Tom DiLorenzo, 63, was fatally shot Friday morning in Charleston, South Carolina
DiLorenzo, who recently retired as the provost of the University of North Dakota was shot ‘by two teenage boys during a botched robbery attempt while he was out walking with his wife,’ Suzanne Austin
Austin had just been appointed new Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at the College of Charleston
The couple moved to Charleston a few weeks before the killing
Police said he was with his wife when they were approached at gunpoint
The two men who stopped them demanded money, before shooting DiLorenzo
Police said they arrested teen boys, 15 and 16, in connection with the crime late Friday
Both juveniles were charged with murder and attempted robbery
Retired UND provost Tom DiLorenzo, [photo], was fatally shot during an attempted robbery Friday morning
Authorities in South Carolina arrested and charged two teenage boys late Friday in the fatal shooting of a newly retired University provost during a botched robbery Friday morning in South Carolina.
Recently retired University of North Dakota provost Tom DiLorenzo, 63, was out walking with his wife, newly-appointed College of Charleston provost Suzanne Austin, when the fatal shooting occurred at about 6.15am in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Police said just blocks from the college campus, two men approached the couple at an intersection near an antiques store – one of them armed with a shotgun – and demanded money from them at gunpoint.
DiLorenzo was then shot during the attempted robbery. The would-be robbers fled the scene before authorities arrived.
DiLorenzo was taken to the hospital where he died just before 7am, according to WBTW.
Austin was not uninjured.
DiLorenzo had retired from his University of North Dakota provost position, which he held for seven years, just six weeks prior to his death and mere weeks after moving to Charleston
College of Charleston authorities later identified the victims as the college’s new Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and her husband, who died in the incident.
The robbery and shooting happened just blocks away from the College campus.
Both of the boys have since been charged with murder and attempted armed robbery.
One of the boys was also charged with possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The boys are being held in a juvenile detention center and will have a hearing before a family court judge.
DiLorenzo [left], had been UND provost from 2013 to 2020, working towards student retention, improving the university’s graduation rates and developing the school’s strategic plan.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement that the city was ‘shocked and horrified’ by DiLorenzo’s murder and noted that the violence ‘has no place in our city.’
‘Our hearts go out to Mr. DiLorenzo’s family and friends, and to the whole College of Charleston community at this terrible time,’ he added.
Former University of North Dakota student body president told the Grand Forks Herald that DiLorenzo ‘was always so warm and welcoming and ready to listen to the student voice, which I think was so important.
She added that ‘He really did care about student opinion on things.’
College of Charleston’s President Andrew Hsu said in a statement that ‘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.’
From what I understand, Tom – as you would expect of any lifelong academician – held education in the highest esteem, even calling it the “ultimate equalizer” because he knew that education was the only way a person could take full control of his/her/their life and ensure a future of success,’ Hsu added.
‘This is a moment of great sorrow for the entire College of Charleston community. In this difficult time, I want to express heartfelt condolences to Suzanne and the Austin and DiLorenzo families. It is imperative that we, as a campus community, come together now to support Suzanne and her family as they mourn the untimely loss of a husband and father.’