Appalachian School of Law Shootings

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002


Hugh Dougherty
Press Association

A close-knit American community was today in mourning after a college student killed his dean, a lecturer and another student, and injured three women students during a shooting rampage.

The gunman, who has not been named, was overpowered by four other students while still wielding his semi-automatic handgun at the tiny college campus at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia.

The remote town was in shock after the shootings, with the dean of the college, a professor and a student all dead, while the three injured women were recovering in hospital after surgery.

Dr Jack Briggs, the first doctor on the scene, said the dean, Anthony Sutin, had apparently been shot twice in the head at point-blank range, while the professor, who has not been named, was shot while he lay wounded on the ground.

“It appears as though some of these shots were fired after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range,” the doctor told Fox News.

“Two shots were shot into the dean in the head. It appears he was executed.

“It looked like a war zone. There were bodies everywhere.”

The two staff members were apparently shot in front of their secretaries before the gunman went on the rampage in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and had been on the point of being told to leave the law school which has around 170 students and was founded in 1997.

“Four students tackled him and took him down,” said the doctor.

“They got him down and kept him for his police. I do not believe he had given up his weapon.

“This student was a foreign student who had had difficulty. He flunked out of school last year.

“He was given another chance, but this was the end of the first semester. I believe that the dean was about to tell him that he would have to leave.

“He took his anger out on the people who I think he thought were responsible for him leaving the school.”

The doctor added: “The person who did the shooting was a patient of mine. I saw him about six months ago. He was complaining of stress.”

“He was a timebomb waiting to go off. There are lots of things that will come out in the trial that I think are probably pretty pertinent to his personality.”

Harvard-educated Mr Sutin had been the top legal adviser to former US vice president Al Gore when he made his failed bid for the presidency in 1994 and had also been an assistant attorney-general, one of America’s top prosecutors.

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