Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Colton Tooley - University of Texas Shooter

AUSTIN, Texas - As bleary-eyed University of Texas students made their way to early classes and campus workers walked toward their jobs, one person strode through campus wearing a dark suit and a ski mask - and carrying an assault rifle. His look was menacing, and those who encountered him fled fast. "I saw in his eyes he didn't care," said construction worker Ruben Cordoba, who was installing a fence on the roof of a three-story building Tuesday morning when he looked down and made eye contact. Authorities say the gunman who later killed himself was 19-year-old Colton Tooley, a sophomore math major. No one else was injured. But those who knew Tooley for years - before his time at the massive university in Austin - describe him as a courteous, intelligent guy who wouldn't hurt anyone. He was book smart and won raves from his high school teachers. He also was known as someone who kept his emotions in check. "There was nothing prior to this day, nothing that would lead any of us to believe this could take place," said a man who emerged from Tooley's family home late Tuesday and identified himself only as Marcus, a relative. "He was a very smart guy, very intelligent, excellent student. He wouldn't or couldn't hurt a fly. If he was depressed you would never know it. He never usually expressed emotion. This is a great shock to me and my family," he said. Tooley's parents did not immediately respond to messages left by The Associated Press. Investigators combed through the family's home in Austin on Tuesday, carrying out bags and boxes. There was no word on exactly what was in the containers. A neighbor said police arrived about three hours after the shooting. The gunman's threatening demeanor on campus was far from what Tooley's teachers at Crockett High School in Austin recalled of the boy who graduated in 2009, ranked seventh in his class. They remembered him as "brilliant," "meticulous" and "respectful," the principal, Craig Shapiro, said a statement. "All of us in the Crockett High School community are shocked and saddened by today's tragedy at the University of Texas. - KELLEY SHANNON and APRIL CASTRO

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