Grundy Virginia Law School

Appalachian School of Law shootings in Grundy, VA

This should be notable on outcome. Virginia Tech banned students, even with permits, to have guns on campus. Here that stupid rule didn't exist. Instead of 32 dead, we got three.

Ref. Wikipedia On January 16, 2002, 43-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, a Nigerian former student at the Appalachian School of Law, arrived on the campus. While numerous reports stated that Odighizuwa had flunked out of school or had been suspended, Jeremy Davis, former dean and professor of law at the school, later said that Odighizuwa had withdrawn voluntarily due to poor academic performance. He was there on a diversity quota, and wasn't qualified to do the work. (He is from Nigeria.)

Odighizuwa first discussed his academic problems with professor Dale Rubin, where he reportedly told Rubin to pray for him. Odighizuwa then walked to the offices of Dean Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell, where he opened fire with a .380 ACP semi-automatic handgun. According to a county coroner, powder burns indicated that both victims were shot at point blank range.

Also killed along with the two faculty members was a student, Angela Denise Dales, age 33. Three other people were wounded. When Odighizuwa exited the building where the shooting took place, he was approached by two students with personal firearms and one unarmed student. There are two versions of the events that transpired at that moment, one by Bridges and one by Besen.

According to Bridges, at the first sound of gunfire, fellow students Tracy Bridges and Mikeal Gross, unbeknownst to each other, ran to their vehicles to fetch their personally-owned firearms. Gross, a police officer with the Grifton Police Department in his home state of North Carolina, retrieved a 9 mm pistol and body armor. Bridges, a county sheriff's deputy from Asheville, N.C., pulled his .357 Magnum pistol from beneath the driver's seat of his Chevy Tahoe.

As Bridges later told the Richmond Times Dispatch, he was prepared to shoot to kill. Bridges and Gross approached Odighizuwa from different angles, with Bridges yelling at Odighizuwa to drop his gun. Odighizuwa then dropped his firearm and was subdued by several other unarmed students, including Ted Besen and Todd Ross.

According to Besen, before Odighizuwa saw Bridges and Gross with their weapons, Odighizuwa set down his gun and raised his arms like he was mocking people. Besen then charged, got into a scuffle with Odighizuwa, and knocked him to the ground. Bridges and Gross then arrived with their guns once Odighizuwa was tackled.

Once Odighizuwa was securely held down, Gross went back to his vehicle and retrieved handcuffs to detain Odighizuwa until police could arrive. Police reports later noted that two empty eight round magazines designed for Odighizuwa's handgun were recovered. At trial, Odighizuwa was found mentally competent and pleaded guilty to the murders to avoid the death penalty. Odighizuwa was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.


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