In December, an ROTC instructor told a campus police officer that Kinyua was an "unusually angry person" after he allegedly punched seven holes in an office wall. The instructor noted Kinyua had self-inflicted scars that he attributed to tribal markings, and called Kinyua "a Virginia Tech waiting to happen," a reference to a mass shooting by a student.
Kinyua was thrown out of the military training program but allowed back on campus.
A month later Kinyua referred to blood sacrifices at an anti-hazing forum attended by students and top university officials. Meanwhile, Kinyua's Facebook postings grew more bizarre, with references to Virginia Tech, ethnic cleansing and death cults.
Two weeks after the May 4 machete call, campus officers arrested Kinyua on an assault charge, alleging that he hit a young man with a baseball bat wrapped in chains. The victim said later that his friends saw Kinyua standing over his unconscious body holding a knife.
Kinyua was released on bail on May 23. Two days later, Agyei-Kodie went missing from the Joppatowne home of Kinyua's parents.
The victim — whose hands and head were found May 30 in the home, and the remainder in a trash bin at a nearby church — was a former Morgan student from Ghana awaiting deportation. Police said Kinyua has confessed to eating Agyei-Kodie's heart and part of his brain.
McGee, the former Sheppard Pratt psychologist, said it appears that campus police and others simply took perfunctory reports and missed the big picture. He rattled off a litany of past mass shootings in which such signals were missed.
In Columbine, Colo., nine months before two students gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher, a parent gave police copies of the suspects' website, which threatened killings. "The cop wrote a report and stuck it in a drawer somewhere," McGee said. There were other warning signs involving parents, friends police and teachers.
Similar warning signs were apparent at Virginia Tech. It was the worst school massacre on record, and became a symbol and a warning for campuses nationwide.
McGee said that too often police are trained to handle "the aftermath of a crime." But after Virginia Tech, "threat assessment" is becoming a part of training for both law enforcement and psychologists, he said.
Authorities at Morgan State have said they evaluated Kinyua after the ROTC incident but concluded that he was not a threat.
"Unfortunately, the folks who continued to assess and manage the case there were not properly trained or qualified," McGee said.
"We have to dismiss the idea that these kinds of incidents cannot be anticipated," the psychologist said "They can. We have to dismiss the idea that perfectly normal people suddenly snap and commit horrible crimes. They don't. And we have to dismiss the idea what once you've identified a highly agitated person, there is nothing you can do about it. There is."