school was created five years ago to bring newcomers and a new way of life to southwest Virginia’s poor and struggling coal-mining region.

The midday attack ended when students overpowered the gunman and held him for Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies, officials said. The law school was founded by community leaders eager to revitalize a region left decimated by the decline of the coal industry. Built in a refurbished junior high school near Grundy’s small downtown, Appalachian was living up to its promise, bringing fresh faces and economic activity.

One of those fresh faces was Anthony Sutin, a senior official in former president Bill Clinton’s justice department, who, along with his wife, Margaret Lawton, began to do exactly what the school’s founders had hoped. They both were on the faculty - Sutin was dean - and were active in the local arts council, their church and in civic life. He was among those killed.

“It’s the ultimate of ironic tragedies,” said Kent Markus, a former Harvard Law School roommate and fellow justice department official. “Here’s a case where the victim was one of the kindest … people imaginable, who saw his life as giving back.”

Police said the gunman, Peter Odighizuwa, first went to the school’s second-floor offices to discuss his academic standing with Professor Dale Reuben. When the conversation ended, Odighizuwa told Reuben to pray for him before walking down the hall to Sutin’s office about 1: 15 p.m. and opening fire at close range with a semi-automatic handgun, police said.

The attacker then shot Thomas Blackwell, a professor, to death in his office before walking downstairs to a lounge where he opened fire again, killing Angela Denise Dales, a 33-year-old student, and injuring three others, police said. Three students pounced on the gunman.

Police said Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was dismissed from the school yesterday because of his grades. Odighizuwa, 43, was described as a father of four who drove taxis in Chicago before finding the law school on a Web site.

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Shooting defendant ordered held


United Press International

A failed law student charged with shooting and killing two faculty members and another student at Appalachian School of Law was ordered held without bond Thursday during his first appearance in Buchanan County General District Court.

Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, said he was sick and needed help.

Odighizuwa, covering his face with a green court document, told a judge he was supposed to see a doctor and didn’t have his medication.

The judge set another preliminary hearing for March 21 and appointed an attorney to represent the student.

He is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and several counts of using a firearm to commit a felony.

Meanwhile, a memorial service was held at Grundy Baptist Church for the three victims of the shooting rampage Wednesday. Dead are law school dean Anthony Sutin, 42, associate professor Thomas Blackwell, 41; and student Angela Dales, 33.

Three other students were severely wounded in the shooting before other students were able to knock Odighizuwa to the ground and hold him for police.

Authorities said Odighizuwa had just been informed he had either failed out of college for the second time or had been placed on academic suspension when he went into the offices of Sutin and Blackwell and shot them at close range.

They said he then went down a flight of stairs and opened fire on several students before fleeing out the door. The other students caught him as he exited the building.

Classes at the school were canceled until Tuesday, Jan. 22. Authorities plan to bring grief counselors to campus.

Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brandeis University, was a former acting assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice and a lawyer for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992.

Before joining the government, Sutin was a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm, where he specialized in civil litigation.

Blackwell was a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and the Duke University School of Law who specialized in business organizations, intellectual property and technology law. He was an attorney in Dallas, Texas, before joining the law school.

The Appalachian School of Law opened Aug. 11, 1997, in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town with two traffic lights and a population of 1,118.

Grundy, located in a mountainous area about 260 miles west of Richmond, Va., was initially a logging community and coal mining town, but was heavily hit by a 1977 flood that damaged 228 buildings.

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Gunman kills three at Va. law school

Brian Mcneill
University Wire

A shooting rampage Wednesday by a disgruntled student at the Appalachian Law School left three dead, including the school’s dean, who was also a former acting assistant U.S. attorney general.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a Nigerian resident of Grundy, was apparently angered that he was going to be expelled from school because of low grades, said Mike Stater, public information officer for Virginia State Police.

At about 1:15, Odighizuwa went to the office of Dale Reuben, a professor at the school, to discuss his academic suspension that went into effect Wednesday. As he left the office, police say Odighizuwa told Reuben to pray for him.

Odighizuwa then allegedly entered Dean L. Anthony Sutin’s second floor office and shot the administrator at point-blank range with a .380 semiautomatic handgun. The suspect then allegedly entered the office of Thomas Blackwell, a 41-year-old professor, and shot him point blank as well, police said.

As Odighizuwa left the building, police say he sporadically opened fire on a group of students, killing Angela Denise Dales, a 33-year-old student at the school, and wounded three other students.

Police say a number of students then tackled Odighizuwa and subdued him until police arrived.

Rebecca Brown, a resident of Roanoke, was shot in the abdomen and arm and taken to Bristol Regional Hospital. Martha Short, a resident of Grundy, was shot in the neck and taken to Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport. Stacey Bean, a resident of Kentucky, was shot in the chest and taken to Bristol Regional Hospital.

Hospital officials and police could not comment on the wounded students’ conditions Wednesday night.

Odighizuwa is being held at Buchanan County Jail and is charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, police said. More charges will be added in the coming days that address the wounded students, police said.

Zeke Jackson, a friend and fellow student of Odighizuwa’s at the law school, said the suspect had an “abrasive, ‘everybody’s against me’ attitude,” and typically kept to himself.

Jackson said Odighizuwa was suspended from the law school last year for poor grades, but Sutin, the murdered dean, decided to give him a second chance.

However, police say that the suspect once again received poor marks in the fall 2001 semester.

Jackson said the failing grades, coupled with his wife and children leaving him in September, left Odighizuwa agitated, and Jackson became worried the suspect was going do something to get back at the school.

“I just knew he was going to do something,” Jackson said. “I thought he’d just take something, or break something. I never thought he’d hurt anyone.”

The law school was opened in 1997 in an attempt to help revitalize Grundy, a struggling coal-mining town on the Virginia-West Virginia border. The school has an enrollment of approximately 170 and has 15 faculty members.

Sutin was a senior official in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department and was also an associate professor at the school.

“The ASL community is profoundly shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” said a statement issued by the law school. “We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.”

A memorial service will be held Thursday at noon in the Grundy Baptist Church, located next to the law school.

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Law school shooting kills 3, critically wounds 3

Associated Press
Ventura County Star (California)

GRUNDY, Va. (AP)—A law school student upset about his grades 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 four male students as he left the building.

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

Other details were not immediately available, but Qualls said the weapon used was a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

The three wounded students were taken to Buchanan General Hospital, Qualls said. The governor said they were in critical condition.

“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.

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GRUNDY IS SMALL VALLEY TOWN WHERE LIFE IS HARD

Lon Wagner
The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Grundy is a tiny town tucked deep in the valleys of southwestern Virginia.

It is known for several things: devastating floods that seem to come about every 20 years; a high school wrestling team that routinely wins state titles; and a decade-long effort to thwart flooding by bulldozing its old business district and rebuilding across the river.

The Appalachian School of Law, the location of Wednesday’s shootings, was established in 1997 in the town’s old junior high and elementary schools and sits in the heart of Grundy.

The law school and the town’s move are part of an effort to revitalize Grundy, which has gone boom and bust several times since its founding.

The town is surrounded by ridge after ridge of 2,000-foot-tall mountains. The business district was built at the confluence of the Levisa River and Slate Creek, one of the few flat, buildable pieces of land in Buchanan County.

By 1920 or so, lumber companies had cut down all the virgin oak and yellow poplar. Just as they left town, coal was discovered and Norfolk & Western laid a railroad to haul it out.

In the 1930s, then again in the early 1970s, the small town was flush with coal money.

In 1977, 15 inches of rain fell on Grundy during one day, raced down steep mountain slopes and a wall of water surged through the downtown.

Shortly after that, coal got pushed aside by cheap oil.

Grundy residents have spent the past 25 years hoping for coal prices to recover, and trying to flood-proof the town. It is now home to 1,150.

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Dean, 2 Others Fatally Shot At Rural Virginia Law School

Fredrick Kunkle and Craig Timberg
The Washington Post

A failing student allegedly shot three people to death and wounded three others yesterday at the Appalachian School of Law, the ambitious school created five years ago to bring newcomers and a new way of life to southwest Virginia’s struggling coal-mining region.

The midday attack ended when students overpowered the gunman and held him for Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies, officials said.

The law school was founded by community leaders eager to revitalize a region decimated by the decline of the coal industry. Built in a refurbished junior high school near Grundy’s small downtown, Appalachian had begun to live up to its promise, bringing fresh faces and economic activity. One of those fresh faces was L. Anthony Sutin, a senior official in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department who, along with his wife, Margaret Lawton, began to do exactly what the school’s founders had hoped. They both were on the faculty—Sutin was dean—and were active in the arts council, their church and civic life.

He was among those killed yesterday.

“It’s the ultimate of ironic tragedies,” said Kent Markus, Sutin’s Harvard Law School roommate and fellow Justice Department official. “Here’s a case where the victim was one of the kindest . . . people imaginable, who saw his life as giving back.”

Police said the student, Peter Odighizuwa, went to the school’s second-floor offices to discuss his academic standing with professor Dale Reuben. When the conversation ended about 1:15 p.m., Odighizuwa told Reuben to pray for him, walked down the hall to Sutin’s office and opened fire at close range with a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

The attacker then fatally shot Thomas F. Blackwell, a professor, in his office before walking downstairs to a lounge where he opened fire again, killing Angela Denise 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.

Police said Odighizuwa is a Nigerian immigrant who was suspended from the school yesterday because of his grades. People in the remote mountain town of 1,100 described Odighizuwa, 43, as a father of four who drove taxis in Chicago before finding the law school on a Web site.

He was charged with three counts of capital murder and three weapons violations and was being held in the Buchanan County jail.

Odighizuwa was one of the newcomers welcomed by Grundy residents since the founding of the school. He held an out-of-state real estate agent’s license but was unsuccessful in finding work at any of Grundy’s realty firms, instead taking a job in a grocery store, said David Branham, 24, an agent in his family’s insurance and real estate business. Branham said Odighizuwa arrived in town about 1 1/2 years ago.

Jim Wayne Childress, a lawyer in Grundy who was one of the first to graduate from Appalachian Law, said Odighizuwa’s wife was a nurse at Buchanan General Hospital and supported the family while her husband went to school.

“He had a little bit of financial trouble,” Childress said. “The community pitched in and helped him out a bit.”

News of the shooting spread rapidly through the close-knit community.

“It’s a small town, and everybody knows each other,” said Bill Neeley, 45.

“The professors were very involved in the community,” said Neeley, who lives in town and works in the corporate office for Food City there. “I guess a good word to describe everyone is amazed and shocked by what they’ve seen today. You read and you hear about things like this, but you never expect it to happen here.”

Sutin, particularly, was well known. The promise of the law school lured him from Washington at the height of his career. “He enjoyed the idea of getting out of D.C., into a different environment,” said Cliff Sloan, a Harvard classmate who is general counsel for the Internet operations of The Washington Post and Newsweek. “And I know he felt strongly he could make a contribution.”

Sutin, a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, was dean and associate professor of law at Appalachian. He had worked on election law and campaign finance issues at the Hogan & Hartson law firm in the District. He worked for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992. He was formerly acting assistant attorney general for the office of legislative affairs at the Department of Justice.

“Tony was an incredibly kind, exceptionally bright and intensely dedicated public servant who was committed to bettering the welfare of all Americans,” said former attorney general Janet Reno. “One of his major accomplishments was helping to bring community policing to cities and towns across the nation.”

Markus said Sutin had a passion for politics and public service but was eager to have a more direct connection with the people he was helping.

“He saw this as a much more tangible way that he could make a difference,” Markus said.

Sutin had just returned from China, where he and his wife had adopted a 14-month-old girl.

Blackwell graduated with highest honors from Duke University’s law school and practiced in Dallas before becoming a professor. He taught contracts and intellectual property. His wife also is on the school’s faculty.

Buchanan County Attorney Mickey McGlothlin called Sutin and Blackwell “two of the finest gentlemen I had ever met.” McGlothlin’s wife is on the board of the law school.

At least 18 members of the board were in Richmond yesterday to host a reception for new Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), who, until his swearing-in, was also a member of the board.

Jackie R. Briggs, a former Navy doctor and former emergency room physician from Grundy, was among the first on the scene of the shootings. He said it was clear that Sutin and Blackwell were shot at close range in their offices.

“This was a slaughter,” Briggs said.

He also said that he had treated Odighizuwa since his arrival in Grundy and that Odighizuwa had a reputation at the law school and around town as a troubled man.

“Everybody knows this guy,” Briggs said. “He is a walking time bomb.”

The shooting has left this experiment in coal country shaken, but its founders said they would move on. “We’ll go forward as we have since this school started,” said Joseph E. Wolfe, vice chairman of the board. “It’s certainly going to be something that’s going to be ingrained in the history of the school.”

Staff writers Michael D. Shear, R.H. Melton and Maria Glod and researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.

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Gunman on rampage at US college


Western Morning News (Plymouth)

FOUR students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college last night, killing three people in what a doctor described as “executions”.

The four students tackled the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three other students critically injured. The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene told Fox News the dean of the school, Anthony Sutin, had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range,” said Dr Jack Briggs.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor. “They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year. He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave. He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The three students were described as being “critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Failed law student ‘executes’ three in campus shooting;

Flavia Munn
Western Daily Press

THREE people were killed at a US college last night after a failed student went on a shooting spree.

The college dean and a professor were among those gunned down when the man opened fire at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, deep in rural Virginia.

A further three students were critically injured before the gunman was overpowered by four other students. The students managed to hold down the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol until police arrived.

The gunman’s doctor, who was first on the scene, described the killings as “executions” and said his patient was like a “timebomb waiting to go off.”

It comes after two teenagers were shot dead last week at a New York school and around 27 people have been killed in school shootings in America in the past three years.

In last night’s incident the dean, Anthony Sutin, was shot in the head and another member of staff was shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

Dr Jack Briggs told Fox News: “It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range. Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and was on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down, ” said the doctor.

“They got him down and kept him for the police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The three students were described as being “critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine.

I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off.”

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal mining area’s economy and Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15.

Dr Briggs paid tribute to the dean, who was reported to have been the chief legal adviser to former presidential candidate Al Gore’s failed bid for the White House in 2000.

He said: “He was a real good guy.”

The three female students who were injured were being treated in hospital last night.

One victim was said to be in a “fair” condition and the other two were undergoing surgery.

The UK’s worst school shooting was the Dunblane massacre when Thomas Hamilton opened fire on a primary school in 1996, killing 16 children and one teacher.

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NIGERIAN STUDENT WHO HAD BEEN DISMISSED IS CHARGED

Rex Bowman
Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, NC)

An angry student killed three people and wounded three more yesterday at the tiny Appalachian School of Law before fellow students tackled and subdued him, according to authorities.

L. Anthony Sutin, 42, the dean of the school, and Thomas Blackwell, 41, an associate professor, were in their offices when they were shot. The third person killed was student Angela Dales, 33, according to state police.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a Nigerian student who had been dismissed from the school, was charged with three counts of capital murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, said Mike Stater, a spokesman for the state police. Odighizuwa is being held in the Buchanan County Jail.

He was dismissed last week for poor grades and notified that his financial aid would be suspended effective yesterday, said Chris Clifton, the financial-aid director in the office of student services. Odighizuwa came into the financial-aid office Tuesday and was threatening and verbally abusive, Clifton said.

“He was very hostile.” Clifton said. “This student had previously threatened the entire office of student services. He had even stolen his file once before.”

Clifton said he was in his office on the first floor yesterday when the shootings occurred about 1:15 p.m.

“We heard a lot of commotion outside (the office) and heard some gunshots. Two students had just left our office. Apparently he (the gunman) met them in the hallway next to the courtyard. When we heard all that, I immediately locked the door and I got the people in the office out,” Clifton said.

“We climbed through a window - me, two employees and three students who were in the office,” Clifton said. “I went back in to see if everybody was OK. By the time I got in, the students had (the gunman) on the ground.”

The wounded students are Rebecca Claire Brown, 38, of Roanoke, Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy and Stacey Bean, 22, of Berea, Ky. All three were in fair condition last night, according to hospital officials.

Stater said that the suspect went into professor Dale Rubin’s office to discuss his grades and his suspension. As he left that office, he asked Rubin to pray for him, according to reports.

The suspect then went into the offices of Sutin and Blackwell and opened fire with a Jennings .380 semiautomatic pistol.

He then went downstairs and started shooting at the students, killing one and injuring the other three. As he walked out of the building, he was subdued by students and forced to the ground until Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies arrived to make the arrest.”

The law school opened in 1997 in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a mountain town of 1,100 residents.

The school, which has an enrollment of about 170, was opened with the hope of easing a shortage of lawyers in southwest Virginia.

Zeke Jackson of Fort Worth, Texas, a student at the law school, said of Odighizuwa: “I thought he was going to hurt a student. I thought he was going to lash out at a student. He had been explosive when he was told he was wrong. I feel kind of guilty. I really wish I had talked to the dean of students or somebody. I wish I had gone into the dean’s office and said, ‘You need to get rid of this guy.’”

