Lebanese professor Raja Fayyad who taught anatomy and physiology and was highly regarded by both his students and fellow faculty members was shot and killed by his ex-wife in an apparent murder-suicide at the University of South Carolina, a coroner said Friday.
Sunghee Kwon shot Raja Fayad several times in the upper body Thursday afternoon in a fourth-floor office at the university’s Public Health building, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release.
Kwan then committed suicide with a gunshot to her stomach, the coroner said. A 9 mm pistol with an empty magazine was found near the bodies, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said.
No one witnessed the shooting, which happened in a small laboratory and adjacent office, Berry said Friday.
Kwon, 46, and Fayad, 45, were divorced a few years ago, but continued to live together until they split up for good a few months ago, Watts said. Kwon was still living in the couple’s home on Lake Murray in Lexington County, while Fayad had moved to a long-term hotel with a family member, according to the coroner.
Fayad was the Graduate Director & Head of the Applied Physiology Division, and the Director of Integrative immunology of inflammation and Cancer Laboratory. According to the University of South Carolina’s website, his research focused on colon cancer prevention.
Earlier in the morning, USC President Dr. Harris Pastides also confirmed that Fayad was killed in the incident. On his Twitter account, Pastides wrote, “The sun is out this morning. Let’s honor Professor Fayad with respect. Show someone that we care. Hold a Gamecock’s hand today.
Dr Fayad family lives in the region of Aley.