Photo: Professor Ernesto Bustamante at University of Idaho shot former lover Katy Benoit, 22
Monday evening, graduate student Kathryn Benoit was shot and killed by University of Idaho college professor Ernesto Bustamante, who later took his own life.
Benoit and Bustamante, originally from Merida, Venezuela, had engaged in a sexual relationship prior to the shooting, but since ending the relationship, Benoit a complaint against Bustamante after he allegedly threatened her by pointing “a handgun at her on multiple occasions and put the gun in her mouth at one point,” one of her roommates said.
On Monday, Benoit and her roommates were baking when Benoit stepped outside to have a cigarette. Her roommates say they heard gun shots just minutes after she’d gone out, and opened the door to find her on the ground, having been shot a number of times.
Authorities say she had bullet wounds in her chest and throat, the injuries caused by a .45 caliber gun.
A friend of Bustamante says he had multiple personality disorder and had personalities Bustamante himself called a “psychopathic killer” and “the beast”.
Though Benoit’s friends did not see they gun, when they called 911, they mentioned Bustamante and said he had caused problems for Benoit in the past.
Police began a search for Bustamante, and found that he had been staying at the University Inn Best Western in Moscow, Idaho near the school. After an hours-long stand-off with police, Bustamante shot himself and died from his injuries.
The Friday prior to the murder-suicide, Bustamante resigned as assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Communication, a position he had held since 2007. Those he worked with did not know why he had resigned.
After the events on Monday, police discovered Bustamante had a number of guns, including, a Smith and Wesson .45 caliber semi-automatic and a 1911 .45 caliber handgun.
When asked about the complaint Benoit filed against Bustamante, U of I said, “After receiving threats and intimidation from Bustamante, we believed Katy had obtained a restraining order, changed addresses and filed a complaint with the University of Idaho.”
Police say no such restraining order was ever requested.
Kathryn was 22 and looking forward to continuing her graduate studies her family said.