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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Killer UPDATE #2- More Threats to Schools

[Update below]

This post is going to cover not only the latest on the Virginia Tech killer but also what is happening across the country by way of shooting threats and bomb threats that are closing down schools and universities.

Seung-Hui Cho is dead and cannot do any more damage, so I am going to start with the threats around the country because those ARE potentially dangerous to our nations children.


From the Arizona Republic:

Estrella Mountain Community College resumed classes Wednesday the day after receiving a shooting threat.

Avondale police are helping campus security ensure campus safety. The school received a three-paged typed letter on a possible shooting threat, said Ralph Campbell, Estrella Mountain Community College spokesman.

The threat came in through the intercampus mail system about 11:30 a.m., Campbell said. Officials closed the campus Tuesday after receiving the threat.

“We have heightened our security presence on campus,” Campbell said. “Students are going around campus as they normally do.”

Avondale police are still investigating the threat, said Amy Bolton, Avondale Police spokeswoman.

The college has over 13,000 registered students, Bolton said.


From the Arizona Republic:

5 students held in death plot, Web site hints of school-attack plan.

RIVERTON, Kan. - Five teenage boys accused of plotting a shooting rampage at their high school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre were arrested Thursday after a message that authorities said warned of a gun attack appeared on the Web site

Sheriff's deputies found guns, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedroom of one suspect, Sheriff Steve Norman said. Authorities also found documents about firearms and references to Armageddon in two suspects' school lockers.

"What the resounding theme is: They were actually going to do this," Norman said.

Norman said he will ask prosecutors to bring charges of conspiracy to commit murder against the five, ages 16 to 18. Attorney General Phill Kline said in a news release that his office was taking over the prosecution at the request of the Cherokee County attorney.

Deputies' interviews with the suspects indicated they planned to wear black trench coats and disable the school's camera system before starting the attack between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday, Norman said. The suspects apparently had been plotting since the beginning of the school year.

Officials at Riverton High School began investigating on Tuesday after learning that a threatening message had been posted on, he said.

The message discussed the significance of April 20, which is Adolf Hitler's birthday and the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado, in which two students wearing trench coats killed 13 people and committed suicide, the sheriff said.

"The message, it was brief, but it stated that there was going to be a shooting at the Riverton school and that people should wear bulletproof vests and flak jackets," Norman said.

School officials identified the student who posted the message and talked to several of his friends, Norman said.

But Riverton School District Superintendent David Walters said the significance of the threat didn't become clear until Wednesday night, after a woman in North Carolina who had chatted with one of the suspects on received more specific information that there would be about a dozen potential victims, at least one of whom was a staff member. She notified authorities in her state, who contacted the Sheriff's Department, Norman said.

Norman said that the potential victims were popular students and that the suspects may have been bullied.

"I think there was probably some bullying, name calling, chastising," he said. He also said investigators had learned the suspects were computer buffs who liked violent video games.

About 900 students go to school on the campus.

Riverton is an unincorporated area of about 600 people along what once was the famed Route 66 in southeastern Kansas, near the Oklahoma and Missouri line.


From Bangor Daily News:

Bomb threat called in at UM; incident labeled 'despicable'

ORONO - A bomb threat reported Wednesday at the University of Maine was one of approximately a dozen being dealt with at colleges and universities across the country just two days after Monday’s shooting massacre at Virginia Tech University.

"There is often a contagion effect of copycat behavior that occurs after a nationally publicized incident, such as that which occurred at Virginia Tech this week," UM Public Safety Director Noel March said. "Unfortunately, someone chose to demonstrate this despicable behavior here at UMaine this morning."

The threat was called in to UM Public Safety at 7:36 a.m. from an intercom phone outside of Oxford Hall, a dormitory. Police believe the caller was male, and Kennedy authorized a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the individual.

The threat resulted in a search of many campus buildings, including Memorial Union, by bomb sniffing dogs. No one was injured, and the search found nothing significant. The dogs were alerted at one point while searching lockers in the Class of 1944 Hall, but the State Police Bomb Squad found nothing.

