Police say UT gunman had no plans to harm others

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2010 4:05 PM
Police say UT gunman had no plans to harm others

Police have concluded that a 19-year-old University of Texas student who killed himself after going on a shooting rampage at the Austin campus never meant to harm anyone.

UT Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom told reporters Thursday that Colton Tooley waved at a guard and even said "excuse me" when he bumped into a person on his way into a library where he shot himself on Sept. 28.

Police say Tooley fired 11 rounds from an AK-47 that his father legally purchased as a gift for his son. The teen fired into the ground and air, but passed up multiple opportunities to kill innocent bystanders and nobody was hurt.

"He cared about people," Dahlstrom said. "I think if he didn't care about people we would have had a lot worse tragedy."

Authorities say there were signs Tooley was depressed, but they have established no motive for the shooting. Investigators who found Tooley's abandoned laptop on campus saw that he had consulted various websites that suggest he had been feeling emotionally distressed. They did not elaborate.

Police say Tooley rode to campus on a city bus after removing the stock from his AK-47 _ the part that would be braced against a shoulder or forearm _ and concealing it in his backpack. When he got off the bus, Tooley changed coats and donned a ski mask. The shooting began near a fountain in front of the UT Tower _ the site of one of the nation's deadliest shooting rampages more than four decades ago, when a gunman ascended the clock tower and fired down on dozens of people.

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Officials said Tooley was an excellent student but largely kept to himself on campus. They say they are certain he acted alone but still couldn't figure out why he did it.

"There were no notes left, there was nothing else left, to show us a reason or why he took this action," Dahlstrom said.