A deeply troubled and disgruntled foreign student runs afoul of college authorities.
He comes to the Virginia campus armed and starts shooting in one building.
But, unlike the massacre at Virginia Tech last week, the damage was contained in this incident that occurred five years ago, before the state legislature banned guns on college campuses.
On Jan. 16, 2002, Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old student from Nigeria, walked into the Appalachian School of Law offices of Dean Anthony Sutin, 42, a former acting assistant U.S. attorney, and professor Thomas Blackwell, 41, and opened fire with a .380 ACP semi-automatic handgun – shooting them at close range.
Also killed in the same building was student Angela Denise Dales, 33. Three others were wounded.
As soon as the gunfire erupted, two students acting independently of one another, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, ran to their vehicles to retrieve firearms. Gross, an off-duty police officer in his home state of North Carolina, got his 9mm pistol and body armor. Bridges got out his .357 Magnum.
Bridges and Gross went back to the building where the shots were heard and as Odighizuwa exited, they approached from different angles. Bridges yelled for him to drop his weapon and the shooter was subdued by several unarmed students.
Gross went back to his car and got handcuffs to detain the shooter until police arrived.
Most news reports of the incident failed to mention the presence of two armed students and their role in subduing the shooter, saying only that he was tackled by bystanders.
Odighizuwa was tried for the murders and sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.
Virginia Tech, like many of the nation’s schools and college campuses, is a so-called “gun-free zone,” which Second Amendment supporters say invites gun violence – especially from disturbed individuals seeking to kill as many victims as possible.
Foreign-born student Cho Seung-Hui murdered 32 and wounded another 15 before turning his gun on himself.
A year earlier, the Virginia legislature banned all guns on campus in the interest of safety.