Irish teacher killed by former student outside Paris university

Irish teacher, 66, is stabbed to death by expelled former student outside a Paris university

  • John Dowling was savagely stabbed to death by a former failing student
  • He was knifed repeatedly as he left the private university for lunch Wednesday
  • Police are investigating a possible revenge motive as the student was expelled
  • The suspect, a 37-year-old man of Pakistani origin, was arrested at the scene 

An Irish lecturer teaching English in Paris was savagely stabbed to death by a former student who had failed to pass his exams.

The horrific murder of John Dowling, 66, in a possible act of revenge took place outside the Leonardo De Vinci private university on Wednesday in the the western La Defense business district.

‘The victim was stabbed repeatedly after heading out of the college to go for lunch,’ said an investigating source.

‘At least one of the cuts was to his throat, and he died on the scene. A 37-year-old man was arrested at the scene and remains in custody.’

This Twitter picture appears to show the aftermath of the fatal stabbing outside the Leonardo De Vinci private university on Wednesday afternoon

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Mr Dowling had been on the verge of retirement from the 9,500 euro per year university (pictured)

The so far unnamed suspected killer is a Pakistani national who was expelled from the university in the summer of 2017 after failing to get through the academic year.

He is known to have remained in the area over the past year, and was in touch with those running the college.

It is not yet known whether Mr Dowling had ever taught his alleged murderer, but university spokesman Sebastian Tran said a possible act of revenge was being investigated.

The suspected killer ‘had a normal schooling in the first semester, but in the second semester, he did not pass his year and he was therefore excluded in August 2017,’ said Mr Tran.

Mr Tran said the university – which charges 9,500 euro per year – had not been aware of any ‘particular threat’ from the former student.

Frederique Vidal, France’s Higher Education minister, said: ‘There is emotion and indignation as a professor has just been murdered at the Leonardo De Vinci university.

‘We need to find out the circumstances surrounding his death during the investigation being conducted by the judicial police.’

Mr Dowling had been on the verge of retirement, said Pascal Brouaye, the head of the university, who added: ‘It’s a tragedy that affects the entire community. He was a language teacher who had been here for 20 years and he was appreciated by everyone.’

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