Dr. Jackie Briggs of Grundy said that Odighizuwa’s wife is a nurse’s aide at Buchanan General Hospital and that the nurses there had taken up a collection to “keep the kids from starving.”

Odighizuwa’s wife had left him about three months ago and taken their four children with her, Clifton said.

Delegate Jackie T. Stump, D-Buchanan, disclosed the killings during a packed hearing on the state budget in the General Assembly Building. The money committees observed a moment of silence to remember the victims.

Later, a tearful Stump, standing by the governor, told reporters, “You read about it and hear about it in other areas. When it comes home, it really hurts - good people.”

Rex Bowman is a staff writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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


Xinhua

WASHINGTON, January 16 (Xinhua)—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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Students charge gunman, held him down for police

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Tracy Bridges didn’t have much time to think when he saw suspected killer Peter Odighizuwa on the front lawn of the Appalachian School of Law.

Odighizuwa was holding a gun and so was Bridges, a student and sheriff’s deputy.

“I just reacted,” said Bridges, 25, who tackled Odighizuwa with classmates Todd Ross, 30, and Ted Besen, 37, moments after a shooting spree at the school Wednesday left three dead and three wounded.

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 Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell dead in their offices. Student Angela Dales later died of gunshot wounds.

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

“Hopefully if I’m ever on the other end of something like this, someone would try to help me,” Bridges said.

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

Ross downplayed the notion that they were heroes.

“I didn’t do anything until I knew I was safe,” he said.

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

Chris Clifton, the school’s financial officer, said he met with Odighizuwa on Tuesday afternoon with other school officials to notify him that he was being permanently dismissed for poor grades. Odighizuwa, who had flunked out and then was readmitted a year before, would have to pay back $9,250 in federal school loans.

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,” Bridges said.

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.”’

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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.

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Dean, prof, student dead in shooting rampage at Virginia law school; man who flunked out held

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Peter Odighizuwa returned to his law school campus hoping to get another chance from his dean after flunking out for a second time. But he came armed with a pistol and, moments after being rejected, authorities say he started firing.

Odighizuwa shot his dean and a professor to death in their offices and then opened fire on a crowd of students, killing one and injuring three others before students tackled the gunman and handcuffed him, officials said.

“He was angry. He thought he was being treated unfairly, and he wanted to see his transcript,” said Chris Clifton, the school’s financial aid officer.

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

Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Grundy General District Court.

Odighizuwa went to the campus of 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 contract law to Odighizuwa, with a .380-caliber pistol, authorities and students said.

Police said the third person slain was student Angela Dales, 33. The injured students were in fair condition at area hospitals.

The suspect, 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. Clifton met with Odighizuwa a day earlier when the student learned he was to be kicked out of school.

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.

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 students.

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

Odighizuwa left the building and dropped his gun after being confronted. Students then tackled him and helped hold him down. A student who is a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa kept saying, “I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to go,” said student Todd Ross, 30, of Johnson City, Tenn., who helped subdue the alleged shooter.

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,” Marlowe said. “He didn’t talk to anybody, but he gave no indication that he was capable of something like this.”

“The dean bent over backwards to get him enrolled again” when Odighizuwa flunked out last spring, Marlowe said.

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

“I knew he’d do something like this,” said Zeke Jackson, 40, who tried to recruit him for the school’s 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 the Justice Department to help found the school, and had worked for the Democratic National Committee and Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, 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.

Blackwell moved to the area from Dallas 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 somewhat new to the area, she said, “he fit in like a glove.”

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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.”’

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Suspect in law school shooting tells judge he is sick

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

A former law student who is accused of killing his dean, a law professor and another student and wounding three others told a judge Thursday that he is sick and needs help.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, shuffled into Buchanan County General District Court in leg chains, surrounded by police officers.

Hiding his face behind his green arrest warrant, Odighizuwa told Judge Patrick Johnson, “I was supposed to see my doctor. He was supposed to help me out … I don’t have my medication.”

Odighizuwa went to the Appalachian 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.

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

Prosecutors have charged Odighizuwa with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted capital murder and six charges for use of a firearm in a felony.

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.”

Court records show that Odighizuwa was arrested Aug. 15 for assault and battery of his wife, Abieyuwa Odighizuwa. The police report said he hit his wife in the face with his fist and bruised her right eye. A hearing is set for Aug. 6.

When Johnson said he would appoint defense lawyer James C. Turk Jr. to represent him, Odighizuwa asked for Tazewell attorney James Carmody, who is representing him in the assault case. But Johnson appointed Turk and said, “Once you’ve talked with him, I’m sure you’ll see he can help you.”

Odighizuwa will remain held without bond pending a preliminary hearing March 21. Carmody declined to comment when reached by telephone.

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.

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.

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.

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Woman shot at law school went to Paducah high school


The Associated Press State & Local Wire

A Paducah man said he watched as his friend and former high school classmate was shot by a gunman who killed three at a western Virginia law school on Wednesday, the man’s father said.

Sam Clymer, a student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., said he saw Stacey Beans, 22, get wounded by a bullet, Clymer’s dad, McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer, told The Paducah Sun.

Beans was shot in the chest, hospital officials said. She underwent surgery at a Bristol, Tenn., hospital the day of the shooting and was in fair condition on Thursday.

Peter Odighizuwa, 43, a former student at the school, is accused of killing his dean, a professor and another student. Police said he was upset about being expelled from school for failing grades.

Clymer said his son planned to drive to the hospital to see Beans.

“He sounded really depressed about it and wanted to check on Stacey,” Craig Clymer said.

Beans is the stepdaughter of David Wrinkle, an assistant McCracken county attorney.

Attorneys around the McCracken County Courthouse described Beans as a bright and articulate woman who couldn’t wait to become a lawyer. She graduated from Berea College last year.

In high school, Beans was a member of the choir, German club and mock trial team, according to a 1996 school yearbook.

Odighizuwa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, went to the law school on Wednesday to talk to his dean, L. Anthony Sutin, about his dismissal for failing grades, officials said. He allegedly shot Sutin and professor Thomas Blackwell, as well as 33-year-old student Angela Dales, officials said.

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Town feels ‘the deepest pain’

Chris Kahn
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

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 questions of “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 outside the church that she would seek the death penalty.

Tolliver then entered the school’s cafeteria with about 150 others to watch the memorial 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.”

Some were still shaken by the events of Wednesday, and by the losses.

“We’ve never had something this scary,” said Constance C. Bausell, 52, a school teacher who said she knew Blackwell from the church they both attended.

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.”

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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.

/duplicates | 265

Wed, 16 Jan 2002

Gunman shoots six at Virginia law school in Appalachian foothills


The Associated Press

A gunman killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree Wednesday at the Appalachian School of Law, officials said.

Among the dead was the dean, Anthony Sutin, said Ellen Qualls, spokeswoman for Gov. Mark Warner. She said a student and another member of the faculty were also killed.

State police believe students apprehended the suspect, Qualls said.

Three students were wounded and taken to Buchanan General Hospital, Qualls said. She said the weapon was a .380 semiautomatic handgun.

A man who answered the phone at the law school refused to comment.

The Buchanan County law school opened in 1997 in a renovated junior high school. The school’s enrollment is about 170.

Grundy is in the Appalachian foothills, 120 miles west of Roanoke.

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

Roger Alford
The Associated Press

A law school student upset about his grades 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 four male students as he left the building.

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

Other details were not immediately available, but Qualls said the weapon used was a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

The three wounded students were taken to Buchanan General Hospital, Qualls said. The governor said they were in critical condition.

“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.

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Shooting rampage at Va. law school kills three, leaves three others wounded


The Associated Press

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 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.

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.

Alleged shoe bomber accused of being trained al-Qaida terrorist

BOSTON (AP) - The airline passenger accused of trying to ignite explosives in his shoes was indicted Wednesday on charges of being an al-Qaida-trained terrorist whose goal was to blow up the plane and kill the nearly 200 people aboard.

Richard Reid, a 28-year-old British citizen and convert to Islam, could get five life sentences if convicted.

The indictment, issued by a federal grand jury in Boston, alleges Reid attempted to kill the 197 passengers and crew aboard a Paris-to-Miami American Airlines flight Dec. 22 before he was tackled and the jetliner was diverted to Boston.

Reid did “attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction … consisting of an explosive bomb placed in each of his shoes,” the indictment said

The indictment said Reid “received training from al-Qaida in Afghanistan.”

Three former SLA members arrested in deadly 1975 bank robbery near Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Five former members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, including former fugitive Sara Jane Olson, were charged Wednesday in connection with a deadly bank robbery carried out 27 years ago.

Three of the former members of the SLA, the 1970s radical group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, were taken into custody at their homes, authorities said. Olson, known as Kathleen Soliah at the time of the robbery, was expected to turn herself in later Wednesday in Los Angeles. The fifth suspect remained at large.

Olson, Emily Harris, ex-husband Bill Harris, Mike Bortin and James Kilgore were charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a bank customer during a 1975 holdup in the suburb of Carmichael, authorities said.

Emily Harris was arrested at her home in Los Angeles, her ex-husband was taken into custody in Oakland, and Bortin was arrested in Portland, Ore. Kilgore has remained at large since the 1970s.

“Now is the time to seek justice for Myrna Opsahl,” the woman slain during the robbery, Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully said. Arraignments were scheduled Friday.

Fired auditor knew back in August that Enron whistleblower was warning people about accounting practices

WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior auditor questioned Wednesday in the Enron affair knew back in August that a company whistle-blower was warning about the energy giant’s financial practices that eventually led it into bankruptcy, congressional investigators said.

The whistle-blower, Enron executive Sherron Watkins, told a friend and former colleague at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm about her concerns, which focused on outside partnerships used by Enron executives to keep hundreds of millions of dollars off the company’s books.

A hurried meeting took place Aug. 21 and Andersen’s chief auditor for the Enron account, David Duncan, participated. The Arthur Andersen meeting took place the day before Watkins detailed her concerns in a meeting with Enron Chairman Ken Lay.

“It’s now clear to us that key players at Andersen as well as Enron knew of the growing problems months before the company imploded,” said Ken Johnson, spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Committee investigators questioned Duncan for several hours Wednesday in what Republican and Democratic committee staffers said was a valuable information-gathering session provided many leads to investigators.

U.S. believes al-Qaida not yet able to produce chemical or biological weapons

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials have tentatively concluded Osama bin Laden’s terrorist group, al-Qaida, had not developed the means to produce chemical, biological or radiological weapons at the time the United States began bombing Afghanistan in October.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday that weeks of searching more than 40 sites in Afghanistan yielded diagrams, materials and reports that indicated “an appetite for weapons of mass destruction.”

“In terms of having hard evidence of actual possession of weapons of mass destruction, I do not have that at this stage,” he told a Pentagon news conference.

Of 50 suspected al-Qaida sites identified so far, 45 have been thoroughly examined, officials said.

Rumsfeld said there may yet be an exception to his statement that no terror weapons have been found. He said he had been shown photos of canisters found recently at a former al-Qaida site in Afghanistan which could contain chemical agents. Their contents have yet to be examined, he said.

AIDS overwhelms vaccine protection in Harvard monkey study

By The Associated Press

In a study that illustrates how cunning a foe AIDS is, a monkey that was given an experimental AIDS vaccine died after the virus changed just one of its genes.

HIV, which causes AIDS, already is known to mutate and grow impervious to standard AIDS drugs in at least half of all Americans being treated for the infection.

Now researchers have seen a similar outcome with an experimental vaccine that tries to stop the virus from multiplying. The mutation occurred in one of eight vaccinated rhesus monkeys in a Harvard experiment.

The findings were published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

Scientists who reviewed the results described the monkey’s death as “more disappointing than surprising.”

It does not mean that AIDS vaccines are doomed to fail, they said, but illustrates how the virus will not be easily defeated or even contained anytime soon.

Kmart stock sinks to under $2 amid bankruptcy speculation

DETROIT (AP) - Shares of Kmart Corp. stock dropped below $2 Wednesday as credit agencies cut its debt ratings amid speculation the discount retailer is considering filing for bankruptcy.

Kmart has been struggling to compete against the lower prices of rivals Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., battling the nationwide recession while mounting its aggressive restructuring effort.

In a news release announcing ratings downgrades, Fitch Inc. said it appears increasingly likely Kmart will choose to file for bankruptcy.

Sources close to the company, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the possibility of filing for Chapter 11 was discussed at a regularly scheduled meeting of Kmart’s board of directors this week. So far, the company has remained silent on its financial future.

Robin Williams turns menacing in somber thriller ‘One Hour Photo’

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - Robin Williams has provided some of the darkest and lightest moments at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

First, he menaced the crowds with “One Hour Photo,” a grim story in which he plays a joyless photo clerk who dangerously fixates on a family. Then, Williams had people rolling in the aisles as he turned a question-and-answer session on the movie into an impromptu standup routine.

“This was a bizarre, creepy movie. Now coming up and making people laugh, it’s like being an emotional sorbet,” Williams said after the movie’s premiere last weekend.

Williams cracked wise on why he chose such a dark role (“Because Mr. Rogers On Ice was already taken”), on his character’s fuzzy blondish hair (“They cut my hair with a Roto-Rooter”), on security for upcoming Winter Olympics events around Park City (anthrax-antsy guards shouting, “There’s white powder everywhere!” then being told, “It’s snow, sir”).

Best-known for sympathetic, lovable characters in such films as “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society,” Williams has three movies coming out this year in which he plays the heavy. Preceding “One Hour Photo,” which opens this fall, Williams plays a murder suspect opposite Al Pacino in “Insomnia” and a former children’s show host gunning for revenge against the man who replaced him in the black comedy “Death to Smoochy,” directed by Danny DeVito.

Sackmaster Strahan beats Urlacher for Defensive Player honors

By The Associated Press

The sack has become the most glorified defensive play in the NFL, a major reason why Michael Strahan is The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.

Strahan, who set an NFL record with 22 1/2 sacks for the New York Giants, earned a seven-vote margin over Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher in balloting announced Wednesday.

“Only seven,” Strahan said with a huge smile that showed off his famous gap-tooth look. “I’m disappointed, but I’ll take it.”

Nothing was disappointing about the defensive end’s performance this season.

Strahan, one of the league’s most popular players for his outgoing, entertaining yet humble manner, always has been a fearsome pass rusher. He was a force against the run this season, too, and, with linebacker Jessie Armstead and the rest of New York’s defense plagued by inconsistency, Strahan was Mr. Reliable.

So much so that he was a unanimous choice to the AP All-Pro team last week.

“I don’t try to make every play perfect, I just try to make sure every play counts,” Strahan said, “because you never know which plays are going to count in a game.

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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.

/duplicates | 269

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.

/duplicates | 270

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

Roger Alford
Associated Press Worldstream

A struggling Nigerian law school student went on a campus shooting spree, 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 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.

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

First-year student Justin Marlowe from Richwood, West Virginia, 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.

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 (kilometers) south of the Kentucky and West Virginia state lines.

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

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URGENT-Virgina-School-Shooting


Broadcast News (BN)

GRUNDY, Virginia—There has been another school shooting in the United States.

Police in Virginia say as many as six people have been shot at the Appalachian School of Law.

/nd | 272

GRUNDY, Virginia—More school violence in the United States, this time in Grundy, Virginia.


Broadcast News (BN)

GRUNDY, Virginia—More school violence in the United States, this time in Grundy, Virginia.

Officials say a gunman has killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting rampage at the Appalachian School of Law.

Among the dead is the dean.

A spokeswoman says a student and another member of the faculty were also killed.

She says state police believe students apprehended a suspect.

The weapon was a .380 semi-automatic handgun.

Grundy is in the Appalachian foothills, 190 kilometres west of Roanoke.

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Virginia-School-Shooting-Update (injured in hospital)


Broadcast News (BN)

GRUNDY, Virginia—A gunman killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting rampage at a lawschool in Grundy, Virginia.

The dead include a student, a faculty member and the dean of the Appalachian School of Law.

State police believe students apprehended the suspect.

The weapon was a .380-calibre semi-automatic handgun.

Three wounded students were taken to hospital.

The law school, with an enrolment of about 170 students, opened in 1997 in a renovated junior high school in this small town about 200 kilometres west of Roanoke.

It graduated its first class of 34 in 2000.

The school has about 15 faculty members.

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Three killed and three wounded at a Virginia law school


CBS Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - CBS

JOHN ROBERTS, anchor:

A doctor who responded to a shooting at a Virginia law school today says when he arrived, there were bodies lying everywhere. It happened at the Appalachian School of Law in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Grundy. Three people were killed, including the school’s dean, and three others wounded before students tackled the suspect. He is described as a student from Nigeria, angered over poor grades.

