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A law school agreed Thursday to pay $1 million to settle four lawsuits over a deadly shooting rampage by a struggling student. The lawsuits accused the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., of ignoring repeated warnings that Peter Odighizuwa was a threat before he opened fire in 2002, killing the dean, a professor and a student and wounding three other students. Odighizuwa pleaded guilty earlier this year and is serving six life sentences. Law school President Lu Ellsworth said the school settled to avoid a long and expensive legal battle. “I do not believe there was any basis to predict this kind of occurrence or any violence would occur on campus,” Ellsworth said. The money will go to the three wounded students and the 10-year-old daughter of the slain student. The plaintiffs had argued that the school should have foreseen the violence because the 46-year-old Odighizuwa — who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia — had a history of outbursts, threats and other disruptive behavior. The Nigerian-born Odighizuwa told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this year that the students should not get any money from the school. “The law school isn’t a psychiatrist. It doesn’t know what’s in my head,” he said. Odighizuwa, who had flunked out but was later readmitted before the shooting, said he opened fire out of frustration and anger as he struggled to become a lawyer. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.

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