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Hero Student To Sue Over Hostage Drama

January 6, 1995

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ A student hailed as a hero for subduing a gunman who held a classroom of university students hostage for nearly two hours plans to sue the state and the school for $20 million.

Jason McEnaney’s lawyer, Neil Shayne, filed notice Thursday that his client will sue.

``In our American judicial system, if someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it is appropriate and proper to try to get compensation,″ Shayne said at a news conference.

The State University of New York at Albany declined to comment.

McEnaney, 19, was shot in the leg and side Dec. 14 as he lunged to disarm the gunman who held his Greek history class captive. Shayne claims that SUNY officials were negligent in allowing the gunman on the campus.

The suspect, student Ralph Tortorici, 26, had four previous run-ins with campus police and was embroiled in a dispute over the courses he needed to graduate.

Asked if he thought the lawsuit could tarnish McEnaney’s reputation as a hero, Shayne said: ``I think like anything else, it depends on who you talk to.″

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