CASPER, WYO. | A Wyoming community college instructor killed in a grisly classroom murder-suicide was hailed as a hero Saturday, with police saying he gave his students time to flee by distracting and fighting off his son after the younger man barged into his computer science class and shot him in the head with a high-powered bow and arrow.
The arrow severely wounded James Krumm, 56, but he managed to wrestle with son Christopher Krumm, 25, of Vernon, Conn., while students escaped the Casper College classroom Friday.
"I can tell you the courage that was demonstrated by Mr. Krumm was absolutely without equal," Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said Saturday. “Maybe that will bring some comfort to people.”
Before the attack at the college, Chris Krumm killed Heidi Arnold, 42, his father's live-in girlfriend and a math instructor at the college, at the couple's home two miles away. Arnold died of multiple stab wounds and had defensive wounds, Walsh said. Her body was found in the gutter of her street, and evidence suggested much of the attack occurred outside the home, Walsh said.
Afterward, Krumm apparently drove himself to the Wold Physical Science Center at Casper College. He had smuggled the compound bow — a type much more powerful and effective for hunting than a simple, wooden bow — onto campus beneath a blanket, Walsh said.
He said Christopher Krumm also had two knives with him, and the knife used was "very large."
He entered room 325 as James Krumm was getting ready to teach a computer science course. Chris Krumm shot his father with a single arrow. Christopher Krumm then stabbed himself and fatally stabbed his father in the chest as they struggled, Walsh said.
As students fled the room, the door apparently shut and locked behind them. Some people attempted to aid the professor, and eventually, security guards arrived with keys.
When police arrived at the classroom, they found Christopher Krumm bleeding from self-inflicted knife wounds and taking his last breaths. James Krumm was dead, Walsh said.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the slayings. It appears likely Krumm drove to Wyoming for the purpose of carrying out the attack, and had been staying at a local hotel, Walsh said. The suspect apparently left some sort of communication explaining his actions.
“We don’t have them yet,” Walsh said. “They are still in parts of the scenes that we are working on.”
Krumm acted alone and had no significant criminal history, Walsh said. Police have found no indication that he threatened either of the victims before, or that they even knew he was back in Casper.
In Vernon, Conn., police Sgt. Timothy O'Connor said officers executed a search warrant at Christopher Krumm's last known address Friday to help investigators in Casper. He didn't know what investigators were looking for or may have found at the residence.
"Whatever was recovered will be turned over to Wyoming because it is an active investigation," O'Connor said.
James Krumm began teaching at Casper College in 2002, according to the school. Arnold joined the college a year later.
James Krumm was head of the college's computer science department. He was born north of London and also spent part of his childhood in Germany, according to the college website.
He held degrees from Casper College, a bachelor's degree and MBA from the University of Wyoming and a master's in computer science from Colorado State University.
Arnold held a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree in math from University of California Davis.
Chris Krumm graduated Natrona County High School and attended the Colorado School of Mines. Christopher Krumm's previous addresses include one in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield and others in the Colorado cities of Golden, Fort Collins and Lakewood.