EDITORIAL - Sodini's gesture: Pitt was right to steer clear of his estate

Written by Susan Mannella on .

It's probably time to stop trying to get into the head of George Sodini. He's the man who opened fire Aug. 4 at a health club in Collier, killing three women and wounding nine others before turning a gun on himself.

Mr. Sodini left his estate, valued at $225,000, to the University of Pittsburgh. Apparently he thought, when he completed his will in October 2007, that he'd be doing the institution a favor. Given his vile act two weeks ago, however, Pitt wants no part of the gesture.

A statement released Tuesday by the university said, "Pitt has no interest in receiving any such distribution. The university community continues to grieve about the tragic loss of lives. And we believe that any available funds should benefit Mr. Sodini's victims and members of their families."

Pitt made the right call. The shooter unleashed untold suffering, far more than can be assuaged by a paltry $225,000. Even so, the victims of his sordid assault deserve claim on his assets before anyone or anything else.

It's not surprising that at least three of the injured women have filed lawsuits in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court against the gunman's estate. No doubt they have incurred health-related expenses because of their injuries. As to emotional trauma, it will be hard to put a price on that.

George Sodini's estate will not do much to relieve the pain or replace the loss. The deaths of three women and the distress caused to his other victims will not be wiped away. But every dollar of his property, few as they are, should be theirs.

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