CofC says provost, husband killed in early-morning robbery

Photo: Live 5 News

Photo: Live 5 News

By Patrick Phillips | July 17, 2020 at 12:13 PM EDT - Updated July 17 at 12:17 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The president of the College of Charleston says the school’s provost and her husband were the targets of an early-morning robbery attempt in downtown Charleston that ended with the fatal shooting of her husband.

Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Suzanne Austin and her husband, Tom DiLorenzo, were targeted in an attempted robbery near King and Clifford Streets, several blocks south of the main campus, CofC President Andrew Hsu said in a statement sent to the campus Friday afternoon.

“During the robbery attempt, Tom was shot and subsequently died,” Hsu said. “Suzanne was not physically injured.”

Hsu called the act of violence against one of CofC’s community members “deeply unsettling,” and encouraged students, faculty and staff members who may feel unease or anxiety as a result of this incident to seek support through our student Counseling Center or the college’s Employee Assistance Program

Hsu said the couple had only moved to Charleston a few weeks ago and that DiLorenzo had recently retired from the University of North Dakota in June after serving there as provost and vice president of academic affairs for seven years.

“Tom was celebrated not only for his collaborative leadership style, but also his belief in experiential learning and how the city of Grand Forks served as an extension of the UND classroom,” Hsu said. “Given time, Tom would have seen parallels of that dynamic here in Charleston as well.”

Police responded early Friday morning to the shooting on King Street.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Charleston Police Department’s on-duty detective at 843-743-7200.

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