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

Shooting defendant ordered held

United Press International

A failed law student charged with shooting and killing two faculty members and another student at Appalachian School of Law was ordered held without bond Thursday during his first appearance in Buchanan County General District Court.

Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, said he was sick and needed help.

Odighizuwa, covering his face with a green court document, told a judge he was supposed to see a doctor and didn’t have his medication.

The judge set another preliminary hearing for March 21 and appointed an attorney to represent the student.

He is charged with three counts of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and several counts of using a firearm to commit a felony.

Meanwhile, a memorial service was held at Grundy Baptist Church for the three victims of the shooting rampage Wednesday. Dead are law school dean Anthony Sutin, 42, associate professor Thomas Blackwell, 41; and student Angela Dales, 33.

Three other students were severely wounded in the shooting before other students were able to knock Odighizuwa to the ground and hold him for police.

Authorities said Odighizuwa had just been informed he had either failed out of college for the second time or had been placed on academic suspension when he went into the offices of Sutin and Blackwell and shot them at close range.

They said he then went down a flight of stairs and opened fire on several students before fleeing out the door. The other students caught him as he exited the building.

Classes at the school were canceled until Tuesday, Jan. 22. Authorities plan to bring grief counselors to campus.

Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School and Brandeis University, was a former acting assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice and a lawyer for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992.

Before joining the government, Sutin was a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm, where he specialized in civil litigation.

Blackwell was a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and the Duke University School of Law who specialized in business organizations, intellectual property and technology law. He was an attorney in Dallas, Texas, before joining the law school.

The Appalachian School of Law opened Aug. 11, 1997, in a renovated junior high school in Grundy, a town with two traffic lights and a population of 1,118.

Grundy, located in a mountainous area about 260 miles west of Richmond, Va., was initially a logging community and coal mining town, but was heavily hit by a 1977 flood that damaged 228 buildings.

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