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

Thu, 17 Jan 2002


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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