"The result of these actions is the inconsiderate disruption to the lives of many students, faculty and staff, and an unnecessary cost to an already stressed university budget," March said.

The public safety director said he intends to seek the most serious charges against the caller when he is caught.

Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, said the crime could be considered a class C felony for terrorizing which carries a fine of $5,000 and the culprit also can be ordered to pay restitution if the report is a false alarm.



Kalamazoo Valley Community College closed due to Internet threats.

KALAMAZOO - Threats posted on an online blog worried Kalamazoo Valley Community College officials enough Thursday that they shut down the campus for the rest of the week, the sheriff's department and the school said.

The threats followed a week of lock-downs and evacuations at schools across the country in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting massacre. The Kalamazoo messages, police say, referenced the violence in Blacksburg, Va.

"We were contacted by state law enforcement authorities and made aware of a very specific threat to our campus," college vice president Michael R. Collins said in a statement. "As a result, we are canceling classes for today and through the weekend and are actively working with local law enforcement agencies to resolve the situation."

Kalamazoo County sheriff's Lt. Terry VanStreain said police believe a male suspect they have in custody is the person responsible for authoring the blog messages. He was arrested around 11:30 a.m. by Kalamazoo police.

According to VanStreain, the first message - posted at 5:02 p.m. Wednesday - read: "My friends and I were sitting around yesterday discussing how we don't have any killers in our generation, then I heard about this (expletive). Thank you, God, for answering my prayers."

The second message, posted at 3:50 a.m. Thursday, read: "Our government kills that many people every day. ... The only reason you give a damn is because it's on CNN."

Elsewhere, at the University of Minnesota, eight buildings were open Thursday after being evacuated Wednesday when a bomb threat was found. A student had found that note in a chemistry building restroom, but after about six hours of searching, university police Chief Greg Hestness said officers had found nothing unusual.

Classes and sporting events also were canceled Thursday at Gabriel Richard Regional Catholic High School near Ann Arbor after police said the words "Virginia Tech today" were found posted on a bathroom wall.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Daniel Minzey said police had identified the student or students responsible and had taken them in for questioning. He said authorities would seek to press criminal charges.

"This is nothing to take lightly - we had a lot of concerned kids, parents, community members and staff," Minzey told The Ann Arbor News. "It was taxing for everyone."


From AFP:

Bomb threat shuts down University of Minnesota campus.

Students were evacuated from the University of Minnesota Wednesday following a bomb threat, the US university said on its website.

The threat came amid heightened tensions following the deadliest school shooting in US history Monday which left 33 people dead at Virginia Tech University.

It was one of scores of threats lobbed at schools and universities across the country in the aftermath of the Virginia massacre.

Some of the threats specifically mentioned the massacre, while others were vaguely worded or misunderstandings caused by nerves


From Rediif Indiana Abroad:

US university bomb scare: 2 shot.

At least two persons were shot at in the University of Missouri as bomb and other threats in several schools and universities across the United States send security personnel scrambling with students and parents.

The two were taken to a hospital, a report said without elaborating the details.

The Virginia Tech campus, which witnessed a gunman killing 32 people before shooting himself on Monday, saw another bomb scare on Wednesday in the building housing the president's office but it turned out to be false alarm.


Reports of similar incidents leading to locking down of educational institutions were coming in from across the country till late into the evening.


From Japan Today:

A high school in Montana was locked down and searched Tuesday after a note was found in a restroom saying "The shooting would start at Great Falls High at 12:30 and it would be worse than Virginia Tech," the local newspaper Great Falls Tribune reported.

The note was found hours after a disturbed man had left bomb threats on the school's answering machine but the threats turned out to be unfounded.


From KGO:

SoCal Campuses Troubled By Violent Threats.

Apr. 19 - Threats of violence are rattling Southern California campuses, days after the Virginia Tech shooting rampage that killed 33 people.
Federal agents say they've detained a suspect who delivered a bogus message to San Diego State University threatening to carry out a massacre today similar to the Virginia attack.

