The man suspected of shooting a Wesleyan University student turned himself in yesterday. Police say he was stalking his victim and planned to go on a shooting spree, targeting both Jews and Wesleyan students.
Stephen P. Morgan, 29, who is suspected of killing Wesleyan student Johanna Justin-Jinich (left), turned himself into police at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Meriden, Connecticut, about 10 miles from the campus, according to MSNBC. A little after 9 p.m. last night, Morgan came into the store and scanned the newspapers, which had his face on the cover. He asked the clerk, Sonia Rodriguez, who didn't recognize him, to call the police. Morgan walked outside to wait for the police and Rodriguez didn't realize anything was wrong until police officers threw Morgan to the ground and arrested him. He is being held on $10 million bond and is due in court this morning.
Justin-Jinich had filed a harassment complaint against Morgan in 2007 while they were both taking a summer course at New York University called Sexual Diversity in Society, reports the New York Times. She notified the university that he was calling and emailing her repeatedly and the school notified the police. The police report says he sent 38 harassing e-mails that were "insulting" and "unwanted." In one he told her, "You're going to have a lot more problems down the road if you can't take any fucking criticism, Johanna." She did not press charges, and Morgan left town. Police are trying to find out if they knew each other in Colorado, as they are both from the state.
In a creepy detail, it turns out that, immediately after the shooting on Thursday, police talked to Morgan and took his contact information but didn't realize they were talking to the suspect until hours later when Justin-Jinich's family mentioned his name. The assailant had entered the bookstore where Justin-Jinich was working, put on a wig, and shot her seven times. Sources told MSNBC that the shooter used a pulley system like a dumbwaiter to get from the main floor to the basement of the bookstore, where he dropped his wig and gun. He then milled around with students as police arrived and then walked away, leaving his car in the parking lot. It's not clear if he stayed to watch reactions to the crime, or if his car was blocked in by emergency vehicles. In the car, police found Morgan's journal and laptop; in the journal, he wrote about a plot to rape and kill Justin-Jinich and then go on a shooting spree on the Wesleyan campus, possibly targeting Jewish students.
Greg Morgan, the suspect's brother, said he had not shown signs of anti-Semitism in the past, and police say they don't think Morgan was part of a larger anti-Semitic group. Morgan has no criminal history and his family said they were "shocked and sickened" by the murder. His sister Diana Morgan issued a statement before his surrender saying, "Turn yourself in right now to avoid any law enforcement agency, wherever you are, to avoid any further bloodshed. We love you, we will support you in every way, and we don't want anyone else to get hurt."
Although Justin-Jinich grew up in a Jewish family and her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, she identified as an agnostic. She attended the Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania before enrolling at Wesleyan, where she was a double major in Iberian studies and an interdisciplinary major in history, philosophy and literature. "She was just a wonderful kid, very smart, very loving," said her former stepmother, Karin Radcliffe.