Law student suspended after 'terrorist' shooting
phillynews.com | February 5, 2007
REGINA MEDINA & SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM
A Penn Law School student who allegedly fired his weapon at the door of two neighbors he suspected of terrorism was suspended yesterday from the law school.
His lawyer, Peter Bowers, said the attack on the men he believed were terrorists - actually two roommates studying bio-engineering at Drexel University - "appears to have been a mental health or emotional issue."
Authorities "need to do appropriate mental health evaluations," Bowers said.
His client, Joseph Cho, 31, of Pine Street near 44th, is still awaiting arraignment for his alleged role in the assault. The two victims are each of Indian descent.
Cho, a Yale University graduate, has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, trespassing and vandalism, said Lt. John Walker, with Southwest Detectives.
He had gone to the Drexel students' apartment at 12:30 p.m., pounding on their door. When they didn't answer, Cho shot rounds from his legal Glock-9 into the door's lock.
He was later arrested by police.
"It is a bizarre case that we are investigating," Walker said. "You would think he would be more tolerant and more understanding to different cultures of people" because of his educational background.
Yesterday, Provost Ron Daniels sent a memo to the university's deans and senior administrators, stating that "the student has been temporarily suspended from the law school. The matter will be reported to the Law School's Committee on Student Conduct and Responsibility for its consideration."
The university, Daniels continued, was offering support services to any students seeking counseling to deal with the matter.
Cho, meanwhile, was described as an "outstanding young man," Bowers said. "It's really an unfortunate incident."
The law student enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks and served for three years. He was given an honorable discharge, according to Bowers.
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