Andrew Pawling was simply attending his second lab class of the semester on Tuesday when he heard “pop” sounds in his classroom just a few feet behind where he was standing.
“As I was turning around I heard another pop, then I saw my (teaching assistant) fall to the floor. The guy got on top of him and then shot him in the face, once or twice and maybe two more times,” Pawling, a junior in the College of Engineering, said.
He witnessed Andrew Boldt, his teaching assistant for ECE 362, being killed “point blank” on Tuesday afternoon by an unrecognizable male who had entered the classroom through the one and only door. The suspect was not a student in the class that had about 10 to 15 students in it at the time, according to Pawling, and the shooter stood between many of the students and their only escape out.
“(Andrew) was obviously trying to stop him. I don’t think he really had any chance to really fight back much,” Pawling said. “I wish I could have helped him, but by the time I realized what was happening he already got shot in the face two times and there wasn’t really anything I could do.”Pawling told the Exponent that he was close to the door and turned and ran away, warning others as he fled the building that there had been a shooting. Pawling relayed to a police officer outside the building what he witnessed. Another female witness told the Exponent that she came upon Cousins shortly after the shooting kneeling outside the building with his hands on his head near the bus stop without a coat in the extreme cold weather conditions. She proceeded to ask him if he was okay. “He said something like, ‘Stay away,’ ” Liu said. “I stood aside and waited for awhile and I noticed that there was blood on his hands (and) on the shoes. So I thought he was injured and waiting for some professional help ... Then I saw the police cars coming and I heard the sirens and the police came and arrested him.” “He looked so calm ... He kind of looked sad,” Liu said.
It remains a mystery what, if any relationship, there was between Boldt and Cousins. Both worked as teaching assistants for Professor Stephen Meyer, who has declined media requests to discuss the shooting. Meyer sent out an e-mail shortly after the shooting requesting that any witnesses to the shooting contact police immediately, a message heeded by Pawling, who had returned to his apartment after telling police about the shooting. He later contacted police and went in for questioning according to the Exponent.
UPDATE: Now the story is that Cousins not only shot Boldt, including two shots at point blank range to the face after he fell to the ground, but he also stabbed him before leaving the gun and knife laying on the floor in the lab classroom as multiple witnesses looked on. The picture of a calm, well-lied student is changing as well. A teaching assistant, Ashley Eidsmore, describes Cousins as an "all-around rude individual." Professor Thomas Talavage said he was "intense and aggressive" about his projects and "didn't like to be told he was wrong." From the Journal & Courier's report on Cousins' arraignment today:
Court documents allege that officers who entered the building saw bloody footprints in the area of Room 067. Inside the classroom, police discovered the body of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt.
Boldt had been shot and stabbed, police said. Officers recovered a handgun, a knife and several spent shell casings near his body.
Witnesses in the room reportedly said they saw Cousins stab and shoot Boldt. Surveillance footage also showed Cousins in the building.
Information about the type of handgun used and the number of shots fired was not included in the affidavit.