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Interview with Tim Baylor

Judy Woodruff
CNN Live Today 10:00

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We now have the first pictures coming in from southwest Virginia, where a gunman has killed three people and wounded three others during a shooting spree at the Appalachian School of Law.

The dean of the school was among those killed. The dean, named L. Anthony Sutton, was a former acting assistant U.S. attorney general, and we are told he was also chief counsel for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

The gunman who was identified as a fellow student now is in state police custody after he was tackled by other students. Joining us now on the telephone is a spokesman for the Wellmont Health Systems, which runs the two hospitals where’s the three who were wounded are being treated.

Tim Baylor is joining us. Tim, are you there on the phone?

TIM BAYLOR, WELLMONT HEALTH SYSTEMS: Yes, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Tell us about the condition of the three?

BAYLOR: There were three patients that were transferred from Grundy to on two hospitals in the Wellmont system. Two patients were transferred to Wellmont (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Valley Medical Center in Kingsport. One patient is currently in surgery and the second is listed in fair condition. The third patient was transferred to Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tennessee. And that patient is also currently in surgery.

WOODRUFF: So, Can you tell us anything about the injury or the injuries to those who are in surgery? You said the second person is in fair condition?

BAYLOR: Correct. That’s right. We do not know condition the yet of those in surgery. We are still waiting to have more information on our end as well.

WOODRUFF: And do you know anything about how many times they were shot or where they were shot?

BAYLOR: No, I don’t.

WOODRUFF: Anything to identify them?

BAYLOR: No. I can tell you that all three were female, but I cannot—don’t have names to give you at this time.

WOODRUFF: You don’t know if they were students or faculty or something else?

BAYLOR: I believe all three were students.

WOODRUFF: All three were students. All right. Tim Baylor is a spokesman for the Wellmont Health Systems, which as you heard him say, runs two hospitals, one in Kingsport, Tennessee, the other one in Bristol, Tennessee. And at these hospitals the three who were wounded in this shooting incident are being treated.

You heard him say one person in fair condition, the other two in surgery. We don’t know much more than that. He did say all three are women. Beyond that we know that three people were killed in the shooting spree at the Appalachian School of Law. Among those dead: The dean of the school who’s name is L. Anthony Sutton. As soon as we get more information we will bring it to you. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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Are Conditions Humane for Detainees?

Wolf Blitzer, Bob Franken, Jamie McIntyre, Christiane Amanpour
CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports 19:00

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR: Tonight on WOLF BLITZER REPORTS: THE WAR ROOM, more al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners arrive at the U.S. base in Cuba.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We are looking at all of those people and asking them a great many questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Where are their leaders? What do they know about Taliban American John Walker? And what do they know about alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid?

We’ll go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon and to another potential battleground: Somalia. And I’ll speak live with former CIA director James Woolsey, former deputy attorney general Eric Holder, and CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd, as we go into the WAR ROOM.

Good evening. I’m Wolf Blitzer reporting tonight from Washington. The U.S. has now moved 80 al Qaeda and Taliban detainees to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Hundreds more are expected there in the days and weeks ahead. Security on the base is extraordinary. But today, reports of chilling threats from some of the detainees already there.

They’re caged and closely guarded, but those al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners would seem to have plenty of fight left in them. CNN national correspondent Bob Franken is on the base at Guantanamo Bay, and joins us now by phone.

What is the latest, Bob?

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the comments about the threats came in the context of a defense by the head of the security here, General Michael Leonard, Marine Brigadier General, who is running the show, defense about the treatment and charges that it has not been humane.

Here is he what he said: “These are not nice people. Several have told us their intentions to kill an American before they leave Guantanamo Bay. We will not give them that opportunity.” What he was saying is, is that as much as possible they are being treated along the guidelines of the Geneva Convention, which effects prisoners of war. It’s a convention—a treaty that goes back several decades, but they are not, in fact, rigidly adhering to it because they don’t consider these detainees, as they call them, P.O.W.s. That would bring certain legal obligations.

Whatever they are, 30 more arrived today from the other side of the world, got the same very heavy security treatment as they left their planes wearing the same bright orange jump suits, that brings to 80 the number who are being kept there. The capacity now is about 200 by the end of the month and before three months is up, and there is a reason to mention that, before three months is up, this out door prison with its cages, its outdoor cells, will be able to handle 600 detainees.

It is camp X-ray. It is the temporary place that is being used as a detention center while a modular building is going up at another site here, a modular building which will ultimately be able to handle as many as 2,000 of the detainees. So, these figures are constantly changing, but they are planning for the long haul here and they are saying it is going to be a long haul that is extremely dangerous.

As for the treatment of the prisoners, tomorrow the International Red Cross representatives are supposed to visit. General Leonard says it’s his intention that the representatives will be able to visit with each and every detainee. These have way of changing, these different approaches to things. But in any case the International Red Cross, which is supposed to monitor such things will begin its monitoring tomorrow—Wolf.

BLITZER: Bob Franken from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Thanks for that report.

The United States of course, wants to gather as much intelligence as it can from the detainees, especially on the whereabouts of their leaders. Let’s go live to the Pentagon now. Our CNN military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre is standing by there—Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the Pentagon has literally dozens and dozens of intelligence reports indicating where Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar might be. Some of them are very specific. Some of them are clearly wrong. But from all of these, the Pentagon has put together a little bit of a picture and right now it still points to both men being in Afghanistan. At the least that’s what the top man at Pentagon here thinks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Despite conflicting intelligence reports about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, including some assessments that he has slipped into another country, the best U.S. guess is that he, and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, are both still in Afghanistan.

RUMSFELD: We don’t know precisely where he is. We have a good sense in the country. We still believe they are in the country. We are still working on that basis, although we are looking in some other places as well from time to time.

MCINTYRE: What intelligence experts do agree on is that both bin Laden and Omar are likely still alive. One Congressman, Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe, who is traveling in the region, says he’s been briefed that U.S. intelligence reports put Omar “west and northwest of Kandahar with some of his loyal followers of the Taliban.”

Meanwhile the Pentagon continues to collect evidence that bin Laden’s al Qaeda network were desperate to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

RUMSFELD: We have found a number of things that show an appetite for weapons of mass destruction: Diagrams, materials, reports that things were asked for, things were discussed at meetings, that type of thing.

MCINTYRE: So far 45 of 54 suspected weapons of mass destruction sites have been searched by U.S. troops and weapons or materials have been found. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld today did refer to a pair of canisters that had been unearthed by a British de-mining team, but despite the Russian writing and the scull and crossbones on the outside of those containers, U.S. officials believe they are probably fakes, part of a scam to sell fake material to the al Qaeda. But tests on those canisters will determine that for certain—Wolf.

BLITZER: Jamie, what about that suspected al Qaeda financier who surrendered today at the U.S. base at Kandahar? What is that all about?

MCINTYRE: Well, it could be more or less than meets eye. A man literally showed up at the gate, claimed that he was one of the Taliban tribal elders, that he had contributed money to various al Qaeda causes and they think he might be a major financier. They are questioning him. Right now he is not a detainee, but that status could change.

BLITZER: Jamie McIntyre at the pentagon once again. Thank you very much.

Let’s turn now to Somalia, which has been torn by civil war. There is also a shaky transitional government there that vies for power with a number of warlords. But could Somalia be the next stop in the U.S.-led war on terror? Our Christiane Amanpour joins us now line tonight from Mogadishu, in Somalia—Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, no matter which leader of which faction one talks to, they are all insisting that there is no way that either Osama bin Laden or any of his henchmen could hide here or are hiding here.

They say they have no connection with al Qaeda, and they are obviously very worried that this country will be next on the U.S. bombing list. What many of the war leaders and faction leaders are saying is that they would welcome U.S. intervention here. They would welcome U.S. officials and investigators coming to search for any evidence on al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, or any kind of terrorism, but that if the U.S. does not find any evidence then they wish the U.S. would stay and help this country rebuild.

Despite that debacle in 1993 when a helicopter crash and an ensuing battle led to 18 American soldiers dead, Somalis are eager to move on and to see whether or not they can get the U.S. back here again and open a new chapter in their relations.

But certainly the situation is that they are very concerned and there is a certain jockeying for power between many of the rival warlords here, jockeying to curry favor with the United States to try to stave off bombing and also perhaps to see whether they can become the U.S. proxies here in Somalia. They are looking very closely at the Afghan model and they see how the U.S. chose the Northern Alliance, of course that was the only cohesive opposition there, but they see that and all of them here, most of them anyway, are trying to see whether or not they can fill that position for the United States here in Somalia—Wolf.

BLITZER: So Christiane, is there a sense on the streets in Mogadishu that Somalia may in fact be the next U.S. target?

AMANPOUR: Well, people are very concerned that that may be the case. Their news sheets, their radios and televisions are full of essentially gossip, innuendo and rumor. There aren’t any hard facts. And in fact, it seems somewhat unlikely, or that it will not be imminent any kind of military act here. Nonetheless, that has done nothing to calm the fears of the people here, especially when they see U.S. journalists and others disembarking in Mogadishu, they get concerned.

They are very worried. People say they are very afraid. They don’t want bombing, obviously. They want friendship with the United States and they are just hoping that the worst doesn’t happen here. Wolf, on the other hand, having said that, they do want the U.S. attention and the western attention. So, while they don’t want bombing, they do want a focus. a new international focus on their country.

BLITZER: Thank you, Christiane for that clarification.

And Christiane, by the way, will have much more at the top of the hour in her SPECIAL REPORT, LIVE FROM SOMALIA.

As it seeks to head-off the next terror attack, how tightly can the United States squeeze the detainees in Cuba? Will the Taliban fighter John Walker get a fair trial in the United States? Joining me now here in the CNN WAR ROOM, Eric Holder, he was deputy attorney general during the Clinton Administration. He’s also a former judge and a former U.S. attorney; CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd; and the former CIA director James Woolsey.

Remember, you can e-mail your WAR ROOM questions to cnn.com/wolf. That’s also where you can read my daily column.

Mr. Director, let me begin with you on this strange case of Richard Reid, the alleged shoe bomber. He received nine counts, charges today for attempting to blow up a plane. I want you to listen to what the Attorney General John Ashcroft said in announcing today’s indictment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Reid’s indictment alerts us to a clear, unmistakable threat that al Qaeda could attack the United States again. The lessons for Americans are undeniable. We must be prepared, we must be alert. We must be vigilant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: U.S. officials have confirm an incredible story in today’s “Wall Street Journal” to our David Ensor, our national security correspondent, effectively, that they got—they suspect that Richard Reid was on a scouting trip to the Middle East last year, looking for potential terror targets of opportunity.

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: A lot of information that is suggesting that al Qaeda really wants to use people with European passports. It is a lot easier for them to get into even to Israel, as well as a lot of other places to scout things out.

BLITZER: Is this a case, a slam dunk kind of case for the U.S. attorney in Boston presumably, where this case will be tried?

ERIC HOLDER, FMR. DEP. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It’s a pretty strong case. A substantial number of witnesses will come from the airplane and talk about what he was trying to do. You will have forensic people come up and describe the power of the explosive that he had in his shoe. With the intelligence information that we are now getting, you can connect him to al Qaeda.

So, it seems to me that the case that is drawn up by the United States government is pretty strong.

BLITZER: If you read the story in the “Wall Street Journal” and I recommend it to our viewers who haven’t, it shows al Qaeda meticulously planned terrorist operations and we know that they were sometimes months, if not years in the works.

And presumably they still have some capabilities out there.

MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD (RET.), USAF: Absolutely. There is no question in our mind that these cells exist, sleeper cells all over the world, many of them with plans in the can. And we have to be very vigilant. They are desperate. This is an example of how desperate they are, a man willing to blow himself up from his own shoes and the people that go with him. They are everywhere and we have watch.

BLITZER: Were you surprised at the homework they did in casing various locations for future terrorist attacks?

WOOLSEY: Not after 9/11. This is a worldwide organization. I happen to think it has had some help from time to time from at least one foreign intelligence service, possibly Iraq, possibly Iran. I think Iraq is more likely.

I think they are very careful. They are very thorough. They are in a lot of countries. They know their business and they understand that working in western countries such as Germany and the United States, where civil liberties are strong and there is no domestic spying by a domestic spy agency or anything like that, is the sort of place where they can work the best. And they are taking advantage of that.

BLITZER: Eric Holder, let’s talk about the strange case of John Walker, the Taliban American indicted only yesterday on various counts. Let’s review those counts: Two counts providing material support or resources to terrorists, one count, conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; one count, engaging in transactions with the Taliban. This is how John Ashcroft, the attorney general, summed up the case against John Walker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHCROFT: Mr. Walker, who is an adult, and who made very serious decisions, very serious decisions against the United States, made some—a decision about his attorney, and no other individual has a right to impose—to impose an attorney on him or to choose an attorney for him. He provided his statements based on his desire to do so in a context that was not coercive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Is that kind of evidence going to be admissible in a federal court?

HOLDER: Well, that’s going to be a real question. He was detained for an extended period of time without the ability to talk to a lawyer and I am sure he will have good defense attorneys, will raise that a federal judge ultimately have to determine that.

But what I think is really important here is the information that your network got from him. It is not information that was gotten by a federal government agent and I think will be admissible. And he makes some pretty damning confessions or admissions in that regard. And I think that’s the information they really have to worry about.

BLITZER: But a good defense lawyer could argue, you know, that he was just being detained. He saw guns, the military, he didn’t know what the hell he was doing?

HOLDER: You know, you can certainly make that argument. I’m not at all certain that’s very convincing if you look at way in which the statements that he makes on camera to CNN, and you put that also in the context of the kinds of things that he did, the admission that he makes about where he was, what he did, the options that he had, and the decisions that he made. As the attorney general indicated, he had a number of options along the way, and it seems that he always took the one that led him to criminality.

BLITZER: The whole military action and holding him the way they did, I guess reading him his Miranda rights if the attorney general is correct and I assume he is correct in saying they did read him the Miranda rights, it sets the stage for this question: Why not use the military court instead of bringing him to a federal court, a civilian court?

SHEPPERD: Well, that is both a political and a legal judgment by the administration if you will. I am sure that was debated many times, what is the best thing to do, but no matter what court he submitted to and now of course, that’s been decided, this kid is in deep, deep trouble and going to face the justice system. he’s got rough road to hoe.

BLITZER: A statement from the Walker family says this, you are an attorney in addition to being a former CIA director, James Woolsey, it says, “We are disappointed, however, that the government has held and interrogated John for 45 days without allowing him any messages from his family or access to his attorney.”

WOOLSEY: Well, as Mr. Holder, said he was detained for a substantial period of time. On the other hand he was in Afghanistan. I mean he was detained overseas by U.S. forces. He was not arrested on the street in New York City or San Francisco where one has access to civilians and counsel and all the rest. And everything I have heard so far would suggest that he has been dealt with humanely and fairly.

Certainly one assumes by this time that U.S. government officials both in defense and Justice Department know how to read people Miranda rights effectively and to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that. My hunch is that although there will be a challenge to the confession and as Eric says, what was given to CNN may be one of the most interesting parts of the trial, nonetheless, as the general says, this man is in a very deep hole.

BLITZER: All right, stand by, we are going to continue this conversation. We have a lot more to talk about. How would the American public for example, feel if al Qaeda held U.S. prisoners in cages? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back. We are talking with our WAR ROOM panel. I want to ask you, Eric Holder, the whole notion of these detainees, 80 of them now, at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, some human rights organizations, not only in the United States, but in Europe and England, other places, saying that the treatment is being unfair, especially being held in changes.

HOLDER: Well I mean they are being held in cells that are outside. They are in Cuba in a tropical climate. It think people have to keep in mind that we are talking about temperatures that I guess are in the 80s during the day. I’m not sure how cold it gets at night. They could be held inside, but it seems to me the difference is not really substantial as long as they are being fed, as long as they are being housed, as long as they have a chance to exercise. The fact that they are inside or outside doesn’t make an awful lot of difference.

BLITZER: Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch in New York, said the American public wouldn’t stand for this if American prisoners were being held by al Qaeda or Taliban in cages.

WOOLSEY: I think this is a strain. “Cage” suggests something that is really not the case.

BLITZER: Suggesting they are animals.

WOOLSEY: As Eric says, they seem to be being treated decently. They are in cells. It’s a tropical climate. They are outside but I’m sure, you know, rain storms and circumstances are going to be sheltered. This is really a tempest in a tea pot.

BLITZER: One of the commanders at the base at the Guantanamo Bay said today, their suggesting that some of these detainees are still threatening to kill Americans if they have their way. How good is that security on the base?

SHEPPERD: Well, security is very good. Any time they are out they are going to be surrounded by guards. But they are able to kill Americans. You don’t have to have a weapon to kill somebody. You just have to know how to do it, and you have to be able to attack them physically and we see it in the movies. And it happens in prisons throughout the U.S.

