Killed Teacher, Self : More Light Shed on CSUN Gunman Who Took 2 Lives

Times Staff Writer

The student who killed an associate professor before committing suicide last week at California State University, Northridge, was in danger of being dropped from a master’s program because of a low grade from the teacher, authorities said Monday.

Los Angeles police said an argument over the grade prompted the student, Fawwaz Abdin, 25, of Northridge, to shoot computer science teacher Djamshid (Amir) Asgari, 35, Wednesday in a stairwell in the school’s Engineering Building. Abdin then shot himself once in the head, police said.

Abdin’s identity was not disclosed until Monday because of the time it took to notify his family in Amman, Jordan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.

Seeking a Master’s Degree


Abdin was seeking a master of science degree in engineering, CSUN spokeswoman Judith Elias said. He enrolled at CSUN in the spring of 1985 after earning a bachelor of science at Iowa State University and took a computer science class from Asgari that fall, authorities said.

Although police and school officials have not disclosed Abdin’s grade, Lt. Warren Knowles said it was low enough “to disqualify him from the master’s program.”

“He was disenchanted,” Knowles said.

The university requires students seeking master’s degrees to maintain at least a B average, said Elias, who would not disclose Abdin’s average.


Abdin had not re-enrolled for the current semester at CSUN, although he would have had until Friday to do so, Elias said. He had visited a university counseling service for advice, she said, declining to elaborate.

A Native of Jordan

Abdin, a native of Jordan, had been in the United States at least since December, 1980, when he began attending Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colo., Elias said.

Students in the off-campus apartment building where Abdin lived said he was moody and introverted, “not the kind of guy who would say hello or ask how you were doing,” said Mark Dominick, 21. Abdin was “kind of a stranger in a strange land,” he said.

“If I was at the fridge and he was at the sink, he would move away,” said former roommate David Lindberg, 24.

But Abdin “wasn’t really assertive or aggressive at all . . . . He never got mad about anything,” Lindberg said.