|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Mon, 21 Jan 2002
Seidle heard gunshots
By Dawn Linsner
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.
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.
n Community embraces law school.
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The Associated Press
The hallways of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy were deserted Friday afternoon.