Investigators determined the threat to be a hoax.

Meanwhile, graffiti at a Murrieta high school threatened that bombs were planted on the campus.

The spray-painted message at Vista Murrieta High School said everyone at the school would die on April 20th, the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.

Police, school staff and bomb-sniffing dogs swept the campus but found no bombs.

Campus threats forced lockdowns and evacuations at universities, high schools and middle schools in at least eleven states since Monday's attack.


From the St. Edwards University Website.

Message to the St. Edward’s University Community
Update Following Recent Bomb Threats

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, the University Police Department announced that a complete and thorough search of the campus had been completed. We were grateful to report that no explosive device was found. The university reopened at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, and all classes are being held as scheduled.

The St. Edward’s University administration and the University Police Department would like to extend our sincere appreciation for the manner in which students, staff and faculty members conducted themselves during the process of evacuation. In the hours that followed as students waited in the rain to get back into residence halls and employees waited for further instruction, the atmosphere remained calm and orderly. We realize that many of you were inconvenienced by arriving at campus and then being turned away. We appreciate your understanding that the safety of our campus community was paramount.

In addition, at approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, the Austin Police Department received a 911 call that was a bomb threat for St. Edward's University. The University Police Department immediately began a search of all facilities on campus. All buildings have been searched and cleared for safety and the university will open for business and normal class schedules by 8 a.m. Thursday, April 19. The Professional Education Center is also open for normal business. We will continue to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of our university community based on the nature of the threats.

The following information is provided as a resource for you:

Status of investigation
UPD, with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Austin Police Department, is conducting a thorough investigation into the bomb threat and all possible suspects.

Security continues to be heightened
The university will have increased police presence supplemented by the Austin Police Department throughout the week. Students in residence halls will experience tighter security. The entire university community is encouraged to be observant and vigilant in the upcoming days. It is important to report to the University Police Department any suspicious activity by individuals or items left unattended that seem out of place. Your cooperation could aid the investigation.


From Fox 12:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Several hundred students and teachers were evacuated Monday from two buildings at the University of Tennessee after a bomb threat.
The threat turned out to be a hoax. It came hours after the shootings at Virginia Tech.

A U-T Knoxville spokesman says the hoax is not believed to be connected to the slayings in Virginia.

Authorities say an anonymous caller to U-T's main switchboard said an explosive device was set to go off before four p-m.

The office tower and classroom building mentioned by the caller were emptied in about 30 minutes and bomb-sniffing dogs brought in. Nothing was found and the evacuation was canceled.

University spokesman Tom Milligan says the school periodically gets bomb threats, but in light of what happened in Virginia, they felt it was prudent to be "extra cautious."

Yahoo search brings up very disturbing results, including stories from before the Virginia Tech killings.

Same with Google searches.

There are people talking here in Arizona who will not be sending their children to school this Friday because of similiar threats for the "anniversary" of Columbine and Adolph Hitlers birthday.

This is the latest fallout from the Virginia Tech killings that occured on April 16, 2007.

My related posts about that are here, here, here and here.

Now for the update on that.

It seems that the two hours between the killings at the two different locations on the Virginia Tech campus, the killer, Cho Seung-Hui, spent that time going back to his dorm room and making a video tape that he then went to the post office to mail it to NBC.

The self-made video and photos of Cho pointing guns as if he were imitating a movie poster were mailed to NBC on the morning of the Virginia Tech massacre. A Postal Service time stamp reads 9:01 a.m. -- between the two attacks that left 33 people dead.

"This is it. This is where it all ends," Cho says in one videotape, in which he appears to be more melancholy than angry. "What a life it was. Some life."

Cho, 23, speaks in a harsh monotone in other videotaped rants, but it isn't clear to whom he is speaking.

"You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today," he says in one, with a snarl on his lips. "But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

NBC said the package contained a rambling and often incoherent 23-page written statement, 28 video clips and 43 photos.

