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Monday, April 16, 2007

Mass Killing at Virginia Tech

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or wounded.

4/17/07- Todays updates here and here.


ABC has more, including the name of the shooter.

He is Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old resident alien of the United States, as first reported by ABC News.

Cho is a South Korean national, a Virginia Tech senior majoring in English and the man who killed 33 people — including himself — on the Virginia Tech campus Monday.

Sources tell ABC News that Cho killed two people in a dorm room, returned to his own dorm room where he re-armed and left a "disturbing note" before entering a classroom building on the other side of campus to continue his rampage.

Positive Fingerprint Match

Cho's identity has been confirmed with a positive fingerprint match on the guns used in the rampage and with immigration materials.

"Lab results confirm that one of the two weapons seized in Norris Hall was used in both shootings," Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

[Final Update for tonight]
Chicago Sun Times has some additional information.

Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa.

The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said. Investigators have not linked him to any terrorist groups, the source said.

Police believe three bomb threats on the campus last week may have been attempts by the man to test the campus’ security response, the source said.

The exits to the buildings where the shootings occurred were chained by the shooter, the source said.

Students complained that there were no public address announcements or other warnings on campus after the first burst of gunfire. They said the first word they received from the university was an e-mail more than two hours into the rampage — around the time the gunman struck again.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said authorities believed the shooting at the dorm was a domestic dispute and mistakenly thought the gunman had fled the campus.

I am not going to criticize the response from the school, because unless faced with the same situation, none of us can determine how WE would have handled it better.

Hot Air has a very good question listed.

I read somewhere earlier that it’s only a 10 minute walk or so between the dorm and Norris Hall. Where did the killer go between 7:15 and 9?

[Continuing Updates]
For those not near a television, Fox News is offering a Live Stream Virginia Tech Press Conference. (Top of page, click the orange BREAKING NEWS banner to get the stream.)

They just announced it is 33 students that have been killed.

I will keep updating as more news comes out.

Latest from CollegiateTimes.

According to Virginia Tech police chief Wendell Flinchum, preliminary reports have stated that the doors of Norris Hall were chained. The shooter killed himself within Norris Hall and bodies were found throughout the building. No additional persons are in custody.

Injured student talks to MSNBC. Video Provided at the link.

Fox is reporting that Virginia Tech is planning a 4 p.m. EDT press conference.

ABC is reporting eye witness accounts.

Everyone Started Panicking and Jumping Out the Window'

Students Talk to ABC News Now About the Va. Tech Massacre, a Day They Will Never Forget.


It really wasn't organized. Almost everyone else just left, and while the kids were running out, people said, "Come back, come back."

"The only reason we knew was because someone got a text message…No one was there saying, "This is what's going on."

Communication from college? I checked my e-mail about 8:30…I went to my class as I usually would. By 8:30 no one was notified that something had happened at 7. We went onto a dangerous campus not knowing

It's so hard because I know that those police officers are putting their lives on the line and it's so chaotic…There needs to be a better system…
CollegiateTimes has pictures up.

[Update] has posted a map showing the distance between the sites of the two shooting incidents.

memeorandum has a list of who is discussing this, but I find that the intro text for the Associated Press article says that a second assailant may be at large, BUT when you click to the article itself, nothing about a second assailant is within the story.

Suspect reported held in fatal Va. Tech shooting — One person dead; 2nd assailant may be at large; 7-8 others may be victims — BLACKSBURG, Va. - A shooting at a Virginia Tech dormitory on Monday left at least one person dead, a state government official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press.

Look through the article itself and please tell me if you see anything involving a second assailant. Perhaps this was just a misprint.

Wapo weighs in.

Instapundit points out that Virginia Tech is a gun free zone despite efforts to change that.

UPDATE: More here and here. And some background here. And reader John Lucas, who works with a Virginia law firm, emails that Va. Tech is a "gun-free zone." Well, for those who follow the law. There was an effort to change that but it failed: "A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly." That's unfortunate.

I have pointed out before, criminals are the ones that don't follow the law, this left campus security without ability to protect the students.

[Updates on Top]
Pajamas Media is reporting deathtoll is up to 32.

The scene at Virginia Tech University

Reports are still coming in, but it seems that there were two shooting incidents at Virginia Tech University.

From Fox:

At 7:15 a.m. Monday, a 911 call came in to the campus police department concerning an incident at West Ambler Johnston, a residence hall, and that there were multiple shooting victims, Steger said. While that investigation was underway, a second shooting was reported in Norris Hall, located at the opposite end of the 2,600-acre campus.


The school's Web site earlier said one shooter was in custody and officials searched for a second shooter as "part of routine police procedure," but during the press conference Monday, police said they believe there was only one shooter.

Police also said there is no evidence the two shootings at opposite ends of campus were related.

Virginia Tech student Blake Harrison said he was on his way to class near Norris Hall when he saw chaos.

"This teacher comes flying out of Norris, he's bleeding from his arm or his shoulder ... all these students were coming out of Norris trying to take shelter in Randolph [Hall]. All these kids were freaked out," Harrison said.

The students and faculty were barricading themselves in their classrooms after what one person described as an Asian student wearing a vest opened fire.

The shooter was "wearing a vest covered in clips was just unloading on their door, going from classroom to classroom … they said it never seemed like it was going to stop and there was just blood all over," Harrison said.

I put emphasis on the two contradicting statements.

Later in the article it states that earlier in the month there were bomb threats at this school also.

On April 13, the campus closed three of its academic halls after they received a letter stating that explosive devices were in the building. Classes were canceled for the remainder of the day. A bomb threat was also made against Torgerson Hall on April 2.

Campus police said there was only one shooter and he is now dead. They are unsure if the shooter was a student and it was unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life.

Roanoke News is being updated as news comes in also.

1:07 p.m.

Virginia Tech police Chief Wendell Flinchum said it's unclear what could have prompted today's shootings. An investigation is under way, he said.

At this point, Flinchum said, "we believe campus is secure. We are releasing people to leave campus if they wish."

Tech police got a 911 call at 7:15 a.m. about the shooting in West Ambler-Johnston. At least two people were shot there and some panicked students are reported to have jumped out the dorm's windows.

The Norris Hall shootings happened about two hours later. Classes were canceled and anyone out walking was quickly pulled inside by police or university officials.

"The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus," Tech President Charles Steger said at the noon news conference. He called the incident a "tragedy of monumental proportions."

Counseling centers have been set up in Ambler-Johnston and the Cook Counseling Center, he said, and the school is planning a convocation at noon tomorrow at Cassell Coliseum "for the university community to come together to begin to deal with this tragedy."

Two hours afteer the first shootings, the Norris hall shootings occured. This is very strange and I am sure it will continue to be updated.

Both the Fox link and the Roanoke link are also being updated continuously as news comes in, so keep them open and keep hitting refresh for the updates to appear.

Totals so far reported are 22 dead and 21 wounded. [Updated numbers] Reports are now 32 dead and 21 wounded. [End update]

Hot Air is doing updates constantly, keep your eye there too and of course as more news comes in I will be updating here.

Tracked back by:
*UPDATE* Reported 32 Killed in Virginia Tech Shooting from The Sandbox...