CRIME

Raja Fayad Identified As Professor Killed In University Of South Carolina Shooting

02/06/2015 02:50 pm ET | Updated Apr 08, 2015
University of South Carolina

(Updates with identity of the shooter, detail on circumstances)

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb 6 (Reuters) - A University of South Carolina professor was shot to death by his former wife in a campus building in downtown Columbia in a murder-suicide, a coroner said on Friday.

Dr. Raja Fayad, 45, died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body in Thursday's incident. The shooter appeared to be his ex-wife, with whom he had continued to live after their divorce, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a statement.

Sunghee Kwon, 46, was also found dead. She died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen, an autopsy found.

"They had continued in a relationship after their divorce, including sharing a home, until just recently," Watts said in a statement.

The weapon used was a semi-automatic handgun, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told Reuters. No suicide note was found.

Fayad was an associate professor of applied physiology who served as graduate director at the university's Arnold School of Public Health. University officials told the coroner that Fayad was born in Lebanon.

He was found on Thursday afternoon in a fourth-floor office at the school's research building, police said. The shooting, which occurred just blocks from the state capitol and governor's office, put the campus of about 30,000 students on lockdown for around an hour.

Classes were canceled for Friday at the public health school, and student leaders planned to hold a memorial candlelight vigil.

"The sun is out this morning," university President Harris Pastides said on Twitter. "Let's honor Professor Fayad with respect. Show someone that we care."

Fayad had been at the university since 2008, according to the school. He graduated from the Aleppo University School of Medicine in Syria in 1995, according to university documents, and was a specialist in colon cancer research. (Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Will Dunham and Sandra Maler)

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