Student gunman kills two, wounds five at university

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:00am

A student opened fire at a university in Melbourne yesterday, killing two people and wounding five before he was wrestled to the ground by a student and a teacher.

Police said the gunman, an economics student in his mid-30s and of Asian background, opened fire about 11.20am in a classroom on the sixth floor of a building at Monash University, on the outskirts of the city. The two dead men were Asian.

The gunman, who was armed with a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol, was tackled and subdued until police arrived at the scene on the school's Clayton campus.

He was arrested and was last night being questioned by detectives.

Two of the victims were in a serious condition, including a woman with gunshot wounds to her face, and were airlifted to hospital. The remaining three were in stable condition. Police said they did not know the ethnicity of either the gunman or his victims, and expected to question the assailant well into the night. He was expected to be charged last night with two counts of murder as well as several counts of wounding.

Superintendent Trevor Parks of Victoria Police said the death toll could have been higher. 'If the gunman hadn't been subdued at the time I think it would have been a major disaster . . who knows where it would have gone?'

The attack sparked panic as hundreds of students fled down stairs.

A witness said the gunman showed no emotion as he was being led away by police.