A former Ohio student from India tried to kill as many people as he could in a seven-hour shooting rampage at Case Western Reserve University that he had planned for more than a year, prosecutors said Monday as his trial began.
One person died in the siege on the university's business school, which the prosecution says Biswanath Halder attacked because he believed a student computer lab employee had hacked into his Web site he had designed to provide business assistance to India.
Halder, 65, a native of Calucutta, India, who graduated from the school in 1999 with a master's degree in business administration, is accused of killing student Norman Wallace inside the school on May 9, 2003 and injuring others.
Halder has repeatedly said information he considered vital to his own life's work was destroyed. "This case is about two things, arrogance and selfishness," Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Rick Bell told the jury in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
Halder smashed through a glass door of a university building using a mallet, then put on a helmet and started firing his gun, Bell said. Defense lawyer Kevin Cafferkey apologized to Wallace's family and everyone who was inside the building on May 9, 2003. Halder believed he was "sacrificing himself to save mankind" from someone he believed was a cybercriminal, Cafferkey said.
Halder is charged with 202 felony counts, including aggravated murder and terrorism. Halder had been accused of 338 various felony counts, but more than 100 were dropped due to some witnesses to the shooting spree being unavailable. If convicted, Halder could be sentenced to the death penalty, the AP rteports.. Halder told neighbors that he was going to make the university pay a year and half before the shooting, Bell said.