Criminal Justice

Law prof's shooting wasn't a burglary gone bad; he was 'intended victim,' police say


Police in Tallahassee, Florida, are countering speculation that the shooting death of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel was attributable to a burglary or robbery.

Police have refused to say how many times Markel was shot on Friday, whether a weapon was found at the home, or whether he appeared to have known his assailant, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. But the police department did release a statement saying Markel, 41, appeared to be the “intended victim,” according to the story.

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog also had reports on the latest police statement. It read: “The initial investigation has provided no indication that this case is connected to a burglary or robbery and investigators are assuring residents there is no evidence this was a random act. Neighborhood residents should continue to be vigilant but it appears at this time that Mr. Markel was the intended victim in this incident.”

Police Chief Michael DeLeo called the death a “murder,” the New York Times says. Earlier, police had announced they were investigating the death as a homicide, the usual practice in deaths without witnesses, according to prior coverage. Police have set up a tip line to gather information.

Markel died at the hospital early Saturday after being shot at his home at about 11 a.m. on Friday. He was a criminal law professor at FSU and founded PrawfsBlawg.

Markel was recently divorced from another FSU law professor, Wendi Adelson, who is director of the school’s Public Interest Law Center. Her lawyer, Jimmy Judkins, told the Tallahassee Democrat that she is cooperating with police and she is “distraught, devastated, scared to death.”

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