Instructor's suicide shocks students
Published: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
An Ohio State teacher went to a gun range in New Albany last week and shot and killed herself.
Jacqueline Scott, 24, shot herself once in the chest at AimHi New Albany Shooting Range last Wednesday, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. Scott was a graduate student and teaching assistant earning her master's in arts.
Students arrived in class Thurday and no one was there to explain their teacher's absence.
On Tuesday, senior Codie Hoyles said he and other students in Scott's Comparative Studies 100 class found her obituary online, but thought it was a coincidence of names until staff arrived to inform them of their teacher's death.
The staff who broke the news to Scott's class were Eugene Holland, the chairman of the Department of Comparative Studies, and Lucia Bortoli, the new teacher for the course. They were joined by a grief counselor.
"I was just like, ‘What?'" Hoyles said. "She just didn't seem like the type. She was definitely a happy lady … I definitely can't believe it."
Scott went to the gun range last Wednesday to take a first-time gun course. She filled out paperwork, read the rules of the range and watched a gun safety video before being taken to a stall at the range.
"One of the range staff will come out with them to make sure they know what they're doing or operating the gun safely before they leave them alone," said Sgt. Bill Duffer of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
The surveillance video shows that after the staff member left, Scott shot a few targets with a 9mm pistol then "put the gun down and was standing at the firing range line for a little while before she picked the gun up," Duffer said. She then shot herself once in the chest.
It appeared as though she was contemplating the act, he said.
Duffer said that neither the sheriff nor the family knows why Scott did it.
Scott had been despondant in recent days, said Tanikka Price, a graduate student and classmate with Scott.
"She was not herself the last few days of her life," Price said. "During the class that we take together, Trauma Studies on Tuesday, she did not participate in class. All of her classmates noticed but none of us said anything."
After class, Scott gave price an article written by Rebecca Wanzo, an associate professor in the English Department.
"It detailed the silence and pain that many black women live in and their struggle to find a voice during their pain," Price said. "It is the closest thing to a suicide note that was left behind."
Price said she could only speculate on the reasons for the suicide, but students from Scott's class said she had recently ended a long-standing relationship with her boyfriend and had seemed disinterested in class last Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Scott shot herself at 12:25 p.m. An off-duty Columbus police officer was two stalls down and performed CPR until help arrived. Despite his efforts, Scott was pronounced dead at 1:24 p.m. at Mount Caramel St. Ann's Hospital.
In 2008, a 59-year-old New Albany woman committed suicide at the same gun range's parking lot by shooting herself in the head.
Scott's funeral will be tomorrow in her hometown of Indianapolis.