Watch CBSN Live

Police declare Florida law professor Dan Markel "intended victim" in shooting

Professor Dan Markel, who taught criminal law at Florida State University, was gunned down in his own home
Professor Dan Markel, who taught criminal law... 02:29

Family, friends and colleagues are grieving the loss of a prominent Florida State University law professor this morning.

Dan Markel was shot in his Tallahassee home. Police are releasing little information, but investigators do not believe this was a random attack, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports.

Tallahassee police canvassed the area around Dan Markel's home Monday, looking for any clues into his death.

"This is a puzzle and we need to get all of the pieces of the puzzle put together to bring this case to a close," said Officer David Northway.

About 11:00 a.m. Friday morning, officers were first called to Markel's house where they found the popular law professor with an apparent gunshot wound. He was rushed to a local hospital but died a day later from his injuries.

While a recent spree of break-ins had neighbors on edge, police said there was no indication of forced entry at Markel's home, calling his death a homicide

"It was not a robbery," Northway said. "It does not appear that it was a burglary. At this time, it does appear that Mr. Markel was unfortunately the intended victim in this case."

The 41-year-old father of two young boys was in the middle of a divorce.

He taught criminal law at Florida State University but was recognized nationwide, with his writing featured in the New York Times, Slate and the Atlantic. Markel also co-founded a popular legal blog with longtime friend Ethan Lieb.

"Dan Markel was an extraordinary person, an extraordinary scholar, an extraordinary friend, an incredible life that we're pretty sorry to be bereft of now," Lieb said.

Over the weekend, friends and family paid tribute to Markel at a memorial service.

In a statement, Florida State University called him "an outstanding teacher and extraordinary scholar."

A lawyer for Wendi Adelson, Markel's ex-wife, reportedly said she is devastated by the death of Dan, and is very afraid at this time.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.