Teacher kills superintendent during meeting

December 17, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

CHELSEA, Mich. -- A teacher at Chelsea High School shot the school superintendent to death and wounded the principal and another teacher during a meeting yesterday.

Stephen Leith then allegedly threw his gun outside and sat in a classroom, where he was arrested, police said.

Mr. Leith, a chemistry and physics teacher, stepped out of a meeting with Superintendent Joseph Piasecki, Principal Ronald Mead and English teacher Phillip Jones, a union representative, police said.

He allegedly returned with a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and began firing.

Mr. Piasecki, 47, was hit four times and died at nearby Chelsea Community Hospital. Mr. Mead, 43, was hit in the left leg and was in good condition. Mr. Jones, 43, was being treated and was expected to be released soon.

Officials didn't say what the meeting was about.

Bud Janich, a retired teacher, said Mr. Leith was a good teacher but "hot-tempered" and "outspoken."

Senior Kelly Thayer took Mr. Leith's chemistry class two years ago. "He was really aggressive, he liked girls a lot," she said. "He teased us and would hold our hands a lot. I've gone to complain to the principal, and so have my friends."

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