Woman kills 2 students in La. vo-tech classroom, then kills self
2/8/2008, 9:04 p.m. CST
By DOUG SIMPSON
The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A 23-year-old woman shot and killed two other women in a vocational college classroom Friday, then turned the .357 revolver on herself and committed suicide, police said.
All three were students at the Louisiana Technical College campus, but the motive was not clear, said Sgt. Don Kelly, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department.
"Why those two women were targeted ... is still an unanswered question," Kelly said.
The victims were identified as Karsheika Graves, 21, and Taneshia Butler, 26, both of Baton Rouge. The suspect was Latina Williams, whose address was unknown, Kelly said.
About 20 people were in the emergency medical technology class when the shooting occurred, Kelly said.
The shooter entered the room briefly, spoke with the instructor and left, he said. She then returned through another door and fired six rounds, killing the two victims, Kelly said, then reloaded and shot herself in the head.
Officers ran into the building within four minutes of the first 911 call, which came at 8:36 a.m., Kelly said.
"There was mass pandemonium, people running," Kelly said. "One officer — the first into the classroom — told me he could still smell gunpowder."
Classes were canceled through Tuesday, and tentatively scheduled to resume Wednesday, said Jim Henderson, vice president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
Mayor Kip Holden told reporters it was "a tragic day for Baton Rouge, when you come to a learning institution ... and become the victim of a violent crime."
Students were told to stay in their classrooms for about two hours before after the shootings before being released for the day, student Louis Davis said. Davis said he was taking a test for an automobile technology class when the instructor told the class "to stay in the classroom because there's been an incident."
He said they were allowed to leave after a police officer asked them brief questions.
The school of about 800 students — one of two LTC campuses in Baton Rouge and dozens around the state — offers classes in a dozen subjects including early childhood education, practical nursing, drafting and welding.
The incident came on the heels of two attacks in public places in other states. In Portsmouth, Ohio, a teacher's estranged husband charged into her classroom Thursday morning, firing a gun, then stabbing her. He later killed himself; the teacher survived.
In the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, Mo., a man who had lost a free-speech lawsuit against the government stormed a council meeting and killed three city officials and two police officers, critically wounding the mayor.
Associated Press Writer Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this story.
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