Dan Markel was found dead in his home Friday. / Florida State University Law School
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A well-known Florida State University law professor and author who was found dead in his home last week was killed by a gunshot to the head, police said Tuesday.
Tallahassee Police said Dan Markel, 41, was the "intended victim" of a murder when he was shot at his home at about 11 a.m. Friday.
A neighbor reported a "loud bang" in the area at about the same time.
A police spokesman said there are no suspects, and the department continues to ask for tips from the public.
Markel graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001 and had taught at Florida State since 2005, according to his website. He taught criminal law with focuses on a variety of other topics such as the death penalty and punitive damages.
"Dan was one of the most vivacious members of our community," said Donald Weidner, dean of the FSU College of Law. "He was an outstanding teacher and extraordinary scholar and colleague whose opinions were widely solicited and valued. His contributions to the law school and broader legal community were pervasive and lasting. We all mourn his passing and will feel his loss for many years to come."
News of Markel's death made its way across social media sites, particularly among members of the academic law community, where Markel was popular.
"It was shocking," said FSU law student Clara Vickers. "That's not something you expect to hear."
Markel, the father of two young boys, ages 3 and 5, was recently divorced from fellow FSU law professor Wendi Adelson. Her attorney, Jimmy Judkins, says Adelson is cooperating with police.
The news of her ex-husband's murder has left her "distraught, devastated, scared to death," he said.
Adelson, 35, is the director of FSU's Public Interest Law Center.
Markel's neighbors in the Betton Hills neighborhood had expressed concern that he was the victim of a home burglary gone wrong, but police moved to quash those fears Tuesday.
"The investigation has provided no indication that this case is connected to a burglary or robbery," according to a Tallahassee Police press release. "There is no evidence this is a random act."
Lee Avirett has lived in Betton Hills his entire 67 years and says Markel's death is the most disturbing event to ever happen in the neighborhood.
"It just was very unsettling," he said. "This has been a quiet place."
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