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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech Spree Killer UPDATE

Continuing from my last three posts on this subject, found here, here and here, we have more news on Seung-Hui Cho.

AP reports that
Seung-Hui Cho had 2 past stalking cases.

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The gunman blamed for the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history had previously been accused of stalking two female students at Virginia Tech and had been taken to a mental health facility in 2005 after an acquaintance worried he might be suicidal, police said Wednesday.

Cho Seung-Hui had concerned one woman enough with his calls and e-mail in 2005 that police were called in, said Police Chief Wendell Flinchum.

He said the woman declined to press charges, and neither woman was among the victims of Monday's massacre on the Virginia Tech campus.

During the stalking second incident, also in late 2005, the department received a call from an acquaintance of Cho's who was concerned that he might be suicidal, and Cho was taken to a mental health facility, Flinchum said. About the same time, in fall 2005, Cho's professor informally shared some concerns about the young man's writing but no official report was filed, he said.

Flinchum said he knew of no other police incidents involving Cho until the deadly shootings Monday, first at a girl's dorm room and then a classroom building across campus. Neither of the stalking victims was among the victims Monday.

ABC News has renowned forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner using the latest informaton, Welner believes the evidence strongly supports that Cho had paranoid schizophrenia.

ABC News also has found that a Virginia court found that Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was "mentally ill" and potentially dangerous. Then the state let him go.

In 2005, after a district court in Montgomery County, Va., ruled that Cho was either a danger to himself or to others — the necessary criteria for a detention order — he was evaluated by a state doctor and ordered to undergo outpatient care.

According to the "Temporary Detention Order" obtained by ABC News, psychologist Roy Crouse found Cho's "affect is flat and mood is depressed.

"He denies suicidal ideation. He does not acknowledge symptoms of a thought disorder," Dr. Crouse wrote. "His insight and judgment are normal."

That information came to light two days after Cho, a Virginia Tech senior, killed 32 people and then himself in a shooting rampage on the university's campus.

This last part of that article I find very disturbing.

'Imminent Danger to Himself'

The evaluation came from a psychiatric hospital near Virginia Tech, where Cho was taken by police in December 2005, after two female schoolmates said they received threatening messages from him, and police and school officials became concerned that he might be suicidal.

After Dr. Crouse's psychological evaluation of Cho, Special Justice Paul M. Barnett certified the finding, ordering followup treatment on an outpatient basis.

On the form, a box is checked, showing that the person "presents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness."

Immediately below it was another box that is not checked: "Presents an imminent danger to others as a result of mental illness."

Authorities said they had no contact with Cho between then and Monday's mass killings.

The fact that they understood he presented an "imminent danger to himself" should have been reason enough to keep him under supervision and to make sure he did follow up with his outpatient care.

Read the rest of that 3 page article, it has some history that, in hindsight, could have been very important and perhaps might have prevented this tragedy from happening.

MSN tells us that Cho's parents had to be hospitalized with shock.

The parents of mass killer Cho Seung-hi were hospitalised with shock and had not attempted suicide, contrary to reports in Korean media.

Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that Cho's parents, who ran a dry cleaning shop in Centreville, Virginia, had been hospitalised after learning of ther son's killing rampage at Virginia Tech University.

Rumours earlier spread through Korean media sources that Cho's parents had attempted suicide.

Please let us keep his parents in our prayers also. Not only are they facing the devestation of losing a child, but also the pain of knowing their child was the cause of 32 other deaths before killing himself.

Don Surber states it well:

As a parent, my heart goes out to them. They not only lost a son, but they must deal with this shame.


I do not recall Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother being blamed for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We should have empathy for all the mothers and all the fathers, including the Chos. They are all victims — all of them.


Hat Tip to Don Surber for the link to this article:

Seoul - South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun held a special meeting with aides on Wednesday to discuss the Virginia Tech shooting, as the public expressed shame over a South Korean citizen being identified as the gunman.

The shooter was identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a senior in the university's English department, who the South Korean Foreign Ministry said had been living in the United States since 1992.

Cho was the only suspect named in the deadliest shooting rampage in US history, which left 33 dead including himself.

"I and our people cannot contain our feelings of huge shock and grief," said Roh during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

"I pray for the souls of those killed and offer words of comfort from my heart for those injured, the bereaved families and the US people."

The case topped the front pages of nearly all South Korean newspapers on Wednesday, which also voiced worries that the incident may trigger racial hatred in the US and worsen relations between the strong allies.

Students fear retaliation.

A sense of despair prevailed among South Korean public.

"I'm too shameful that I'm a South Korean," wrote an internet user on the country's top web portal site, Naver - among hundreds of messages on the issue. "As a South Korean, I feel apologetic to the Virginia Tech victims."

First off, I truly hope we can separate one sick individual from South Korean's as a whole.

Secondly, for those from Korea that I see visiting my blog from site meter, let me say, we do not blame you and always be proud of your heritage, you should not feel shame because of where you come from just because one person born in South Korea committed an act such as this.

The Jawa Report catches a mistake in how the media has referred to this tragedy.

They point out 6 representative instances where the media refers to this as "the worst mass murder" in recent US history.

It isn't.

It is the worst "killing spree" in US History and that is a very big difference than a mass murder.

The 9/11 attacks (2,998 deaths), the Oklahoma City bombing (168 deaths), the HappyLand arson (87 deaths) and the Bath, Michigan bombing (45 deaths) all claimed more victims than the Virginia Tech shootings (32 deaths).

Those were mass murders and 9/11 was a terrorist attack.

This was a killing spree. (No freaking wisecracks about my name either)

Others discussing this:
NY Daily News, New York Times, Jules Crittenden, MSNBC, Wapo, Wall Street Journal.

More Blog Reactions:
Hot Air has great roundup of information as it comes in.

Michelle Malkin shows why some people really shouldn't even be allowed to post anything, anywhere, EVER. --- Hate speech goes beyond Free Speech and there are laws now.

Sister Toldjah has some interesting updates also.

Captain's Quarters, as ususal, has a good take and great analysis on this whole tragedy.

Keep up with all the blogosphere reactions as well as the latest news stories over at memeorandum.