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Suspect in Professor’s Shooting Kills Self

March 11, 1995

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A former researcher suspected of gunning down a professor in Illinois killed himself Friday on the campus where they had worked together.

John Arthur Costalupes shot himself in the head with a handgun after a scuffle with police guarding the dean’s office at the University of Minnesota medical school, authorities said.

Campus security had been tightened after authorities learned Costalupes was back in the area where he and Mario A. Ruggero worked together nearly 10 years ago.

Costalupes shot Ruggero on Thursday on a parking lot at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., just after shouting ``You ruined my life,″ police said. Ruggero, 51, was in serious condition Friday with bullet wounds in his pelvis, legs and wrist.

Costalupes, 45, thought Ruggero stole his work and got him fired, police said. He was a research assistant under Ruggero at Minnesota from 1985 to 1987.

Associates deny Ruggero, a professor of hearing sciences, was a plagiarist. Ruggero, who joined Northwestern in 1993, is well known in science circles for his research on the inner ear.

University of Minnesota officials would not confirm whether Costalupes was fired. They issued copies of a 1987 agreement signed by both men that prevented either from discussing terms of a settlement in a grievance filed by Costalupes against Ruggero.

When Costalupes went to the office of Dean Shelley Chou on Friday afternoon saying he had papers to deliver, two people recognized him as a suspect in Ruggero’s shooting.

While he spoke to a secretary, others called 911 and officers converged on the building. He tried to leave, struggled with police, ran down a flight of stairs into another building and shot himself once, university police Chief Joy Rikala said.

News of Costalupes’ death came as a relief, Northwestern spokesman Chuck Loebbaka said.

``Others have had concerns about safety, and those would be relieved,″ Loebbaka said.

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