The only thing I would say is that it is not real smart to threaten the Marines.

BLITZER: So what do you do to beef up security to make that kind of contingency impossible?

SHEPPERD: Basically, you put big guys around small guys when they are out and you make sure that you don’t every let your guard down. You can never relax around prisoners in a war situation. As soon as you relax something is going to go wrong. My point is, there is maximum security any time they are out and near our people.

BLITZER: As opposed to John Walker, these are not U.S. citizens. There may be a few British citizens there, but what happens to these guys? Are they just going to stay at Guantanamo Bay forever?

HOLDER: Interesting question. It seems to me you can think of these people as combatants and we are in the middle of a war, and it seems to me that you could probably say, looking at precedent, that you are going to detain these people until war is over, if that is ultimately what we wanted to do.

I think you have a basis for saying that. We had the Vietnam War, we had World War II, people were captured during the course of that war were not repatriated until the conclusion of the conflict. So, it’s possible they could be there for an extended period of time.

BLITZER: I assume the intelligence community would love to interrogate these guys. How do you convince them to come clean and cooperate, if you will.

WOOLSEY: It’s fair game to give people you know. cigarettes or candy, or whatever. You know, there are minor incentives that can be given to people in prison to talk. And these people are not prisoners of war. They are not being regarded that way by the American government.

They are detainees. They were not in uniform. They are not part of a hierarchical structure. They are more analogous to the Germans who were infiltrated into this country as saboteurs in 1942, or a spy or a guerrilla that is captured in combat somewhere abroad.

So, they are covered by some aspects of that Geneva Convention, but not as P.O.W.s, so they don’t really have the rights that a P.O.W. has.

BLITZER: OK, Jim Woolsey, Eric Holder, Donald Shepperd, thanks to all three of you.

We will be back in just a moment with a quick check of this hour’s late developments including a shooting at a Virginia law school that left several dead and wounded. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Now look at the hour’s late developments beginning with an arrest just announced in a fatal 1975 bank robbery. At a news conference just a short time ago, law enforcement officials said they have charged five former members of Simbianese (ph) Liberation Army with murder in connection with the hold-up of a Sacramento bank and the killing of a customer.

Among the five, Sara Jane Olson, Bill Harris and his former wife Emily Harris. Kidnapped newspaper heiress, Patty Hearst, was involved in the robbery and had give officials information on the crime in 1975.

Three people are dead and three others wounded after a man opened fire at a law school in Grundy, Virginia earlier today. One of those killed was Anthony Suitton (ph), dean of the Appalachian School of Law. The county corner says Suitton and others were shot at point blank range. He said the suspected gunman was a troubled student.

That’s all the time we have tonight. Please join me again tomorrow, twice, at both 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, thanks very much for watching. I’m Wolf Blitzer in Washington. “CROSSFIRE” begins right now. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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Three dead in Virginia law school shooting: report


Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Three people were shot dead, including two faculty members, at a law school in Grundy, Virginia, CNN broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The shooting occurred at the Appalachian School of Law, where another three people were injured by the shots. dpa pr

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1ST LEAD: Three dead after student gunman shoots six at law school


Deutsche Presse-Agentur

A student gunmen killed three people and critically injured three more during a rampage Wednesday at a law school in Grundy, Virginia, the local coroner said.

The alleged killer, a foreign student facing expulsion for poor marks from the Appalachian School of Law, “executed” the dean, Anthony Sutin, and another instructor, and shot four students, said Doctor Jack Briggs. Students then overpowered the student, who used a. 38-calibre semi-automatic handgun in the shooting spree, said a spokeswoman for Virginia Governor Mark Warner. The law school is located in the Appalachia mountain range in far-western Virginia, about 500 kilometres west of the U.S. capital city of Washington.

Briggs, also a local physician, told broadcaster CNN he knew the gunman, who had complained of stress “six months ago, seven months ago” and in hindsight had been “a time bomb ready to go off”.

The student had apparently had academic difficulties during his first year at the law school. He came back but again scored low grades and may now have faced expulsion, Briggs said.

“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 said he found powder burns on the shirt of one victim, indicating he was “obviously shot at point-blank range”.

One of the students injured was shot in the chest, and the other two suffered abdominal wounds, the physician said. They were taken to Buchanan General Hospital, but their condition was no known. dpa fz

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US-SHOOTING (URGENT) THREE DEAD IN SHOOTING AT VIRGINIA LAW SCHOOL


EFE News Service

Washington, Jan 16 (EFE).- Three people were killed and three others wounded Wednesday in a shooting at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, authorities said.

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US-SHOOTING (1ST LEAD) THREE DEAD IN SHOOTING AT VIRGINIA LAW SCHOOL


EFE News Service

Washington, Jan 16 (EFE).- Three people were killed and three others wounded Wednesday in a shooting at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Virginia governor’s office told reporters that according to initial reports, one of the victims was Anthony Sutton, dean of the law school.

No other details were known about the incident, but it appears the perpetrator was overpowered and detained by students.

/nd/tackle | 281

US-SHOOTING (2ND LEAD) THREE DEAD IN SHOOTING AT VIRGINIA LAW SCHOOL


EFE News Service

Washington, Jan 16 (EFE).- Three people were killed and three others wounded Wednesday in a shooting at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Virginia governor’s office told reporters that according to initial reports, one of the victims was Anthony Sutton, dean of the law school, whose name appears as Sutin on the institution’s Internet Web site.

It appears the perpetrator, whose motives for the shooting remain unclear, was overpowered and detained by students.

Among those who were killed in the incident were a student, an instructor and Sutton, according to Ellen Qualls, a spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a former member of the law school’s board of directors.

Five or six people were shot, according to authorities from the southwestern Virginia town of Grundy, who added that the situation is under control.

The wounded were rushed to an area hospital, where they were receiving treatment, authorities noted.

According to Qualls, at least three students were treated at the hospital for gunshot wounds.

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Deadly Shooting at Virginia Law School

Brian Williams; Pete Williams; Robert Hager; Kevin Tibbles; Jim Miklaszewski; Soledad O’Brien; George Lewis; Lisa Myers
The News with Brian Williams 21:00 - MSNBC

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOTBE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR: The man who planned to take down a jetliner with the explosives in his shoes. Tonight, the Justice Department says he is the real deal with ties to the al Qaeda network.

The government deadline for the airline security crackdown. It happens this Friday at an airport near you. But is it a sham? Is it going to be any safer to fly? Eight thousand miles from home and in big trouble. A live report tonight from Guantanamo Bay, home to a new batch of prisoner.

And Enron at issue tonight and the question: Are corporate executives getting away with murder financially? Who should pay for what happened to everyone connected to that company?

ANNOUNCER: From NBC News, this is THE NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS.

WILLIAMS: Good evening.

When the first reports came in on that Saturday night over the holidays that a man had allegedly tried to light a crude fuse heading to his shoe on board a commercial airliner, he did not appear to be a serious character to a lot of people, certainly not the kind of highly motivated and apparently highly trained terrorist that created the kind of hell of September 11th in this country.

But, today, the U.S. Justice Department told a different story about the almost pathetic-seeming man who was photographed in the back seat of that car being led away from the airport that night in Boston. They say Richard Reid was trained, in fact, by the al Qaeda network, and they’ve now charged him with a number of counts, enough, in fact, to guarantee a lifetime stay in jail, if guilty.

Before we look at the safety of air travel in this country, including the changes that are coming up this Friday, our look at this suspect tonight begins with NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETE WILLIAMS, NBC JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A federal grand jury today accused Reid of receiving training from an al Qaeda terrorist camp and then trying to kill a planeload of people with explosives hidden in his shoes.

Until today, Reid had been charged only with interfering with the flight crewmembers who spotted him trying to ignite the shoe bombs on an American Airlines flight from Paris bound for Miami three days before Christmas.

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Reid’s indictment alerts us to a clear, unmistakable threat that al Qaeda could attack the United States again.

P. WILLIAMS: Among other charges, the grand jury accuses Reid of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, using a dangerous weapon against the flight crew, and attempting to destroy an airplane. All carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The attorney general and the FBI director say the quick action by the flight crew proves that the government’s frequent threat warnings paid off.

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: An observant and responsible public is as much a partner to effective law enforcement as any other activity we in law enforcement undertake.

P. WILLIAMS: Meantime today, U.S. law-enforcement officials say they’re studying the contents of these computer, apparently left behind in Afghanistan by al Qaeda members as U.S. forces closed in, in hopes that the contents might shed new light on what Reid was up to.

“Wall Street Journal” reporters bought the computers in Afghanistan and spent weeks decoding and translating the thousands of file they contain. They found one document detailing the travels of an al Qaeda operative called Brother Abdul Ra’uff whose apparent mission was to scout potential terrorist targets in Israel and Egypt, but “Journal” reporters say that operative’s movements appear to match those of Richard Reid right down to the issuing of replacement passports in the same cities.

ANDREW HIGGINS, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: It was a fairly compelling circumstantial evidence that this is the same person.

P. WILLIAMS (on camera): The computer material has been turned over to federal investigators who say it likely does describe Richard Reid, but they say they’ve found nothing definite yet to prove it.

Pete Williams, NBC News, at the Justice Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: For more on “The Wall Street Journal“‘s reporting on the similarities between Richard Reid and an al Qaeda operative, we are joined now by the newspaper’s foreign editor. John Bussey is with us tonight from “The Journal“‘s temporary bureau in Lower Manhattan.

John, run through, first of all, what is known about those similar to Richard Reid? Are there any fears at the highest level of the U.S., to your knowledge and the paper’s knowledge, that there are more guys like him out there?

JOHN BUSSEY, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Well, this story in “The Journal” today by Andy Higgins and Alan Cullison certainly leaves you with that impression.

It’s mostly about a scout who’s been sent out to scope out a variety of possible locations for additional terrorism, not just in the United States. They mentioned the U.N. building. But, in Israel, they mentioned the Wailing Wall and bus depots in Egypt and along the border with Canada where they say, “Look, there are some nightclubs up there where U.S. servicemen frequent.”

So you’re left with the impression that—while there’s—the details are about this one individual who appears to be on some circumstantial evidence Richard Reid, because his itinerary was precisely the same, you’re left with the broader feeling, Brian, that “My gosh, these people are really quite organized. They’re quite intent, and there’s probably more of them.

WILLIAMS: And yet, John, this one fellow, Mr. Reid, as a solo actor, was, you’d have to admit, not very impressive. In fact, we used the word “pathetic” at the top of the broadcast.

He proved once again that the best and only air marshals really that you can count on these days are the citizens who fly on jets. A doctor was able to subdue him with ease.

And is this their best shot?

BUSSEY: Well, it’s probably not their best shot. I mean, we saw a—an extraordinary shot on September 11th. I mean, who would have thought?

You know, the other thing about Richard Reid is I probably have a different opinion about him. I mean, he comes across as a bumbler. rMD+IT_rMDNM_In these correspondences in the story, he’s quite precise. He’s very careful. He covers his tracks very well.

And after all, I think that we were probably seconds, if not than nanoseconds, away from that American Airlines jet blowing up over the ocean. We might right now, Brian, be really reporting about all sorts of speculation. Could it have been a bomb that blew that plane up? It was, you know, a wreckage across the bottom of the ocean, had it not been for the extraordinary luck of a flight attendant wandering by when he lit the match.

WILLIAMS: And point taken about that and the shot that we did take as a nation September 11th. It’s the very fact you’re in a temporary bureau talking to us tonight and not the old venerable headquarters of “The Wall Street Journal”.

John, how worried, baseline here, should Americans be specifically vis-a-vis the reporting “The Journal” has uncovered?

BUSSEY: Well, the end of the files show a—an al Qaeda seemingly in disarray, quite disappointed that Muslims around the world hadn’t risen up. This—these were files that Andy and Alan found dated after September 11th.

So you’re left to feel that while there is disarray—bin Laden’s on the run, his lieutenants are on the run, one has been killed—on the other hand, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 people went through those training camps over the years, and as we’ve found in Indonesia, they’re already training other people.

So I think that caution, surveillance, and concern and nervousness are probably smart characteristics to have in the weeks and months ahead.

WILLIAMS: So 170 names of al Qaeda people included in these files. It starts to become a staggering amount of data, a staggering number of characters for the U.S. to track at once.

BUSSEY: Yeah. And the U.S. says—they’ve had a look at the files and at the computers. The U.S. says, among that 170 that—just mentioned in the today’s paper, a lot of new names, people that they didn’t know were al Qaeda listed in the files.

WILLIAMS: John Bussey, thank you very much as always. The foreign editor of “The Wall Street Journal” concerning their reporting in today’s paper.

Remember this so-called shoe bomber was stopped before, questioned once for so long in the airport, he missed his flight originally. But he was ultimately sadly welcomed back on board a commercial flight.

This Friday, two days from now, a tough new aviation security deadline goes into effect in this country. It is fairly apparent tonight two things are going to happen. There will be no great increase in air security. There will be maddening and intolerable delays perhaps across this country.

We have a reality check on this tonight from NBC rMDNM_News correspondent Robert Hager.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT HAGER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, the government vows to meet the new airline security laws deadline of this Friday for screening all checked luggage at airport nationwide. Two months ago, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said it couldn’t be done. Today, he says it can and will.

NORMAN MINETA, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We will do everything humanly possible to keep these promises.

HAGER: But security experts say there are not nearly enough people, enough bomb-sniffing dogs, or enough explosive-detection machines to really screen more than a small fraction of the four-million bags checked each day. So how can they say they’ll meet deadline?

(on camera): Only because the law permits what some call a huge loophole. Until next year, it allows airlines to say they’ve screened bags if, instead, they simply do what’s called bag matching, ensuring that every bag checked belongs to someone who actually takes the same flight.

(voice-over): It’s based on a theory that no one would plant a bomb aboard the same flight they’re flying. But critics say that’s now nonsense.

PAUL HUDSON, AVIATION CONSUMER ACTION PROJECT: Bag matching doesn’t make complete sense since 9/11 since we now face the threat of suicide terrorists.

HAGER: And airlines will only be required to bag match for a passenger’s first flight, meaning that, for connecting flights, a potentially lethal checked bag could slip aboard, even if the passenger it belongs to doesn’t. Is that really screening?

HUDSON: They should just honestly admit that they haven’t met the deadline and talk about what deadline they can meet.

HAGER: But, today, airlines and the government say this is all they can realistically do for now.

CAROL HALLETT, AIR TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION: We anticipate that it’s going to be a pretty smooth start-up.

HAGER: But will require some sacrifices.

Delta says, come Friday, it will no longer take checked bags closer than a half-hour before flight. United warns no more switching flights at the last minute.

A true 100-percent screening will not be required until the next deadline, the end of this year, when the law says every checked bag will actually have to go through an explosive-detection device.

Robert Hager, NBC News, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: For more now on what’s in store for airline passengers come Friday—there’s a lot to talk about on this subject and whether flying will really be any safer by, say, Saturday morning—we are joined now by a man who spends much of his life on airplanes or at least talking about them, aviation consultant and safety expert Mike Boyd. He is of counsel to several carriers. He is with us tonight from Denver.

Well, Michael, where to begin? How—how pathetic do you find this, the changes we’re about to see? How much of a Band-Aid is it going to be?

MIKE BOYD: Well, I think the DOT has created a physical impossibility. This is a four-chunk, four—a four-link chain. Every link is the weakest link. You’ve got bag matching, you’ve got screening by dogs, you’ve got screening by hand, and you’ve got screening by machines, none of which works real well. It is a scam. There’s no question about it. It’s a sham.

WILLIAMS: So far—it occurred to me listening to Bob Hager’s report for the second time tonight that it’s the passenger who are going to be out here at least short term, and by that, I mean this: no switching flights last minute, no last-minute bags being checked on to flights. We don’t see the airlines being out that much yet because, of course, the equipment hasn’t arrived in the airports and really won’t be for quite some time.

BOYD: Well, that’s true, and the equipment they’re ordering, these CT machines, aren’t going to work very well when they do get them there. There’s such credible evidence that keeps coming in that these things really don’t screen very well. So, come December 31st, if anybody thinks we’re going to be even more secure than we are today, you can just forget it.

The fact is we need some leadership that’s going to go in the right direction, and what we saw today with bag matching—keep in mind that probably 65 percent of all flights—probably more than that, more like 70 percent—have connecting passengers on it. So bag matching isn’t going to do a thing to make us any more secure from terrorists.

WILLIAMS: And we—we can’t say this enough. Bag matching might have worked before the days when we knew there were people who thought nothing of blowing their selves up on board a commercial airliner.

BOYD: Absolutely. And—and for the government to tell us that bag matching is screening for explosives is purely ridiculous. All it does is just try to assume that the person on the first leg of the flight isn’t going to blow themselves up. None of it makes any sense.

And the other three options, the way they’re put together—this isn’t multilayered. It’s just—it’s just multi-amateur. That’s the only way of putting it.

