Appalachian School of Law Shootings

This shows the part of each story that mentions how Peter O. was captured. The full text of these stories is here, while an index is here

Thu, 17 Jan 2002

Failing student shoots three dead at law college

Ben Fenton

THREE people including a former assistant US attorney general were shot dead by a disaffected law school student last night.

Three female students were wounded when the man, who was on the verge of being expelled, opened fire.

Two professors at the school in rural Virginia were “executed at point blank range” in front of their secretaries and the third victim, a student, was shot at random as the gunman emerged into a crowded lounge.

Police said that Peter Odighizuma, 43, a foreign student who was armed with a semi-automatic pistol, was then tackled and arrested by students of the Appalachian School of Law in the small town of Grundy.

The dead were Anthony Sutin, the dean, another professor and a female student at the school, police said.

Mr Sutin served under Janet Reno in the Clinton administration and was legal adviser to Al Gore, the Democrat presidential candidate, in the 2000 election campaign. The three injured, all of whom are in critical condition, were also shot randomly as the man started to look for additional victims.

Dr Jack Briggs, who tended the dead and wounded, said the death toll would have been greater if the gunman had had a bigger magazine in his gun. He was pulled to the ground by students when he ran out of bullets.

Dr Briggs, who is also the county coroner, said the killer had difficulty during his first year and had left.

“He came back again to try to start again, but he was failing again and I think they were ready to bring him in and tell him that, so he was ready to take his anger out on those who he felt were responsible,” Dr Briggs said.

The doctor added that he had treated the gunman for stress about six months ago.

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off,” Dr Briggs said.

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