Florida State University professor Dan Markel was found shot in his Tallahassee garage a few weeks ago.  Police say there was no sign of forced entry or robbery.  The nationally renowned criminal law professor was found with a gunshot wound to his head.  Officers found Markel after a neighbor called 911 at 11 a.m. with reports of a “loud bang”.  The neighbor also reportedly saw a car drive away possibly a white or silver Toyota Prius or Prius-like vehicle from the house.  Police have cautioned that the vehicle may not be involved.  Markel’s neighbor went to investigate and found him in the garage, in the driver’s seat of his car bleeding and dazed.  According to the media, the driver’s side window was bashed open.  Markel, 41, was rushed to a hospital where he died the next day.  Police have characterized the case as a homicide and believe Markel was an intended target.

Markel began working at FSU in 2005 after receiving his bachelor’s degree at Harvard, his master’s degree at the Unversity of Cambridge, and his law degree from Harvard.  During his tenure, he taught several classes and wrote extensively about criminal law, including publishing articles in the Yale Law Review.  Markel also founded PrawfsBlawg, a blog focused on law and life.  His writings also appeared in the New York Times, Slate, The Jerusalem Post, and the Atlantic Monthly.  Markel had gotten a divorce from fellow FSU professor Wendi Adelson last summer.  The couple have two sons together.

Investigators are currently seeking the public’s help.

In another twist, the 911 dispatcher mistakenly gave the possible shooting a low priority.  The neighbor described on the call the loud bang, Markel’s driver’s side window being shattered, and him bleeding and barely moving.  He tells the 911 dispatcher, “I don’t know if someone tried to shoot him or if he shot himself.”  The dispatcher then mistakenly coded the call as “man down, still breathing,” a low priority police response rating.  Seven minutes later, the dispatcher corrected the categorization.  The new code gave a high priority police response, but limited paramedic response because of possible danger.  It took 12 minutes for officer’s to arrive at Markel’s home and 19 minutes for him to receive treatment.  The 911 dispatcher has been reassigned pending internal investigation.

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