WILLIAMS: I have seen airline passengers who have been through two- and three-hour lines just to go through X-ray to board a plane. It’s reality. It’s happening in this country. They have so far, by and large, been very good and patient citizens.

I need a prediction from you on what Friday’s going to look like around this country, what Saturday’s going to look like, and are people going to go with the program?

BOYD: Well, I think it may be smoother than you think because the real—the real down side would be the matching of the initial bag. I think they can do that better than we might expect. At least I hope so.

But the real issue is all these silly stories where they stick a microphone in the person’s face and say, “Do you mind this delay?” “Oh, no. I’m all for this delay if it means more security.”

What the question really should be is “How foolish do you feel standing in this line when this hasn’t improved security at all?” Then I think we’d have a different answer from the public.

WILLIAMS: Mike, a larger question but not at all beyond your ken. Have thing gone back to normal too quickly? And by that, I mean the people throwing up their hands, saying, “Look, these X-ray machines just can’t be built quickly.”

I was reminded before we went on the air, the United States built a liberty ship every two days for a four-year period during World War II. It can be done.

BOYD: Well, these machine they’re trying to buy probably have the technology of a liberty ship. We’re buying the wrong machines. We’re buying machines that can’t do it. We’re buying politically connected machines rather than machines that can screen for all kinds of explosive and other things in baggage. We’re going in the wrong direction, not the right direction.

We can do it, but the FAA, the DOT, and the government and Congress simply don’t have the gumption to do it, and I don’t think they have the ability to do it right now. But it’s a leadership issue, not a technology issue.

WILLIAMS: I know you’re not a political analyst, but is that leadership you’re calling for at the presidential level—does this president need to make a Rooseveltian address to a joint session of Congress and a national audience watching at home to get it in the right gear?

BOYD: Well, I think what he has to do—it’s his staff doing it. Let’s face it. Since 9/11, Americans cannot be proud of what they’ve seen coming out of the Department of Transportation. What he should do is tell Norman Mineta to go find another job someplace and fire the FAA administrator.

Let’s be real blunt here. They haven’t done a very good job, and it’s time to stop playing politics and start worrying about security because—again, look at breach after breach after breach, and they say we have enhanced security.

Look at that speech today from Mr. Mineta. It was a joke. This is my life and yours and the American public’s. We need to start taking it seriously. Mr. Bush needs to move on that.

WILLIAMS: Veteran aviation consultant and frequent guest of ours, Michael Boyd. Thank you, Michael, as always for coming on tonight.

In rural Virginia tonight, authorities say a law student who opened fire at his school had just been suspended just today. Three people were killed, including the school’s dean, and three others were injured at the tiny Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, just a few miles south of the Kentucky/West Virginia state line.

We get latest now from NBC News correspondent Kevin Tibbles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shots rang out at 1:00 this afternoon on the campus of the tiny Appalachian School of Law. By the time the shooter was overpowered, three people were dead, three others wounded.

Police say the 43-year-old suspect is a student from Nigeria who failed last year and who was suspended from school this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He was kind of a loner, and it was hard to approach him. He was very closed off.

TIBBLES: The shots fired execution style, according to police, from a semi-automatic handgun.

The dead include the dean of the law school, L. Anthony Sutin, a former member of the Clinton administration’s Justice Department. The father of two young children, former law partners say he had a huge heart.

One faculty member and a student were also shot dead, the three injured students rushed to nearby hospitals.

(on camera): State police in Virginia are crediting law students at Appalachian for preventing further loss of life, saying they overpowered the gunman and held him until police could arrive.

PAUL LUND, ASSOCIATE DEAN: The whole community is profoundly shocked and saddened by this tragedy. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.

TIBBLES (voice-over): The Appalachian School of Law opened in 1997 to encourage young people in this traditional coal-mining region to study and practice law. It is housed on the campus of a former junior high school and boasts just 170 students and 15 faculty.

A trauma unit has now been set up on the tiny campus to counsel those who have lost friends. A memorial service will be held at the school tomorrow.

Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: There is a lot more to tell about as we continue after a pause this Wednesday night, including new information on the collapse of Enron and new questions tonight about just how much Andersen accounting really knew about the downward-headed Texas giant. At issue, who should pay for what happened to all those Enron employees who lost everything?

And coming up next, the latest on the American war effort in Afghanistan.

And more tonight on the new battleground shaping up in the Philippines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: The Pentagon called another 2,400 reserve troops to active duty, we found out this week. That brings the total number of reservists who have been mobilized since September 11th to more than 70,000 now tonight. The move comes as the U.S. military presence in the Philippines continues to build this evening.

We get details now from NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden grind on, the U.S. military build-up in the Philippines is well underway.

As of today, some 250 U.S. military forces have arrived. The total number could reach 800 to help the Philippines military destroy Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with known ties to Osama bin Laden.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There is no question that there had been linkages between al Qaeda and activities that have taken place in the Philippines.

MIKLASZEWSKI: But Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says the Philippines is only the next stop in America’s war on terrorism.

RUMSFELD: If we have to go into 15 more countries, we ought to do to it to deal with the problem of terrorism.

MIKLASZEWSKI: In Afghanistan, coalition forces still dealing with the potential threat from weapons of mass destruction. It was revealed today that, last week, a British military team outside Kabul unearthed a sinister-looking set of canisters at first believed to contain radioactive material.

RUMSFELD: Externally, they’ve got stuff on them that make reasonable people think there’s something not good in there, and we’re going to check them out.

MIKLASZEWSKI: Tests reveal, however, the material is harmless. In fact, the U.S. military has inspected 45 sites and has still found no evidence Osama bin Laden has produced chemical, biological, or radioactive weapons.

But still no sign of America’s two most wanted: Taliban leader Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden.

(on camera): Military officials here at the Pentagon now believe that some Afghan tribal leaders know exactly where to find Mullah Omar but refuse to give him up. As for the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, they readily admit it’s still anybody’s guess.

Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: Yet another shipment of prisoners has arrived tonight at the U.S. air base in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay. They are all al Qaeda and Taliban veterans, and they are 8,000 miles from home tonight, bringing the number of prisoners housed there now to 80.

A late update from NBC News correspondent Soledad O’Brien who is at Guantanamo Bay.

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Brian, this afternoon, a C-141 landed on the airstrip here at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. On board, the 30 detainees making the approximately 20-hour-long journey from Kandahar.

The men came off the cargo plane, each one wearing an orange jumpsuit, wearing blacked-out goggles, bound at the hands, shackled at the feet. The Navy has been adamant that we show no pictures of these detainees. They say for security reasons.

We can only tell you that there is a lot of security here, obviously. The men were patted down and then led to one of two really regular school buses. The windows of the school buses blacked out as well. Apparently inside, the seats removed, meaning that the detainees would sit on the floor of the school bus.

Taken to a ferry and then taken off the Camp X-Ray where they are expected to spend the next three months or so.

Earlier today at a briefing, Brigadier General Michael Leonard said that, in addition to the 80 detainees now here at Guantanamo Bay, they are also building more units—and quickly—in the effort to house another 600 or so. He also praised the base medical team, saying that they had been working in the face of some threats from the detainees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIG. GEN. MICHAEL LEHNERT, U.S. JOINT TASK FORCE COMMANDER: These are not nice people. Several have publicly stated here their intent to kill an American before they leave Guantanamo Bay. We will not give them that satisfaction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O’BRIEN: That medical team also investigating some health concerns. It is suspected that some of the detainees may have tuberculosis, and so they are wearing surgical masks. That’s in an effort to protect the Marines that are guarding them.

There has been no interrogation of the detainees as of yet.

The International Red Cross is expected to arrive here tomorrow to examine the conditions under which the detainees are being kept. Brian, back to you.

WILLIAMS: Soledad O’Brien of NBC News from the place they call Getmo (ph), Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, tonight. Thanks.

When we come back, two nuclear powers on the brink of war. Tonight, what it’s all about and what Colin Powell is doing to keep the peace in that region.

And the latest on that blind lion in Afghanistan, how an outpouring of American support is making a very real difference tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Welcome back to the broadcast at half past the hour.

New criminal charges tonight against Richard Reid, the man suspected of trying to blow up that American Airlines flight over the Atlantic Ocean last month with explosives hidden in his shoes. A federal grand jury today accused Reid of being an al Qaeda-trained terrorist and indicting him on nine separate accounts, including attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, as they called it.

Secretary of State Colin Powell is in South Asia tonight where he will review U.S. troops in Afghanistan later this week. But, first, he is trying to help Pakistan and India reach some sort of middle ground before the two nuclear nations come any closer to conflict over the border region of Kashmir.

NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell is traveling with the secretary.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Colin Powell on a mission to avert another war. This time between India and Pakistan, both armed with nuclear weapons.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We need a campaign against terrorism, not a campaign with these two countries fighting one another.

MITCHELL: It is almost mission impossible. Today, just as he arrives in the region, India raises the stakes, hints that its submarines are already armed with nuclear warheads, a threat Pakistan cannot match.

ADM. MADHEVENDRA SINGH, INDIAN NAVY: The Navy is fully (UNINTELLIGIBLE), its powder is dry and we are ready.

MITCHELL: And Pakistan warns today that even a small incident can spark a chain of events that could be disastrous. And that’s exactly why Powell is here.

POWELL: We want to find out ways to de escalate militarily, de escalate some of the political and diplomatic steps that have been taken in recent weeks.

MITCHELL: What will he propose? When he arrives in India tomorrow night he will ask India to reverse its decision to close the border, and lift restrictions on Pakistani flights over its territory, if these first steps work then possibly a troop pullback. But here is the problem Powell faces: India still wants satisfaction for a suicide bomb attack on its Parliament, India claims staged by Pakistani terrorists. Powell, who has been working both sides hard with almost daily phone calls, got a major concession last week from Pakistan’s President Musharraf. On Saturday, he declared war on his country’s terrorists.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used for any terrorist activity anywhere in the world.

MITCHELL: As of tonight, he has arrested almost 2,000 militants, outlawed radical Islamic groups, cracked down on religious schools that recruit young boys into the terrorist ranks.

But it is a high-risk strategy. Pakistan’s leader faces challenges from Taliban supporters in his own government.

(on camera): To help prop him up, tonight Powell invited Musharraf to visit President Bush for the first time in Washington. But that gesture will surely infuriate India, creating even more challenges when Powell lands there tomorrow night.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Islamabad. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: More on this: Along India’s border with Pakistan tonight, tension remain high, the outbreak of war still a very real threat.

NBC News correspondent George Lewis has that angle of the story tonight from Kashmir. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE LEWIS, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every day, at the only border gate between India and Pakistan, a ritual symbolizing the armed face-off between the two nations. Indian and Pakistani soldiers meet at sundown to lower their respective flags, with crowds of angry demonstrators on both sides shouting epithets.

CROWD: Pakistan!

CROWD: India!

CROWD: Pakistan!

CROWD: India!

LEWIS: The tension between India and Pakistan has spurred the biggest military buildup in 15 years. Why? They’re fighting over the divided state of Kashmir, framed by the Himalayas, a beautiful place with an ugly history of armed conflict. It’s been the scene of two wars and constant hostilities; 35,000 have died.

And now the armies are on full alert once again. The military buildup intrudes on the serenity of nature. India, mostly Hindu, occupies 45 percent of heavily Muslim Kashmir. Pakistan, also Muslim, has about a third of the territory, and China the rest. The U.N. called for free elections so the Kashmiris could choose whether they wanted independence. But those elections have never been held because India blocks them.

Now thousands of refugees run from border areas, as Muslim separatists operating from Pakistan attack the Indian side. These border villagers show off the bullet holes in their buildings and the scars on their own bodies.

(on camera): The people here have turned quite militant. They say they’re fed up with the Pakistanis using their village for target practice. But a war is about the only way to get rid of the problem.

(voice-over): The mood is also ugly in this Hindu refugee camp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want only war.

LEWIS (on camera): You want only war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we want only war. War is the solution.

LEWIS: War is the solution?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LEWIS (voice-over): Back at the border crossing, the soldiers end their ceremony by slamming the gates closed, even as Colin Powell and other diplomats try to keep the doors open to negotiations aimed at averting war.

George Lewis, NBC News, Kashmir. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: When we come back here tonight, the collapse of Enron: The auditor who ordered documents destroyed is now helping investigators, but how much? And “@Issue” tonight: What about the executives who cashed in and left so many employees wiped out? Should they have to pay for it? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Readers of a lot of major daily newspapers in this country woke up this morning to find a full-page ad from Andersen Accounting. The ads are part of the big-five accounting firm’s efforts to prevent its role in the collapse of energy giant Enron from leading to its own collapse. But that’s possible.

We get the latest on the investigation into Andersen and the latest on Enron from NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA MYERS, NBC CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, the auditor who repeatedly certified Enron’s false financial reports, David Duncan, is grilled for more than four hours by congressional investigators, that as his former company, the Andersen accounting firm, places full-page newspaper ads to try to contain the damage.

The ads admit an error in judgment in the Enron case, say Duncan has been fired, and promised Andersen will do what is right.

JOSEPH DIGENOVA, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Arthur Andersen is doing the only thing it can do right now, given its position, which is a very bad position to be in.

MYERS: Late today, more trouble for the firm: Congressional investigators uncover a new memo, which they say shows the Enron whistle-blower who alerted Enron management to potential accounting scandals also called an Andersen partner in August, who immediately relayed her concerns to senior management.

So far, Andersen’s explanation is that it didn’t know all the facts about Enron. It has blamed David Duncan for what wrongdoing it admits, shredding of thousands of documents. But another new document, a report from Enron’s law firm, Vinson & Elkins, suggests Andersen headquarters knew plenty. The law firm wrote in October that all material facts about controversial partnerships used to hide Enron debt were disclosed and reviewed by Arthur Andersen and that experts at the Chicago headquarters were consulted.

DIGENOVA: The memo from Vinson & Elkins is damaging, severely damaging to Arthur Andersen, because it would undercut their argument that Mr. Duncan was acting as a rogue partner.

MYERS: Andersen earned $1 million a week serving as both Enron’s auditor and consultant, what critics say was a conflict of interests. Now Andersen is fighting for its own survival, facing huge potential claims by Enron investors and, experts say, a potential co-conspirator in a criminal case against Enron.

A former top securities regulator says the company could be in big trouble.

LYNN TURNER, CENTER FOR QUALITY FINANCIAL REPORTING, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY: I think we’re going to turn around and find that Andersen, to some degree, is going to be found culpable in this situation.

MYERS (on camera): Tonight, Andersen is not commenting. Duncan’s lawyer insists he’s done nothing wrong. Congressional investigators say Duncan is cooperating and providing valuable information.

Lisa Myers, NBC News, the Capitol. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAMS: Perhaps no one has been hurt in the Enron collapse as much as the company’s employees, including many who lost everything, their life savings gone. “@Issue” tonight: Will Enron’s demise turn out to be a crime without punishment? Should the U.S. have tougher laws to protect investors? Or should Enron’s investors and employee have done a better job watching their own interests?

For more, we are joined now from New York by documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore, best known as the writer, director and star of “Roger and Me,” the story of the General Motors chairman and his hometown of Flint, Michigan. He is also the author, we should point out, of a new book, “Stupid White Men.” And it comes out next month.

Also with us from New York tonight: James Glassman, investment columnist for “The Washington Post,” a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of a new investment guide, “The Secret Code of the Superior Investor: How to be a Long-Term Winner in a Short-Term World.”

Gentlemen, welcome to you both.

And, Michael, I would like to begin with you. For all those of us who have worked for what we have today, this enrages people to read about, to hear about. However, investing in stock, even in a retirement plan, is not a passbook saving account. It is for serious-minded adults who know what they’re doing and know how to assume risk. What, in your mind, should come out of this?

MICHAEL MOORE, AUTHOR, “STUPID WHITE MEN”: Well, somebody should go to jail.

I mean, this company, Brian, these executives, they knew things were going south, and they went and they took this money for themselves, knowing that all the workers at this company were going to be left with nothing. And I just can’t believe that—I mean, there are people in prison right now in California for stealing a slice of pizza, and they’re in there for life. And the fact—to think that these guys could even get away with this.

And the connections, I don’t want to—let’s not forget the connections here, because too many people right now are saying, well, the Bush administration, they didn’t do anything wrong. Evans and O’Neill have come out and said: Well, they called us and we didn’t do anything to help them.

Well, what about their silence? If they got a call from Enron for help back in the summer and in the fall, and they didn’t tell anybody or didn’t do anything, I mean, that right there makes them complicit in this crime. And, if I could just take a second, Brian, let’s just break it down. Who is Paul O’Neill, our treasury secretary? He is the former CEO of Alcoa, the third largest contributor to the Bush campaign—Enron, the No. 1 contributor to the Bush campaign.