On NBC's "Today" show Thursday, host Meredith Vieira said the decision to air the information "was not taken lightly." Some victims' relatives canceled their plans to speak with NBC because they were upset over the airing of the images, she said.

"I saw his picture on TV, and when I did I just got chills," said Kristy Venning, a junior from Franklin County, Va. "There's really no words. It shows he put so much thought into this and I think it's sick."

The package helped explain one of the biggest mysteries about the massacre: where the gunman was and what he did during that two-hour window between the first burst of gunfire, at a high-rise dorm, and the second attack, at a classroom building.

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," says Cho, a South Korean immigrant whose parents work at a dry cleaners in suburban Washington. "Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."

Read the rest...

NBC, in what Hugh Hewitt is accurately describing as a "repulsive decision" actually aired the video.

I wrote last night about the repulsive decision of NBC to put its ratings ahead of the public good and run the video and pictures of the Virginia Tech murderer. That they should not have done so was obvious to many, many people, so obvious in fact that NBC's rush to get its ratings boom had to have been motivated at least in part by a recognition that if they delayed, the discussion about the potential appalling consequences of airing the material would have deterred them. Less than two hours passed after the public learned that NBC had the materials and NBC's airing of them. There is no evidence that the network consulted anyone outside of their cloister. Had the Steve Capus-led gang of exploiters of the dead, the wounded and their families had a shred of decency or professional skill, they would have asked around a bit.
Again, please read the rest of Hewitt's pieces here and here, they include transcripts of interviews.

I agree wholeheartedly and I am going to tell you why.

See all those threats to schools and universities that I showed above... One of which 5 people were arrested for because they were well into the plan to kill?

Well now these people know that the nightly "news" or NBC in this case, will give them their fame, even after their death, which is enough to encourage these sick individuals to carry out their threats.

Gateway Pundit has part of the video for those that wish to see.

Wapo shows some reactions about NBC's decision to air this sick video.

Nate Calhoun, a Blacksburg High School senior who lost a close friend in the massacre, came to the campus last night to pay respects to the victims. He blasted the network. "NBC really ticked my last nerves," he said. "The way this university is already struggling with pain, I object to them putting these pictures out like that. It's just not fair."

NBC has also posted parts of Cho's manifesto online, 5 of the 23 pages of it with profanity redacted.

Hot Air has some pictures, maps and updates on information as it has been coming out, please head over and take a look.

Nyt has a couple articles about Cho and NBC's decision to air the disturbing video rants of a madman, they can be found here and here.

I will bring you more as it comes out...

[Update] 2pm- ABC has an article where a psychiatrist, Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist, says exactly what I have stated here"

Psychiatrist: Showing Video Is 'Social Catastrophe'

Mental Health Expert Says Shooter Was Trying to Attempt Immortality; Showing Clips Validates His Delusions.

The videos of Seung-hui Cho, the man who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech on Monday and then killed himself, shouldn't have been released because they don't offer the public any greater understanding of the gruesome crime, said Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist and ABC News consultant, on "Good Morning America" today.

"If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube," Welner said. "This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe."


Welner believes that instead of offering insight, these videos merely offer validation of delusional behavior.

"I think that's very important for the viewing audience to understand. This is not him.These videos do not help us understand him. They distort him. He was meek. He was quiet. This is a PR tape of him trying to turn himself into a Quentin Tarantino character," Welner said. "This is precisely why this should not be released. Parents, you should cut the pictures out of the newspaper. Do not let your children see it. Take them out of the room when these videos are shown. Because he's paranoid and his agenda of blaming the rest of the world is unedited."

"There's nothing to learn from this except giving it validation. If this rambling showed up in an emergency room, my colleagues and I would listen carefully and, when we reflected that it was delusional, would go see the next patient and start the medication," he said. "This makes it sound like he was tormented. He wasn't."

Read the rest
for those that doubt that NBC made a critically stupid, repulsive and dangerous move in airing the video.

[Update #2] Wapo has a five page article with students speaking about the Virginia Tech killings.