Appalachian School of Law Shootings

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Fri, 18 Jan 2002


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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