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Apr-17-2007 06:18printcomments

Victims, Gunman Names Coming Out from Massacre at Virginia Tech

Police have identified the gunman as 23-year old Cho Seung-Hui.

Va. Tech campus from air
Photo courtesy: Virginia Tech

(BLACKSBURG, Va.) - Two shooting incidents on the Virginia Tech campus Monday left 33 dead. The deadliest mass shooting rampage in U.S. history.

Thirty-one, including the gunman, died at Norris Hall; two died at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a dorm. Fifteen other victims from Norris are being treated at area hospitals.

Officials are in the process of identifying victims and notifying next-of-kin.

Virginia Tech's president told the Associated Press on Tuesday that a university student was the gunman in at least the second of the two campus attacks. Though he did not explicitly say the student was also the gunman in the first shooting, he said he did not believe there was another shooter.

Police have identified the gunman as 23-year old Cho Seung-Hui, from South Korea, who was a senior, and English major, at the school.

Law enforcement reported yesterday that Seung-Hui killed himself inside Norris Hall by a shot to the head and used a 9 mm handgun and a .22 caliber handgun.

Hospital officials say some of the victims have multiple gunshot wounds, however all of the victims are now in stable condition, and some will be leaving today.

Victims

This only includes victims which have so far been specifically cited in the media.

First Shooting, West Ambler Johnston Hall Dormitory

Emily J. Hilscher, 18, a freshman from Woodville in Rappahannock County, Virginia and was stated to be the murderer's girlfriend.

Ryan C. Clark, 22, a senior from Augusta, Georgia. A resident adviser at the West Ambler Johnston Hall Dormitory, he was killed in the dormitory as he rushed over to investigate what was going on when he came upon the gunman, according to a student who lives on the fourth floor, where the first shootings took place.

Second Shooting, Norris Hall Engineering Building

Henry Lee, a freshman in Computer Engineering
Maxine Turner, a senior in Chemical Engineering
Matt La Porte, a freshman
Juan Ortiz, a graduate student
Jarrett Lane, a senior
Leslie Sherman, a sophomore
Caitlin Hammaren, a sophomore
Reema Samaha, a freshman
Ross Alameddine, a student from Saugus, Massachusetts
Mary Read, a freshman
Instructor Christopher J. Bishop, killed while teaching a German class.
Professor G. V. Loganathan
Professor Liviu Librescu, killed while holding off the gunman so his students could escape.
Professor Kevin Granata.

The university remains closed Tuesday. Essential personnel are to report for work. Classes are now canceled through the rest of the week.

Also Norris Hall will be closed for the rest of the semester.

A public gathering will be held Tuesday at Cassell Coliseum at 2:00 PM.

University President Charles W. Steger said "The university was struck today with a tragedy of monumental proportions. The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus. I want to extend my deepest, sincerest and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims which include students."

The university received bomb threats as recently as last Friday, but officials are not drawing a connection at this point.

Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine has declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response and recovery following Monday’s shootings at Virginia Tech.

A declaration of emergency allows the Governor to immediately deploy state personnel, equipment, and other resources, and to coordinate state and local response in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. “State agencies, including State Police and the Virginia Departments of Health and Emergency Management, are doing everything possible to be of assistance to those who were injured, and those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy,” Governor Kaine said.

The Virginia State Police are on-scene in Blacksburg investigating the shootings in cooperation with local law enforcement. The Department of Health has sent the Chief Medical Examiner and additional personnel to the area to assist with the fatalities.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has sent staff to the scene to advise and assist local emergency managers and first responders.

The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating state level assistance. In addition, the state will help coordinate crisis counseling assistance for those in need.

Separately, Governor Kaine has ordered the lowering of the Virginia state flag in honor of those who were killed or injured in Monday’s shootings.

There are many questions circulating about what is described as a slow police response. Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum, says his officers initially believed that they were dealing with an isolated incident that had taken place in a dorm.

When he was asked why students weren't alerted to the imminent danger from a man with a gun, he said, "They had reason to believe the shooter had left the campus."

The chief did acknowledge that while he didn't witness it personally, some of the doors at Norris Hall had been chained closed from the inside, indicating that a plan may been in place to slow police response.

