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Thursday, 17 January, 2002, 12:10 GMT
Gunman kills three in US college
A victim's body is taken to an ambulance in Grundy, Virginia
The dead included the dean of the university
A struggling student shot three people dead at a law school in the American state of Virginia, before being wrestled to the ground by fellow students.

The victims included the dean, a faculty member and a student of the Appalachian School of Law in the town of Grundy. Three other people were critically wounded.

The suspected gunman was identified as Nigerian Peter Odighizuwa, 42, who had been suspended from college earlier in the day.

Governor Mark Warner, who was on the school's board until he took office last week said: "My heart goes out to the school and the community. I know that such a close-knit community will feel such a tragedy especially deeply."

'Execution'

The school's dean, Anthony Sutin, had worked in the Clinton administration before leaving to found the college.

The suspect, 42 year-old Nigerian Peter Odighizuwa
The suspect was eventually overpowered by students

He and Professor Thomas Blackwell were gunned down in their offices, school officials said.

Dr Jack Briggs, the first to arrive on the scene, said the two men had been shot twice in the head in an "execution-style" killing.

The gunman then went into a common area and opened fire, before being tackled by four students.

"They just wanted the guy," Dr Briggs said. "They weren't worried about their own personal safety.

News of Dean Sutin's death brought statements of condolence from US Attorney-General John Ashcroft and his predecessor, Janet Reno.

"In today's shooting, I lost not only a former colleague but a friend," Miss Reno said. "Tony was an incredibly kind, exceptionally bright and intensely dedicated public servant."

The private law school opened five years ago with the idea of easing the shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia. It has 170 students.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Branwen Jeffries
"It is thought the gunman was angry about failing his course"
The BBC's Martin Turner
"Witnesses say he fired at random"
See also:

26 Nov 01 | Education
School shooting plot foiled
01 Nov 01 | Education
Crime rates fall in US schools
18 Jul 01 | Education
School shootings warning signs
21 Apr 00 | Americas
Columbine marks tragedy
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