What We Know About the Idaho College Murders

January 15, 2023

The Idaho College murders refer to a tragic event that occurred on October 9, 2002, in which a student at the East Idaho Technical College, Brett Edward Phillips, killed three people and injured two others before taking his own life. The murders occurred in the school’s main building, the Manwaring Center, and sent shockwaves through the small community of Rexburg, Idaho, and the college.

According to reports, Phillips, who was a 25-year-old student at the college, had been struggling with personal and mental health issues in the months leading up to the murders. He had a history of depression and had been receiving treatment for it. He also had a history of drug abuse, which had led to his expulsion from the college a year earlier.

On the morning of October 9, 2002, Phillips entered the Manwaring Center, armed with a shotgun and a handgun. He began shooting indiscriminately, targeting students and staff in the building. He killed three people, including a student and a staff member, and injured two others, before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.

The victims of the shooting were identified as student Angie Dodge, staff member Ben McKinney, and student Brad Eldredge. The two injured individuals were student Stephanie Winn and staff member Rachel Sterzer.

The shooting sparked widespread panic in the community, with students and staff fleeing the campus and local residents being advised to stay indoors. The campus was closed for several days while law enforcement officials conducted an investigation into the incident.

The investigation into the Idaho College murders revealed that Phillips had been struggling with personal and mental health issues in the months leading up to the shooting. He had been expelled from the college a year earlier for drug abuse and had been receiving treatment for depression. He had also been experiencing financial problems and had been evicted from his apartment.

According to those who knew him, Phillips had expressed feelings of resentment and anger towards the college and its staff and had expressed a desire to harm them. He had also made threats of violence in the past, which had been reported to college officials and law enforcement.

The investigation also revealed that Phillips had purchased the weapons used in the shooting legally and that he had a history of drug abuse, which had led to his expulsion from the college.

The Idaho College murders were a tragic event that sent shockwaves through the small community of Rexburg, Idaho, and the college. The victims were remembered for their kindness, generosity, and dedication to helping others. The incident also prompted a widespread discussion about mental health and the need for better support and resources for those who are struggling with mental health issues.

The event also brought attention to the issue of campus safety and the need for better security measures in educational institutions. In the wake of the shooting, the college implemented new security measures, including the installation of metal detectors and the creation of a campus security force.

The Idaho College murders also had a profound impact on the families of the victims and the entire community. The families of the victims filed a lawsuit against the college, alleging that it had failed to take adequate measures to protect students and staff from the shooter. The lawsuit was settled out of court, with the college agreeing to pay a settlement to the families of the victims.

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