|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Wed, 16 Jan 2002
TOM BROKAW, anchor:
Tonight, authorities in rural Virginia say a man who went on a fatal shooting spree at a law school was a student who was not making the grade. The school is in Grundy, Virginia, 120 miles west of Roanoke. It was new and working to make a name for itself, but not like this. Here’s NBC’s Kevin Tibbles.
KEVIN TIBBLES reporting:
Shots rang out at 1 this afternoon on the campus of the tiny Appalachian School of Law. By the time the shooter was overpowered, three people were dead, three others wounded. Police say the 43-year-old suspect is a student from Nigeria who failed last year and who was suspended from school this morning.
Unidentified Man: He was kind of a loner, and it was hard to approach him. He was very closed off.
TIBBLES: The shots fired execution style, according to police, from a semi-automatic handgun. The dead include the dean of the law school, L. Anthony Sutin, a former member of the Clinton administration’s Justice Department. The father of two young children, former law partners say he had a huge heart. One faculty member and a student were also shot dead. The three injured students rushed to nearby hospitals.
State police in Virginia are crediting law students at Appalachian for preventing further loss of life, saying they overpowered the gunman and held him until police could arrive.
Professor PAUL LUND (Associate Dean): The ASL community is profoundly shocked and saddened by this tragedy. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.
TIBBLES: The Appalachian School of Law opened in 1997 to encourage young people in this traditional coal mining region to study and practice law. It is housed on the campus of a former junior high school and boasts just 170 students and 15 faculty. A trauma unit has now been set up on the tiny campus to counsel those who have lost friends. A memorial service will be held at the school tomorrow. Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Chicago.