Police identify U of I shooting victim


by KREM.com & Othello Richards


Posted on August 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 10:06 PM

MOSCOW, Idaho-- A University of Idaho graduate student and former professor are dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

Police say the student, a 22-year-old woman, was shot to death at an off-campus residence on south Lilly St. just after 8:30 p.m. Monday night.

The woman killed has been identified as Katy Benoit, a University of Idaho psychology graduate student.

The University of Idaho says Benoit was killed in her off-campus home.

Officials soon after issued an arrest warrant for Ernesto Bustamante, 31, a former faculty member in the psychology department who worked at the university from 2007 to 2011 and resigned on Friday. Police attempted to serve him the warrant at the University Inn Best Western hotel.

Police say they first used tear gas around 5 a.m. Tuesday to try and force the suspect to evacuate. Around 7:45 a.m., officials entered Bustamante’s hotel room and reportedly found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials will not elaborate on the relationship between Benoit and Bustamante, but a friend of the family says Benoit filed a complaint with the University against him. The friend did not reveal the nature of the complaint.

The university is cooperating fully with the investigation, according to the Moscow Police Department.
The school said it is “both shocked and saddened by these events. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to the victim’s family and friends.” The university is making grief counseling available for students, faculty and staff.

The university’s convocation, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, will be rescheduled. The university will be issuing public statements as more information may become available.

Benoit’s family issued a statement regarding her, saying, “Katy was a beautiful, intelligent, and musically talented woman.”

As of Tuesday morning, the school removed Bustamante’s directory information from its website.