Temple University in Pennsylvania is struggling to understand a shocking suicide that took place in the middle of their campus Thursday night, when a 25-year-old former student fatally shot himself in the head.
"We all are in a state of disbelief," John Nguyen, an alumnus and friend of Sonstroem, told Temple News, the student newspaper. "We can't believe he is gone."
Friends described himas having "his stuff together" without any clear signs that he was suicidal."
The shooting took place on the Main Campus near a 7-Eleven store around 6:30 p.m.
"I'll never look at that spot the same," Nathaniel Fox, a TU senior who saw Sonstroem fall to ground after he shot himself told Temple News. "I never would have thought I would see that. In that split second I saw him die."
Friends described him as having "his stuff together" without any clear signs that he was suicidal.
Sonstroem's page at the website Coroflot said he attended the Tyler School of Art at Temple. Sonstroem had been working at PGW in Philadelphia and doing freelance work since he received a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Temple. He was a former graphic design student at Temple who last attended the school in 2010.
Charles Leone, deputy director of Campus Safety Services, said Monday it was a difficult situation to deal with. Campus Safety sent out electronic alerts to students within a half-hour of the shooting, advising not that their was danger, but to avoid the area while police examined the scene.
"Emotions were flying. We're all professionals. I know we're supposed to put our feelings aside. But It's really difficult," Leone said. "Your heart just stops."