Who is the lawyer—who is the law firm for Alcoa? Vinson & Elkins. Who is the law firm for Enron? Vinson & Elkins. Don Evans, who got the other call from Enron, our commerce secretary, who is he? He’s the former chairman of Tom Brown Inc., an oil and gas company worth $1.2 billion. He was also the finance chairman of the Bush campaign that collected the money from Enron and Alcoa. They’re all connected in this. Let’s not forget this.

WILLIAMS: There are a lot of ties here.

James Glassman, is it two separate issues? Some bad guys probably did some very bad things. And some people probably will see life inside a cell before this is all over. What to do about the risk that people assumed and the losses that regular people who woke up in the morning, went to work and came home, are now suffering?

JAMES GLASSMAN, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Right.

As far as the executives of this company are concerned, they obviously will be investigated. There could be fraud charges. There could be insider-trading charges. Charles Keating got 150 months sentence in prison. The Cendant executives are now under indictment. This is what happens in this country. And it’s the right thing.

Now, what happens to the employees? They have suffered, certainly, because many of them owned big chunks of stock in their own companies. The company stock was in fact given to the employees as a matching donation for their 401(k) plans. It mounted up so that it was far too big a chunk to have in a retirement account for any one stock. The question is: Whose responsibility is that?

And I would say that it’s very important for employees, for people who are watching this show today, to understand that they have responsibility themselves for their own retirement plans. That’s what they should do.

WILLIAMS: But what about the employees who wanted to dump out, wanted to cash out?

GLASSMAN: OK.

The way that the Enron retirement plan worked, which is quite similar to the retirement plan of most large companies, is that, if you bought the Enron stock yourself for the part of the retirement plan where you made your own contributions…

WILLIAMS: Discretionary, right.

GLASSMAN: Right. It was discretionary. You could move that any time you wanted. You could take it and put it into Fidelity Magellan or into bonds or whatever you wanted.

However, the part that Enron gave you as a matching grant, you could not move until you were 50 years old. After that, you could move it as much as you wanted. Then there was one period lasting two weeks, or 10 trading days, when there was a freeze because there was a change in an administrator. Now, that ought to be investigated. There might be some hanky-panky. However, the stock at that point was already down to $14. It went to $10. So that probably didn’t hurt too many people, that particular freeze.

WILLIAMS: Michael Moore, back up to one of your points. Not many people will give you an argument: This ship was sinking. They knew it on the bridge. They didn’t tell the people in the engine room.

To your point, seventh largest company in the country is sinking—if I read you correctly, they’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they called the White House and somebody had raised their hand and said, “Look, I just got a call from Enron and they’re failing,” that would have been a problem because it would have showed collusion. You’re saying that it was bad that no one did raise their hand and say, “Look, I got a call from the seventh largest company in the country and they’re failing.”

MOORE: Right.

They got a call. They knew they were failing. And they probably also knew that the executives were forming these 3,000 partnerships, sending all this money offshore. You know, they had to have known that this was going on. And that’s when they, our elected officials, the people in Bush’s Cabinet, should have done something to protect these employees.

But, to answer your question…

WILLIAMS: Does that mean government, Michael? Does that mean new safeguards for people who buy stocks, 401(k)s?

MOORE: Oh, yes, absolutely.

And, Brian, here’s the irony of this. Enron and Kenneth Lay, its chairman, Lay had his own little—almost little corner office in the White House in the early days of the Bush administration, because, if you wanted a job in the Energy Department or the regulatory commissions, you had to be interviewed first by Kenneth Lay.

GLASSMAN: That’s complete nonsense.

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: May 25, “New York Times,” it’s right there.

WILLIAMS: Go ahead, James.

GLASSMAN: He didn’t vet every energy employee.

Let me tell you something about Enron. The single most important issue for Enron—and “The Washington Post” recently reported this—as far as their trading income was concerned, would have been the passage of the Kyoto agreement. Ken Lay lobbied both administrations very hard, especially the Bush administration, and didn’t get what he wanted. So the Bush administration was not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enron or anything close to that.

Second, it is completely untrue that people at the White House knew that there were all sorts of these, what are called special-purpose entities that were set up by Enron to take some of its debt off the books. That’s the issue.

MOORE: Nobody in America believes that, James—I’ve got to tell you something—because Kenneth Lay was a good friend of George Bush’s.

GLASSMAN: Oh, so he was telling him all about how their books were set up?

MOORE: The Enron jets flew Bush around the country during his campaign in 2000. The Enron jets flew him during the primaries.

GLASSMAN: Michael, if he was such a good friend of Bush’s, why didn’t he bail the company out, as Ken Lay requested?

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: Because it was so far gone at that point. Believe me, these people who hate the federal government—”Oh, we want less regulation. We don’t want control. We want to be left alone, free enterprise”—as soon as they start to go under, whether it’s Ken Lay or the airlines or whatever, they go running to the federal government for their welfare.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: We are officially calling time here in New York.

Gentlemen, thank you both very much. We’ll do this again. I see an hour on Enron in our future.

Michael, we’ll have you back when “Stupid White Men” comes out, because, after all, we all can name many.

Thank you both, gentlemen.

Financial troubles at Kmart are worsening tonight. Shares of the company sank almost 35 percent to $1.60 a share. It was dropped from the S&P 500 index. Kmart officials announced a week ago that the company would, at best, break even in 2001. But this looks bad. Industry analysts are now speculating Kmart, the jewel of the one-time Kresge family, could file Chapter 11 and would be the biggest retail bankruptcy in history.

That, combined with other disappointing corporate profits and earnings forecasts on Wall Street, helped push down markets, both of them, considerably today. The Dow was off by more than 211 points to close at 9712. Nasdaq lost 56 to finish at 1944.

We’ll be back with more right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: We are back with a look at the morning newspapers.

Let’s begin with overseas, really, with “The International Herald Tribune,” but an issue of great interest, of course, to travelers all over the world, especially those in a certain set that can pay a lot to fly much faster across the Atlantic. The official report from the French government is out now on the Air France Concord crash. That was July of 2000, you’ll recall.

It confirms what a lot of people have long suspected. Debris on the runway—and they’re saying from a Continental Airlines jet that took off prior—caused this crash. The report criticizes maintenance procedures of both Air France and Continental. Continental, by the way—and as you might expect—is saying good luck proving that that piece of metal in question came from specifically a Continental aircraft. But it’s believed it was somehow ingested. And you’ll also recall the Concords have been all retrofitted with different tires, bladders, engine parts to prevent that particular mishap from happening again.

“Washington Post”: Health reports indicate that, for the Hart Senate Office Building, the second time was the charm, meaning the injection of a kind of poisonous gas. They tried once. They tried twice. The Hart Senate Office Building, which is home to about roughly half of the U.S. Senate, is now being declared ready for occupancy after two tries at detox after the anthrax scare. That was where the first major scare was on Capitol Hill.

“L.A. Times” reporting three former member of the SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army, best known for their abduction and the alleged mind-washing of Patricia Hearst, the young heiress, three members of the SLA have been arrested in connection with a fatal bank heist that was 27 years ago. In 1975 in April, a man died during the commission of that bank robbery.

And “USA Today” is reporting the Charlotte Hornets basketball team could be moving to New Orleans. The Hornets have been trying to get a better deal out of the city of Charlotte and get a new arena out of it. It looks like they may take their act on the road. It will all be announced, apparently, on a radio show tomorrow.

We’re going to take a break and come back with a mind-bending mistake out of the state of Florida. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: The good folks in Lauderhill, Florida came very close to making a grievous error. On Saturday, they are all set to honor Shakespearian-trained actor James Earl Jones. The problem: The plaque they commissioned to present to the actor is made out instead to the man who shot and killed Dr. Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray. Further, the plaque really lays it on, thanking the assassin for—quote—”keeping the dream alive.”

The Texas company that made the plaque is promising a new one by Saturday’s festivities. That would be good. In one of the best understatements of this still young year, 2002, they have called it a copy error. Let’s go ahead and join them in honoring James Earl Jones this coming Saturday.

That’s it for us tonight. Coming up next on MSNBC: the broadcast “A REGION IN CONFLICT WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD”—substituting tonight, Forrest Sawyer, live from the Philippines.

That is our broadcast for this Wednesday evening. I’m Brian Williams, NBC News. Thank you for being with us. We’ll look for you right back here tomorrow evening. Good night, everyone.

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Law school student goes on a fatal shooting spree, killing three and wounding three


NBC Nightly News (6:30 PM ET) - NBC

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

Tonight, authorities in rural Virginia say a man who went on a fatal shooting spree at a law school was a student who was not making the grade. The school is in Grundy, Virginia, 120 miles west of Roanoke. It was new and working to make a name for itself, but not like this. Here’s NBC’s Kevin Tibbles.

KEVIN TIBBLES reporting:

Shots rang out at 1 this afternoon on the campus of the tiny Appalachian School of Law. By the time the shooter was overpowered, three people were dead, three others wounded. Police say the 43-year-old suspect is a student from Nigeria who failed last year and who was suspended from school this morning.

Unidentified Man: He was kind of a loner, and it was hard to approach him. He was very closed off.

TIBBLES: The shots fired execution style, according to police, from a semi-automatic handgun. The dead include the dean of the law school, L. Anthony Sutin, a former member of the Clinton administration’s Justice Department. The father of two young children, former law partners say he had a huge heart. One faculty member and a student were also shot dead. The three injured students rushed to nearby hospitals.

State police in Virginia are crediting law students at Appalachian for preventing further loss of life, saying they overpowered the gunman and held him until police could arrive.

Professor PAUL LUND (Associate Dean): The ASL community is profoundly shocked and saddened by this tragedy. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.

TIBBLES: The Appalachian School of Law opened in 1997 to encourage young people in this traditional coal mining region to study and practice law. It is housed on the campus of a former junior high school and boasts just 170 students and 15 faculty. A trauma unit has now been set up on the tiny campus to counsel those who have lost friends. A memorial service will be held at the school tomorrow. Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Chicago.

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Widening the War;

Anchor: Jim Lehrer
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

JIM LEHRER: Good evening. I’m Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight: A summary of today’s news; an interview with the Philippine ambassador about his country’s U.S.-assisted war against terrorists; a look at today’s Supreme Court arguments about managed care health plans; a report on rebuilding the section of the Pentagon damaged in the 9/11 attacks; and a shape of the world conversation with Trudy Rubin of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”

NEWS SUMMARY

JIM LEHRER: A federal grand jury returned a new indictment today against the alleged shoe bomber. Richard Reid was charged with attempted murder and seven other crimes. The British citizen allegedly tried to light explosives in his sneakers on a flight from Paris to Miami last month. Fellow passengers subdued him and the plane landed in Boston. Today, Attorney General Ashcroft said it was clear Reid had received training from al-Qaida.

JOHN ASHCROFT: Reid’s indictment alerts us to a clear, unmistakable threat that al-Qaida could attack the United States again. The lessons for Americans are undeniable. We must be prepared, we must be alert, we must be vigilant. Al-Qaida trained terrorists may act on their own, or as part of the terrorist network but we must assume that they will act.

JIM LEHRER: Reid could get life in prison if he’s convicted. He remains jailed outside Boston. An Algerian man was sentenced today to 24 years in prison in a failed bomb plot. It involved a plan to explode a suitcase bomb at Los Angeles international airport around January 1, 2000. The man sentenced in New York supplied cash and fake ID’s to the plotters. Police foiled the scheme when they arrested another Algerian in Washington State in December, 1999. He trained at Osama bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan. The U.S. Military has increased its presence in the Philippines to fight terrorism. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said today more than 200 U.S. troops are already there. He said several hundred more would follow. They’ll train and support Philippine soldiers battling Muslim guerrillas. The rebels currently hold two Americans and a Filipino hostage. We’ll have more on this story in a few minutes. In Afghanistan today, U.S. Intelligence officers questioned a man who walked into the Marine base at Kandahar yesterday. He claimed to have information on the finances of the Taliban and al-Qaida. In Washington, Secretary Rumsfeld said finding Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, remains a challenge.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Lots of information is coming in, how could I say, answer to that any specific information. It’s all specific, most of it’s wrong! But it’s all specific. It is… What we’re trying to know is where somebody is and we don’t know precisely where he is. We have a good sense in the country… We still believe they’re in the country; we’re still working on that basis, although we are looking some other places as well from time to time.

JIM LEHRER: In other developments, a third planeload of Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners arrived at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A fourth plane left Afghanistan. The general overseeing the operation in Guantanamo said some of the prisoners have vowed to kill an American there if they can. And in Pakistan, searchers found the remains of the last of seven U.S. Marines. They were killed in a plane crash last week. A gunman killed three people today at the Appalachian School of Law in the southwestern Virginia town of Grundy. The dead included the dean of the school, a professor and a student. Three students were critically wounded; the suspect was captured. A doctor at the scene said he was a student upset about his grades. The former lead auditor of Enron’s books met with House investigators today in Washington. His lawyers said David Duncan was cooperating with the congressional inquiry. The Arthur Andersen accounting firm fired him yesterday. It said he organized the destruction of records last October. That was after the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Enron for accounting information. There was more financial fallout from Enron’s collapse today. The banking firm J.P. Morgan Chase said it lost more than $300 million in the fourth quarter of last year. It blamed bad loans to Enron and Argentina. On Wall Street today, the J.P. Morgan losses and a technology sell-off pushed stocks lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 211 points, or 2%, to close at 9,712. The NASDAQ Index dropped 56 points to close at 1944, a loss of 2.8%. In other economic news, the Labor Department reported consumer prices fell last month by 0.2%. For the year, they rose just 1.6%, due mostly to the largest drop in energy costs since 1986. And the Federal Reserve said industrial production fell 3.9% last year. It was the first yearly decline since 1991. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide if states can force outside reviews of HMO decisions. Today, it heard the case of an Illinois woman with a rare nerve condition. After an independent review, her insurance company had to reimburse her for corrective surgery. 40 states allow such reviews, and, in most cases, the conclusions are binding. The HMOS want a single, national standard. The airlines will meet a deadline Friday for screening all checked bags for explosives. Transportation Secretary Mineta confirmed that today. Initially, he had voiced doubt the industry could be ready as early as Congress wanted. But in a Washington speech today, he said airlines and airports would be ready.

NORMAN MINETA, Secretary of Transportation: In working with the airlines, we have taken the necessary action to meet this requirement. Every available explosive detection system, EDS machine, will be used to its maximum capacity. Where we do not yet have EDS resources in place, we’ll use other options outlined in the law.

JIM LEHRER: And those other options include matching bags to passengers, using bomb- sniffing dogs and increasing hand-searches by security officers. Three former members of the Symbionese Liberation Army were arrested today in California and Oregon, they face murder charges in a bank robbery in California in 1975. Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst took part. The radical group had kidnapped her a year earlier. She served two years in prison for a later bank job before President Carter commuted her sentence.

FOCUS - WIDENING THE WAR

JIM LEHRER: Now some details on the Philippines story - the opening of another front in the war on terrorism. We start with some background from Spencer Michels.

SPENCER MICHELS: Since last fall, a small number of American military advisors or “consultants” has joined the Philippine Army in its fight against Muslim Separatists linked to al-Qaida. Until now, the details of their mission have been kept secret.

REPORTER: How do you find the Philippines army so far?

SOLDIER: No comment.

REPORTER: What can you say?

SOLDIER: I can’t comment.

SPENCER MICHELS: Today Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that the American mission to the Philippines—a former U.S. colony– will expand soon. Within a month, the U.S. contingent will number around 600, including 150 Navy Seals, Army Green Berets, Marines and Special Forces.

At the Pentagon, Rumsfeld used the words “training exercises” to describe the mission.

SEC. DONALD RUMSFELD: I believe, the last time I looked, something like 240 or 250 Americans, military personnel, in the country. They are located in several locations in the country. More are going in. They are there for training purposes, they are there for logistics purposes, they are there for an exercise with the Philippine government. As you know, we have a very long military-to-military relationship between the United States and the Philippines. And I expect that there will be several hundred more people going in.

SPENCER MICHELS: The American forces will help train more than a thousand Filipino soldiers in their fight against Muslim extremists.

The targeted group is Abu Sayyef—one of several armed Islamic groups in the largely Catholic country.

Based in the southern islands of Basilan and Jolo, Abu Sayyef has kidnapped foreigners for ransom, often killing them in grisly fashion.

Last year’s victims included American Guillermo Sobero. Two other American missionaries from Kansas, Martin and Gracia Burnham, have been held since last May.

Investigators believe Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida helped fund Abu Sayyef in the early 1990s, and said bin Laden’s brother-in-law met directly with the group.

There’s also a Philippine connection to Ramzi Yousef, the man linked to al-Qaida and convicted of plotting and participating in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Yousef once lived in this Manila apartment. In a 1995 raid, Philippine authorities found evidence of al-Qaida plans to crash a jet into the CIA headquarters, blow up several American airliners, and assassinate the Pope.

