University: Students were never in immediate danger from man who shot himself in Wexner Center


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The former Ohio State employee who shot himself in the Wexner Center on Sunday morning has now been identified.

The University says he is 63-year-old Dean Sturgis, a former OSU security officer. Sturgis worked on campus as recently as 2009. The university says he resigned in lieu of termination.

OSU says Sturgis died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound Sunday.

His neighbors say he was quiet and kept to himself.

In the 9-1-1 tapes, a caller says, “I’m calling from the Wexner Center. We have a shooter in the gallery.”

WEX SHOOTING STILLGunshots can be heard throughout the call. The caller says the shooter is vandalizing the art.

A few minutes later he says, “The shooter’s dead.”

Students were just returning from Thanksgiving break.

“I got back on campus and right away I heard some sirens and my friend said there was a shooting,“ says Ari Vanderslius.

The OSU sophomore lived just a few blocks away.

Yeah, there were like 6 or 7 police cars outside our door,” he said.

OSU Police say students were never in any immediate danger. But the next day students say the atmosphere on campus was still subdued.

Niasha Whitfield is an OSU freshman. She says, “I was thinking about it all last night, cause, yeah, I had to go to class…and walk right by there.”

And there were a lot of worried families back home.

“I definitely got those texts from families, those worried calls,” says Vanderslius.

NBC4 has requested a copy of Sturgis’ personnel file and is still working to find out more about the incident and how it happened.

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.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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