Appalachian School of Law Shootings

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Fri, 18 Jan 2002

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.

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