At the Pentagon, Secretary Rumsfeld was asked if Abu Sayyef was involved in September 11th.

SEC. DONALD RUMSFELD: There is no question that there have been linkages between al-Qaida and activities that have taken place in the Philippines. And second, the United States is clearly interested in al-Qaida. We are interested in a lot more than al-Qaida.

REPORTER: If I could follow—all the documents, the cell phones, the laptops, the evidence that you’ve gathered—does any of that directly point to the involvement of Abu Sayyaf in the September 11th attacks? Does any of that support that at all?

SEC. DONALD RUMSFELD: I’m not in a position to respond. I don’t—and I don’t know that I would want to if I happened to have gone through and reviewed all of that material.

SPENCER MICHELS: Concern about terrorism in the Philippines is part of the administration’s worry about Islamic militancy throughout the region.

Last month Malaysian officials arrested 13 radical Muslims. They say the men contacted Zacharias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker, in September or October. Singapore has arrested 13 men as well, saying eight trained in al-Qaida camps. The Singapore government also released this alleged al-Qaida videotape. It shows a train station believed to be one of the group’s targets. Western embassies and American companies in Singapore were also on the list.

And in Indonesia, the government believes al-Qaida funded a terrorist training camp used by local Muslim militants.

To help fund the new Philippine mission, President Bush in November committed $100 million in military aid to the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But Arroyo told the NewsHour last November she did not ask for ground troops. Foreign combatants are both unpopular and banned in the Philippines.

JIM LEHRER: You do not want the United States to send armed troops in there to help your army get rid of these people?

PRESIDENT GLORIA ARROYO, Philippines: (November 19, 2001) Well, I think our… I think that our armed forces are quite good in what they’re doing. So what we really need would be really a technical assistance and equipment, materials, joint planning.

SPENCER MICHELS: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said the Philippine training exercises are scheduled to last six months.

JIM LEHRER: And with us now is the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Albert del Rosario.

Mr. Ambassador, welcome.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Thank you. Thank you, Jim.

JIM LEHRER: Have things changed since I had that interview with your president in terms of the situation on the ground in the Philippines and the need for U.S. assistance, military assistance?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, basically, Jim, what’s happened is that the - Abu Sayyef, which has been operating in about one or two of the seven thousand islands has—have been very elusive. And although the numbers of the group have been reduced from an estimated 1,200 to what is now purportedly at less than 100, we’re talking about the core group now. The terrain and the dense forest have made the capture and the eradication of this group very difficult. And to cover this last mile, the Philippines has invited the United States to provide help in terms of technical assistance, in terms of advice, and in terms of training.

JIM LEHRER: Now many Americans are viewing this as a new step in the U.S. war against terrorism. How do the Philippines see what’s going on with the introduction of more U.S. troops?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, I think we are grateful for the assistance from the United States. But I think the public should not view the Philippines as being in the category of some of the other countries being mentioned. We are not harboring terrorism; we are fighting terrorism, Jim.

JIM LEHRER: And the U.S. troops, there’s a lot of terms that can be misused or misunderstood in this case, they are there to train and Secretary Rumsfeld as we just heard, to provide logistics, but they’re also combat soldiers, are they not? They’re going to be armed and if something happens they can shoot back, is that correct?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, the presence of U.S. troops in the Philippines is not for combat purposes. They are supposed to observe and assist, and in the process of doing that yes they are armed and they may defend themselves if so attacked.

JIM LEHRER: This is a sensitive issue in the Philippines, is it’s not, having foreign troops, particularly from the United States on the ground?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: I think, Jim, that there is clearly a legal framework in terms of the mutual defense treaty and the visiting forces agreement, that appropriately covers this activity.

JIM LEHRER: But in terms of the politics of the Philippines, I read some things today that some people say this is a violation of Philippines sovereignty, violation of the constitution; the U.S. soldiers should not come. I mean how do you read that sort of thing?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, I think it’s a matter of education. The U.S. troops are there for essentially three missions. One is to provide assistance, training and advice

In terms of pursuing the Abu Sayyaf. The second is to be able to train this one or two light reaction companies in addition to that which has already been trained earlier. And of course the third is to be able to conduct the joint military exercises under the visiting forces agreement that is actually a yearly occurrence.

JIM LEHRER: Now, Abu Sayyaf, you say there are only about 100 of them left still at large. Tell us about them. Who are these people, where do they come from, what do they believe in?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, the Abu Sayyaf are a, this is a splinter group of a much larger group which advocates the establishment of an independent Muslim state. The main group now is under a peace process, and this splinter group actually was formed by a former trainee of bin Laden from Afghanistan. And when he came back from Afghanistan in 1990, he started this group, and they started by their wave of terrorism by bombing churches and Christian groups. And then they went on to accelerate these terrorist activities in terms of engaging in kidnap for ransom activities. Subsequently, after this was founded by this person, Janjalani was his name, –

JIM LEHRER: Janjalani.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Yes—there was also a fellow called Kalifa, who happened to be the brother-in-law of bin Laden who came to the Philippines to start several foundations, purportedly for funding terrorism activity in the Philippines. Now, he was shut down in—his organizations were shut down by the government in 1995—1995 I think it was. And after that, later on a few years later Janjalani was killed in a firefight. So there is documented evidence, Jim, that there is a historical link dating back to 1990 that this group is affiliated with the al-Qaida group. But after 1995, it becomes rather hazy and circumstantial in terms of that link. Although in—sometime last year—late last year there was a bombing in Suwbwanga, and the perpetrator who was caught, a fellow called Marvin Gjonson, I believe, he was related to the Abu Sayyaf, and there were documentation found in his person that seem to link him to the al-Qaida groups. So there you are.

JIM LEHRER: Okay. Why is it so hard to find these 100 people? What is it that the U.S. Military, what kind of expertise can they bring to this manhunt that has now been going on for several years now already in the Philippines?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Well, I think, as I mentioned earlier, Jim, the terrain is very difficult.

JIM LEHRER: Describe the terrain. What kind of terrain?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: I’ve not been there, but I’m told, and there’s documentary evidence from the U.S. Military itself that the terrain is difficult because you have mountains and you have dense jungle, and you have very heavy fog in that area. So I think looking for a band of less than 100 would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Now, in terms of intelligence, I think the Philippine forces have human intelligence, but it’s not real time, for example.

JIM LEHRER: You find out something two weeks too late you mean?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: That’s right. Before that human intelligence gets its information back, and before the Philippine troops can mobilize and get transported to that area where the Abu Sayyaf may have been viewed, it’s too late, they are not there any more. So what we’re looking for from the United States is equipment, real-time intelligence.

JIM LEHRER: Technology as well?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Yes, yes. And the objective, I think I might add, of this joint training is, it gives the U.S. Military exposure in terms of working in terrain like that, and the exchanges that the Philippine forces are able to train in terms of using modern equipment.

JIM LEHRER: Is there any word at all, new word at all on the Burnhams, the two captured American missionaries who are being held for ransom?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: There are supposed to be sightings of the Burnhams, and they seem to be, they are physically weak, but they’re still moving around, they’re being moved around, and they are alive. And it is our prayer that the military and the cooperation between the Philippines and the United States will be able to safely rescue them, Jim.

JIM LEHRER: Mr. Ambassador, much is being made, as you saw in the newspapers this morning, about this new arrangement, in other words the decision to send more U.S. troops there. In the first place, is too much being made about this? Do you see, in the Philippines the introduction of the U.S. troops, as many as 600, is this a big a deal there as it appears to be here for us because it relates directly to Afghanistan or appears to?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: I think the numbers would require some explanation. We do have a joint military exercise that is taking place at the same time as the pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf. Out of the 600 that you mentioned, only 100 or so are Special Forces. The other 500 are support and maintenance personnel, because they will also have aircraft and they will also have some other equipment there that need to be upgraded and maintained.

JIM LEHRER: As a practical matter, would this military arrangement have even happened if there hadn’t been September 11? I mean, would the Philippines have felt compelled in the atmosphere that existed before to ask the U.S. for this kind of help?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: I think that in the context of what happened on September 11, Jim, the terrorism per se is abominable, it is a scourge, and I think that the international coalition in pursuing the eradication of terrorism throughout the world is, was the September 11 was the catalyst for this.

JIM LEHRER: And an impetus that led to this?

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Yes, that’s correct.

JIM LEHRER: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO: Thank you, Jim, I enjoyed being with you.

FOCUS - MANAGING CARE

JIM LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight: Managed care before the U.S. Supreme Court, rebuilding the Pentagon, and Trudy Rubin of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.” Margaret Warner has the court story.

MARGARET WARNER: At issue before the Supreme Court today was whether a state, in this case Illinois, can force managed health care plans to abide by an independent review when there is a dispute with a patient. We get more on the case and today’s proceedings from the NewsHour’s regular court- watcher, Jan Crawford Greenburg of the “Chicago Tribune,” and Susan Dentzer of our health unit, a partnership with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All right, Jan, tell us about this case. Tell us about this Ms. Moran.

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Debra Moran was diagnosed in 1996 with a rare and very painful nerve condition in her right shoulder. At first she had trouble blow-drying her hair, but it progressed to the point where she couldn’t even pick up a fork without her husband helping her. She went to doctor after doctor, through her HMO plan, she saw orthopedists, rehab doctors, physical therapists, but nothing, she said, alleviated or helped the pain. It always would come back. So she heard about this specialist in Virginia, and the specialist was doing a more aggressive newer kind of surgery. And she explored that option. The specialist thought that Ms. Moran would be an ideal candidate for this kind of surgery. But the specialist was not in her HMO’s network. So Ms. Moran went back to her primary care physician who agreed that this surgery was medically necessary, recommended that she go ahead and have it. Her HMO, Rush Prudential, refused to pay for the cost and said no, you need to see our network surgeons, we’ll pay for that, it’s a less complicated and less expensive surgery, but we think that’s good enough and that’s medically necessary but the Rush affiliated surgeons were proposing a treatment that they said only carried with it about a one-third chance of success and also a one-third chance that something could go wrong, including possibly paralysis. Debra Moran obviously didn’t like those odds. So she decided to go ahead and pay for the surgery herself. She said she - you know—maxed out her credit cards, borrowed money from other sources and paid $95,000. Then she asked again –.

MARGARET WARNER: And was successful?

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Right. So she asked Rush again to pay for this, Rush declined. She went to state court to get a judge to order Rush to go through, which had been declining to do too, to go through this independent review process so that an outside physician could look at her case to see if she was right. And the state court ordered Rush to do that. The process began, the outside independent reviewing physician from Johns Hopkins Medical center agreed with Moran, and the specialist that the surgery was necessary. So Rush, the reviewer says you played for the claim. Then Rush changed its approach.

MARGARET WARNER: So this, I gather, went through, she’s now suing to get her money back, and the first court ruled –

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Right. Rush then changed its approach a bit and raised a different argument in federal court. Then it said, look, this state law is invalid, this independent reviewing process, that’s just invalid, we don’t have to pay for this procedure because a federal law, federal employee benefits law, supersedes or takes precedence over this state law. So we don’t have to go through this process at all. The federal district court agreed with Rush. But a federal court of appeals in Chicago disagreed and it sided with Ms. Moran and it said that the state law didn’t conflict, the state law was valid, Rush took that appeal, took that case to the Supreme Court and that’s how we got here today.

MARGARET WARNER: All right. Susan, tell us about this federal law, because we hear a lot about this, ERISA a very difficult acronym. What is this law?

SUSAN DENTZER: It’s the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It was passed in 1974. And it was designed really because Congress wanted to encourage the provision primarily of pensions and other employee benefit plans. And it was worried that the states were nickeling and diming employers, who often operated in multiple states, with lots of independent state statutes that conflicted in many instances. So Congress said we need one overriding federal statute on employee benefits, therefore passed ERISA in 1974. Over time it’s come to also apply to other employee benefits other than pensions and retirement plans, like health insurance. The critical issue, as Jan says, in this case is do the provisions of ERISA, which apply to employee benefits, override state statutes that pertain to insurance and the regulation of health care? Traditionally the regulation of insurance and health care has been left to the states. However, ERISA itself also carves out some exceptions. So now the parties are arguing over whether ERISA should apply in this case or whether the state law governing insurance, which HMO products are, in most states, or whether it is regulation of health care, and therefore that that is also under the purview of the State of Illinois in this case.

MARGARET WARNER: And some 40 states have passed some kind of patient protection that provides for some kind of independent preview process?

SUSAN DENTZER: Exactly, 41 states now and the District of Columbia have provisions that allow for this independent review—as does Medicare, the federal benefits program for the elderly.

MARGARET WARNER: All right. So Jan, tell us about court today. I gather the lawyer for the HMO went first - what did he argue –

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Right. John Roberts represented the HMO and he said the state law is invalid because it conflicted with ERISA. I mean—obviously just the sound of it, I mean these cases - as Roberts said today—can be extremely complicated, but this case, he see, was a straight forward one. States cannot require HMO’s to abide by whatever decision an independent reviewer may make because that’s a different remedy for someone who may have a complaint about a denial of benefits. If you’ve got a complaint about your benefits being denied, you’ve got to look at ERISA. The federal law, that’s the only remedy, that is a different remedy, Roberts said, so therefore is out the door, it’s out the window, we’ve got to rely on ERISA.

MARGARET WARNER: Did any of the Justices give him a hard time?

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, several of the Justices seemed inclined to do so - Justice Souter, Justice O’Connor even and Justice Stevens, but they didn’t really give him much resistance. They suggested, Justice O’Connor for example at one point said, well, what about insurance, I mean as Susan said? Is this really a law about HMO or employee benefits, or is it about insurance? And of course that’s the point that the lawyer for Debra Moran tried to make when he stood up next.

MARGARET WARNER: So what happened?

JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, his main argument is that this isn’t about employee benefits, we know that that’s the purview of ERISA. This is about insurance, this is a law regulating insurance, ERISA says, that’s one of these exceptions, ERISA says insurance, that’s the state’s business. There’s another Supreme Court case that suggests there may be exceptions to that. But his bottom line was that this is about insurance, and he said all Debra Moran ever saw in this case is the benefits she was entitled to, which - you know - he said saved her right arm—trying to make this to a very straight forward case like Roberts had done before. But at that point Justice Scalia - Antonin Scalia—jumped right in and really framed the issues and in this case and said, look, the question is who gets to decide if she is entitled to those benefits, or who gets to decide what are the benefits that she gets. So you know Moran says the states can decide. The states can set up these independent reviewing boards, Rush Prudential says no, we’ve got this federal law and that’s what’s supposed to govern here. So that’s really what it boiled down to. I think Justice Scalia offered some resistance to Ms. Moran’s lawyer, as did Justice Kennedy and even the chief justice to some degree, they seemed to suggest they were not willing to embrace this Illinois law, or by extension maybe some of the other 39, 40 laws.

MARGARET WARNER: And there is a lot at stake here, Susan.

SUSAN DENTZER: Absolutely. In fact, for all of these states that have passed these provisions, they view that as a very important protection against decisions being made that are not based on medical necessity, not really based on the medical evidence. Consumer advocates think that if the Court rules in favor of the plans on this, in effect it would void all of those, it could have the possibility depending on how expansive the ruling is that could void all of those state statutes and that’s very problematic. And even the health plan industry is conflicted on this, because it has embraced external review as a very important element that nudges people to looking truly at the issues of medical necessity, is a procedure really medically necessary -

MARGARET WARNER: Rather than going to court.

SUSAN DENTZER:—rather than going to court—but also understanding the true medical evidence that something works or doesn’t work. So there’s a lot at stake on all sides.

MARGARET WARNER: So if the Court rules in favor of Rush, then the only way to get in these independent reviews would be for Congress to have to do something?

SUSAN DENTZER: In effect probably, depending again on what the Court actually says. But in fact, that is a big issue at stake in the fight to pass a patients bill of rights. All of the provisions that have passed on the Hill have an external review provision in them with various differences. The health plans as an industry want a national external review provision, they want that very much, again as a protection against excessive litigation and also nudging towards the scientific practice of medicine. So whatever the Court says, in fact there could be at the end of this a legislative remedy that restores an external review process for all Americans, but at a federal level, and in fact getting at the very issue that ERISA was designed to attack, to have one overall national standard on that issue.

MARGARET WARNER: All right. Well, thank you Susan and Jan.

FOCUS - REBUILDING

JIM LEHRER: Now, rebuilding the Pentagon building after the 9/11 terrorism attack. Ray Suarez has that story. (Sirens)

RAY SUAREZ: When a hijacked jetliner sliced into the Pentagon on September 11, Lee Evey was sitting in his office supervising the completion of the first phase of a 20-year, $1.2 billion renovation of the Pentagon.

LEE EVEY, Pentagon Renovation Program Manager: We were about five days from completing that process—a process that had taken us about three years. We were moving people in, following right behind the completion of the construction, and we were about half finished.

