MOSCOW, Idaho A murder-suicide involving two people connected to the University of Idaho has rocked the Moscow campus.

Police say former professor Ernesto Bustamante, 31, checked into a Moscow hotel Monday night and took his own life less than an hour after he shot and killed 22-year-old UI graduate student Katy Benoit. Investigators said the two may have been involved in a relationship.

NewsChannel 7 traveled to Moscow and talked with some students in the tight-knit community.

We heard like 10 to 13 shots go off, I don't know, said Melissa Appeel who lives across the street from Benoit. I didn't know how many(shots), but you know Moscow is such a quiet town and such a small town that you kind of don't expect anything like this to happen.

Melissa Appeel and Erin Tennesen say they knew Katy Benoit and knew where she lived, but they say it wasn't until this morning that they found out exactly what happened.

Basically from the moment I got to school this morning the rumor mill was just going, said Appeel.

Cause the first thing all of us had heard is that it was a professor and that threw me off, said Tennesen.

And a lot of us had taken classes from him or at least had met him at one point in our lives and to the best of my ability he was good at what he taught and just finding out all of this it's very disturbing, said Appeel.

Appeel says Bustamante was passionate about his position.

We did some research on Bustamante. Students use a website

One student wrote that Bustamante was walking the line between genius and insanity.

There remains a lot of unanswered questions from students and faculty in Moscow.

Read or Share this story: