|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Sat, 19 Jan 2002
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.