RAY SUAREZ: When Evey got to the crash site, he found the plane had crashed diagonally through a part of both the new renovation and the old building. Fire fed by 10,000 gallons of jet fuel was just beginning to spread. Eventually it would damage two million square feet, almost a third of the building.

LEE EVEY: It just seemed like a box of puzzle parts that had been dumped on a table. There seemed to be no rhyme, nor reason, to it at all. The people we had in the building are accustomed to constructing buildings, are accustomed to building them, not disassembling them and taking them apart. We went out and we hired very, very quickly, overnight, some people who are experts in blast recovery. They had worked Mexico City, they had worked Oklahoma City, they had worked the earlier blast at the Twin Towers in New York, and got them on site as quickly as possible.

RAY SUAREZ: Chief among those hires was Alan Kilsheimer, a structural engineer with years of experience in blast recovery. He arrived on site the afternoon of the 11th and has been on the rebuilding job 18 hours a day since.

ALAN KILSHEIMER, Structural Engineer: They asked me to “a.,” design it, “b.,” be responsible to make sure it’s built the way we want it built. I told them we had three rules. One is there are no rules except for my rules, and that they had to keep all the people with paper and all the bureaucrats out of my face. And they did that. They’ve been… I’ve never seen anything like it. I couldn’t get away with this in downtown Washington on a private job. I have no rules.

RAY SUAREZ: Kilsheimer says his working motto is simple: “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.” The reconstruction has brought together an odd couple, the blunt and irreverent Kilsheimer, and the clean-cut and buttoned down project manager for the Pentagon, Will Colston. The two have been working closely since September 11. Both say it’s a partnership that works.

RAY SUAREZ: He may have only been half joking, that he demanded up front that people not be waving pieces of paper in his face, and that instead they wave them in your face. (Laughs) That’s the stuff that comes cascading down on the…

WILL COLSTON, Project Manager: That’s funny. He’s throwing a ton of drawings on top of me, which is on paper, itself. But no, it’s absolutely right. I mean, one of the key things that I do as the project manager for the government is to try to put the contracting methods, to put the funding, to be able to put any of the resources needed in place to support Alan as well as the contractor, and the other people working on this job to get it done.

RAY SUAREZ: While the fires were still burning, the reconstruction team decided to rebuild the damaged building as quickly as possible. Their goal is to have office workers in at least the outermost section, the building’s public face, where the jet hit the building, by September 11 of this New Year.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: Construction people are… They were really upset by this, what happened. It was an attack on them and what they stand for, and they’re going to show these people that they can do whatever they want to us, but we’re going to recover, and we’re going to recover faster than anybody ever imagined.

RAY SUAREZ: The original Pentagon structure is actually five different structures, or wedges; each one a separate entity connected by expansion joints. Five concentric rings of offices connect the wedges. The plane plowed through three rings just to the right of an expansion joint, almost like the first cut in a wedding cake.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: If you looked at the photographs early on, you saw a vertical clean line. That was the expansion joint. So everything to the left didn’t collapse and everything to the right collapsed within an hour or two.

RAY SUAREZ: On that left side was wedge 2, part of the unrenovated original Pentagon with no sprinkler system and tons of asbestos. On the right side was the newly renovated wedge 1 with a brand new advanced sprinkler system.

LEE EVEY: That fire went nowhere in wedge 1. Now I did get a heck of a lot of water damage in wedge 1, as a result of that, but the fire went nowhere. Wedge 2, the fire just took off. The heat of the fire was so intense that it damaged the concrete, and it damaged it further than we had initially thought that it had. In some areas, the fire was intense enough that the windows had actually melted.

RAY SUAREZ: After the rescue and crime scene personnel left the site in mid-October, demolition crews flattened a 100-yard-wide section of the building. Working around the clock, crews removed 47,000 tons of debris, more than 5,000 dump truck loads. Instead of the usual six months, the demolition phase took just a month and a day. Then they immediately began pouring concrete, and they haven’t stopped since. Ground was broken for the Pentagon on September 11, 1941, as the United States was about to enter World War II. The building, all 29 acres of it, went up in just 16 months. It was built so fast, the architectural drawings were completed after the fact, creating any number of design headaches. Since the attack, Evey and Kilsheimer have continually explored the site and say they were continually surprised by what they found.

LEE EVEY: Pick a building code– the Pentagon doesn’t comply with it. Okay, we do not comply with a single building code.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: It was done differently in ‘41 than the very sketchy drawings we had showed, or it had been worked on over the years so that we, even today, are still finding things differently than we thought, and we have to keep adjusting what we’re doing to accommodate what we uncover.

RAY SUAREZ: For example:

ALAN KILSHEIMER: There are tunnels and things all in and around here that were done over the years, and we’re trying to work around all those things.

RAY SUAREZ: Now I’m going to guess that there was a lot of conduit, cable, communications lines that because this was a 1941 building, had to be run in sub-optimal places.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: Yes.

RAY SUAREZ: But now that you’re building from scratch, you have a chance to do it right?

ALAN KILSHEIMER: Yes.

RAY SUAREZ: And you had those wires…

ALAN KILSHEIMER: Yes, it will be done a lot better than it was done before.

RAY SUAREZ: The rebuilt part will also be tougher and more resistant to blast damage. In wedge 1, the newly renovated section of the Pentagon, interlocking steel-beam supports and blast resistant windows, interspersed with a Kevlar, or bulletproof-type cloth, had just been installed. Evey says they were well worth the cost.

LEE EVEY: They cost us about $10,000 a piece when you put all the stuff together: The steel, the Kevlar, the windows, etc.. When the time came for these windows to account for themselves, in less than a second, they, you know, worked extraordinarily well and we strongly believe helped reduce the loss of life and injury in the building.

RAY SUAREZ: Those target-hardened window systems are built in a way that’s totally unlike any normal replacement window at home.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: So these are actually built into the forms that we pour the concrete in. So when we take the forms off the wall, these frames will be in the wall, imbedded in the concrete, and then the windows, the blast windows, will attach to this.

RAY SUAREZ: So these are purpose- built, designed for this job.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: Yes. Absolutely.

RAY SUAREZ: Is that common?

ALAN KILSHEIMER: No.

RAY SUAREZ: No, I didn’t think so.

ALAN KILSHEIMER: There’s nothing common to this job.

RAY SUAREZ: There’s also nothing common about how the workers rebuilding the Pentagon feel about the job they’re doing. There’s pride in the punishing schedule, and the rapid progress.

JEFF WINCHESTER: It’s moving kind of fast. Yeah, normally other projects are a little laid back, but right now, because it’s the Pentagon, the boss is asking everybody to pitch in. All those that are not going to pitch in, we’re letting them go.

TONY ARAUJO: I feel a little privileged to be out here. One day when I’m older, I’m going to be able to tell my kids, “I was there,” you know. “I did the reconstruction of the Pentagon after the plane went through it.”

KEVIN REED: It’s important to everybody out here. I mean, everybody… We come in early and work late, and we’re trying to get this thing put back together as fast as possible, and everybody’s willing to do it. It’s like bin Laden can’t come over here and hurt this country, because we can put it back together.

RAY SUAREZ: Pentagon historians can’t tell their story without September 11, the groundbreaking in 1941; the attack in 2001; and, if this construction crew has its way, a return to work in a completed new ring on September 11, 2002.

SERIES - THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD

JIM LEHRER: Finally tonight, another New Year conversation about the United States in the world with American commentators on international affairs. Gwen Ifill has tonight’s.

GWEN IFILL: And joining me is Trudy Rubin, a foreign affairs columnist for the “Philadelphia Inquirer.” Welcome, Trudy. It’s nice to see you in person for a change.

TRUDY RUBIN, Philadelphia Inquirer: It’s very nice to be here.

GWEN IFILL: You have written in your columns that what separates pre-September 11 from post- September 11 is a new global or an old global reality that we just weren’t paying attention to before. Elaborate on that.

TRUDY RUBIN: 9-11 was really a wake-up call. We were living in a very happy 1990s la-la land, where I think we didn’t understand that being a superpower has costs as well as benefits. Everybody was familiar with the benefits you gain from trade– we were doing very well economically, no one could really challenge us abroad. But I think what most Americans didn’t realize was that being a sole superpower breeds resentments and it breeds more resentments if you handle it casually or arrogantly. And I think they also didn’t understand that in the kind of world we live in now where information and mobility are so easy to come by and where everyone can move without being tracked, that it was very easy for stateless groups or individuals to harm America and that a highly industrialized society is very vulnerable to low-tech threats.

GWEN IFILL: But clich s aside, you write that September 11 did not change everything.

TRUDY RUBIN: No. It didn’t change things as much as we think because I think a lot of the same issues that we were discussing without the same intensity before 9/11 still exist: For example, the whole question of multilateralism versus unilateralism. Certainly we went into Afghanistan virtually alone. We had an alliance and the Brits helped us militarily, but basically it was our show, yet there were still questions about multilateralism that resonate more strongly after 9/11. For example, if you have failed states like Afghanistan, who is supposed to pick up the pieces, and who is supposed to do the peacekeeping? If you have a situation in Afghanistan where the country could break down again, if the United States isn’t involved in strengthening multilateral organizations that can provide the wherewithal and the people and money for that, then it’s not going to get done.

GWEN IFILL: So are you saying that the unilateralism of the United States that this administration was accused of prior to September 11 will come back in a different form?

TRUDY RUBIN: I think it never really went away. For example, the issue of how to deal with Russia—it is true that we have a new alliance, an antiterrorist alliance, but the same questions still resonate. The U.S. Has unilaterally decided to pull out of the ABM Treaty, and the relationship with Russia is still uncertain. And that needs to be worked out. And the same issues about peacekeeping, about foreign aid that were on the back burner before 9/11 haven’t really emerged to the front burner, and I think they will because they’re relevant in dealing with the kind of failed states that breed terrorism.

GWEN IFILL: You talked a moment ago about what happens next, nation-building, peacekeeping, whatever you want to call it. But you also have written that in order to, that the United States can’t get into this war without planning to win it. What is winning in a war like this? How do you define that?

TRUDY RUBIN: Winning, I think is a word that is… Now needs to be redefined after the fighting is over in Afghanistan. Winning does not mean ending terrorism because terrorism is a phenomena that was with us before 9/11 and there will always be terrorists at some level. There will always be local conflicts that will breed terrorism. And it doesn’t mean that we will be able to wipe it out everywhere in the world, because local conflicts, whether it’s Etta in Spain for Basque separatism, or the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, are going to be there. We can give advice, help cut off funds, we can share intelligence. But winning, in terms of Afghanistan, I think we have already done what I would think of as winning.

GWEN IFILL: Can the United States claim any kind of real victory if bin Laden has not been captured?

TRUDY RUBIN: Yes, and I think bin Laden probably will be captured because I think somebody will sell him out. I think that the elements that we have achieved which are extremely important, we have broken his charismatic glow. Bin Laden on al-Jazeera will not have the same impact. People see the fraudulence of his dreams of rebuilding an Islamic radical caliphate in the whole world. So we’ve struck a blow in this regard in discrediting radical Islamism. It won’t go away, but we have achieved something. Pakistan, crucial. General Musharaff made an incredibly courageous speech. He’s basically trying to do just what many Pakistanis had dreamt of and hoped, which is end the Talibanization of his society. These are real victories.

GWEN IFILL: Is it possible to replicate this kind of victory that has happened in Afghanistan—if that’s what it is—in Iraq? That’s the big debate.

TRUDY RUBIN: Right. You can’t just take the template and transfer it. There’s no northern alliance. There’s no southern alliance. The Iraqi National Congress once had a base in northern Iraq. President Clinton basically sold them out in 1996. They don’t have the fighting force on the ground. There are some Iraqi exiles in Iran. It’s not clear if they could come across to fight or if they’re still Islamists or have changed their tune. That’s one big difference. A second big difference is you have to convince Iraq’s neighbors and Iraqis themselves that we’re serious. We called on them to rise in 1991; we sold them out then, too. They rose and were smashed by Saddam. So you have a harder sell. In Afghanistan people believed we would fight to the end. In Iraq, you will have to convince people, and you will have to count on convincing them and have Iraqis rise.

GWEN IFILL: Another difficult part of this puzzle is what’s happening in the Israeli-Palestinian question. You have written that you’ve never seen it this bad. Is it because it is getting lost in the Afghanistan swirl, or is it its own intractable issue that the United States hasn’t figured out how to cope with?

TRUDY RUBIN: I don’t think it’s insoluble. At the moment, it seems intractable. Obviously, the U.S. attention was taken away from it, although with this horrible phase, even with new attention paid, it’s not so clear that you can move. One big plus: If we do go after Saddam Hussein and succeed, I think that might be the lever that could unleash a new peace process in Israel and with the Palestinians because if that threat were taken away, I think there would be a lot of changes in the Arab world. It would make it easier to deal with Israel and the Palestinians.

GWEN IFILL: But you’ve written that Yasser Arafat is a failed leader; “a tragic failed leader,” I think were your words. Is he the one we still have to deal with in order to work this through, in spite of that?

TRUDY RUBIN: At the moment, there is not an apparent alternative. After Arafat is either chaos or Hamas. If one wants to cultivate an alternative amongst Palestinians themselves, because they have to pick the new leadership, there are people on the Palestinian side who are very clear in the commitment to states no more final end to conflict. And Israel has to cultivate those people. But unfortunately leaders like Saren Asayba and Mustafa Bargudi have been arrested recently, although released after a few hours. Mustafa Bargudi, a prominent doctor heads medical relief committees, beaten up. This is not the way to deal with moderate leaders that might be the future.

GWEN IFILL: Finally, I do want to throw some of your words back at you and have you respond. You wrote at one point in October, “Perhaps these dark days will produce some positive legacy, shock some leaders into wiser behavior. It may only be a dream, but I can’t bear to wake up yet.” Have you awakened yet?

TRUDY RUBIN: I actually am hopeful to a certain extent about the Middle East after this, because I see the beginnings of debate. I am thrilled with what is happening in Pakistan. The debate in the United States, however, I don’t think has been engaged, yet because we do have to debate what kind of a superpower we want to be in the world, what we need and want to do beyond military, and how to reach out; better trade policies, more opening to third world trade, more aid. We can’t solve the world’s problems, but if we’re the sole superpower, we have to do more than provide weapons.

GWEN IFILL: Trudy Rubin, thank you very much for joining us.

TRUDY RUBIN: You’re very welcome.

JIM LEHRER: We’ll continue this series next week with Tom Friedman of the “New York Times.”

RECAP

JIM LEHRER: And again, the major developments of the day. A federal grand jury issued a new indictment against the alleged shoe bomber, Richard Reid. He was charged with attempted murder and seven other crimes. The U.S. Military said it has increased its presence in the Philippines to fight terrorism. And a gunman killed three people at the Appalachian School of Law in Southwestern Virginia. The school’s dean was among the dead. We’ll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. I’m Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.

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‘FAILING’ LAW STUDENT SHOOTS DEAD THREE COLLEGE STAFF

Hugh Dougherty
Press Association

Four students overpowered a gunman who went on a shooting spree at their US college tonight, killing three people in what a doctor described as “executions”.

The four students tackled the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol and managed to hold him until police arrived at the Appalachian School of Law, in Grundy, Virginia.

He had already shot and killed three people, including the dean of the college and one of the professors, and left three other students critically injured.

The doctor who was the first medical worker on the scene told Fox News the dean of the school, Anthony Sutin, had been “executed” with shots to the head, and another member of staff had been shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range,” said Dr Jack Briggs.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor.

“They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The three students were described as being “critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off. There are lots of things that will come out in the trial that I think are probably pretty pertinent to his personality.”

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal mining area’s economy and Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15.

Dr Briggs paid tribute to the dean and said: “He was a real good guy.”

All three were female students at the college.

And CNN reported that the dead Dean had been the chief legal adviser toformer presidential candidate Al Gore’s failed bid for the White House in 2000.

He had also been an assistant US attorney-general in Washington before being appointed to the college.

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Attack shocks school alumni, student; Smyth countians knew Appalachian School of Law victims

Steven Mackey
Smyth County News & Messenger

Smyth Countians who are alumni or students at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy were still reeling Friday from this week’s attack by a gunman that left three people dead. Despite the tragedy, alumni Alan Stratton and Jeff Campbell and student Melissa Carrico said the school will thrive.

According to Grundy police, a 43-year-old Nigerian-born student, Peter Odighizuwa, shot and killed three people during a Wednesday rampage. Three people were wounded. The dead are L. Anthony “Tony” Sutin, the school’s dean; Thomas F. Blackwell, a professor; and Angela Denise Dales, a student.

Students tackled the accused gunmen to the ground and subdued him until police arrived. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Odighizuwa. Within a day’s time, a memorial service was held at a church near the school to honor the slain.

Smyth County resident Melissa Carrico is in h