OSU identifies man who vandalized artwork before shooting self

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State University has identified the man who shot and killed himself inside a building on campus Sunday.

According to university officials, 63-year-old Dean D. Sturgis died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he vandalized artwork at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Officials said Sturgis was a former Department of Public Safety security officer who resigned in 2009 in lieu of termination.

Columbus  police osu 3police responded to the scene just before 11:30 a.m. Sunday, after initial reports of shots fired in the area and closed a portion of High Street.

The Wexner Center security team evacuated two patrons and a small number of building occupants, according to the university’s department of public safety. There were no reports of civilian or police injuries.

high streetHigh Street reopened shortly after 2 p.m., but the art center will remain closed until the investigation concludes and the vandalized artwork is repaired.

Chris Davey, assistant vice president for media and public relations for the university, confirmed some artwork had been damaged.

“Staff for the Wexner Center for the Arts were not permitted by law enforcement to get into the building until very late last night, and they are continuing to assess the damage,” he said in an email statement. “There are 150 works in the current exhibit, and all of these pieces are on loan from multiple lenders, who must be contacted before we can release further specifics. Some of these pieces sustained visible damage. A professional, independent conservator is on site assisting with the assessment, and we will share more information as it becomes available.”

Here is the complete release from the Ohio State University:

The incident which occurred Sunday at the Wexner Center for the Arts was shocking and traumatic for all involved and included the loss of one life. We can confirm the deceased, 63-year-old Dean D. Sturgis, to be a former Department of Public Safety security officer who resigned in lieu of termination in 2009. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. OSU Police continues to actively investigate and will share additional information as it becomes available. The Wexner Center for the Arts and Ohio State Department of Public Safety have also begun a thorough review, including security procedures.”

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