Appalachian School of Law Shootings

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Thu, 17 Jan 2002

Failed law student ‘executes’ three in campus shooting;

Flavia Munn
Western Daily Press

THREE people were killed at a US college last night after a failed student went on a shooting spree.

The college dean and a professor were among those gunned down when the man opened fire at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, deep in rural Virginia.

A further three students were critically injured before the gunman was overpowered by four other students. The students managed to hold down the man while he was still armed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol until police arrived.

The gunman’s doctor, who was first on the scene, described the killings as “executions” and said his patient was like a “timebomb waiting to go off.”

It comes after two teenagers were shot dead last week at a New York school and around 27 people have been killed in school shootings in America in the past three years.

In last night’s incident the dean, Anthony Sutin, was shot in the head and another member of staff was shot in the back as he lay on the ground.

Dr Jack Briggs told Fox News: “It appears as though some of these shots were after one professor was down and they were shot at point blank range. 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 a spree in which he shot randomly at students.

The doctor said the gunman was a “foreign exchange student” and was 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 the 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 three students were described as being “critical” by Dr Briggs, and had been transferred by helicopter to hospitals near the small town, which is in a rural area of the Appalachian Mountains.

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.”

The college was set up in 1997 to help the run-down coal mining area’s economy and Mr Sutin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was made principal with a staff of just 15.

Dr Briggs paid tribute to the dean, who was reported to have been the chief legal adviser to former presidential candidate Al Gore’s failed bid for the White House in 2000.

He said: “He was a real good guy.”

The three female students who were injured were being treated in hospital last night.

One victim was said to be in a “fair” condition and the other two were undergoing surgery.

The UK’s worst school shooting was the Dunblane massacre when Thomas Hamilton opened fire on a primary school in 1996, killing 16 children and one teacher.

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