Police say the gunman was found dead on campus, they are unsure of his connection to Virginia Tech or if he might have been a student.

Chief Flimchum says that while it was unclear in the beginning, they are now sure that gunman did take his own life.

At least one weapon was found with the dead shooter. More details on the weapons he possessed are not being released at this time. Some media groups reported that the man carried two nine millimeter pistols.

The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20th, 1999, at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado, near Denver and Littleton.

Two teenage students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a shooting rampage, killing 12 students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide.

It is the third-deadliest school shooting in United States history, after Monday’s Virginia Tech massacre and the 1966 University of Texas massacre.

Charles Joseph Whitman was a student at the University of Texas at Austin and a Marine, who is known for having ascended The University's 27-story tower on August 1st, 1966, and shooting passersby in the city and on the campus below, after having killed his mother and his wife the night before.

In all Whitman killed 15 people and wounded 31 others before he was shot dead by Austin police.

Tragedy at Virginia Tech - Timeline of Events

7:15 AM

Virginia Tech Police Department (VT PD) receives a 911 call to respond to a dormitory room at West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall.

Within minutes, Virginia Tech Police and Virginia Tech Rescue Squad respond to find two gunshot victims, a male and a female, inside a dormitory room within the Hall. The residence hall was immediately secured by VT PD and students within the hall were notified and asked to remain in their rooms for their safety. VT PD immediately secured the room for evidence collection and began questioning dorm residents and identifying potential witnesses. In the preliminary stages of the investigation, it was believed the deaths were an isolated incident, domestic in nature.

Blacksburg Police Department were also on scene assisting VT PD with establishing a safety perimeter around the residence hall and securing Washington Street.

7:30 AM Investigators were following up on leads concerning a person of interest in relation to the double homicide. Investigators from VT PD and Blacksburg PD were actively following up on various leads.

8:25 AM

Virginia Tech Leadership Team, which includes the university president, executive vice president, and provost, assembled to begin assessing the developing situation at the residence hall and determining a means of notifying students of the homicide.

9:00 AM

Leadership Team was briefed on the situation by VT PD Chief W.R. Flechum on the latest developments in the ongoing investigation at the residence hall.

9:26 AM

The Virginia Tech community – all faculty and students – were notified by e-mail of the homicide investigation and scene at West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall, and asked to report any suspicious activity to. The Virginia Tech Emergency/Weather Line recordings were also transmitted and a broadcast telephone message was made to campus phones. A press release was drafted and posted on the Virginia Tech Website.

9:45 AM The VT PD received a 911 call of a shooting at Norris Hall, which contains faculty offices, classrooms and laboratories. VT PD and Blacksburg PD immediately responded to Norris Hall. Notice in leadership command center via our police rep of a shooting in Norris.

Upon arrival to Norris Hall, the officers found the front doors barricaded. Within a minute the officers breached the doors, which had been chained shut from the inside.

Once inside the building, the officers heard gunshots. They followed the succession of gunshots to the second floor. Just as the officers reached the second floor, the gunshots stopped.

The officers discovered the gunman, who had taken his own life. There was never any engagement between the responding officers and the gunman.

9:55 AM

By the same means as prior notice, Virginia Tech notified campus community of the second murder scene. Other notifications followed via other means.

*****************************************************

Salem-News.com will have more on this story as soon as it becomes available.

See the other Salem-News.com reports on the Virginia Tech school shooting:




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Albert Marnell May 15, 2007 9:52 am (Pacific time)

We really should have one world currency, government, and a global elite. All borders and countries including the U.S. should be eliminated. One World Bank, One Governemt, all open borders, no countries etc. On second thought, I know that this is a stupid idea because we would just be reduced to serving the most powerful people in the world and the culture clashes would create chaos. So scratch that idea.


Bush April 19, 2007 5:55 pm (Pacific time)

David what are you talking about. Two words : Cornel West!


Bush April 19, 2007 11:58 am (Pacific time)

Phony Spotter. The government guesses that anywhere from over 100 million to over two hunded million firearms exist here, as I prefaced earlier, show where those who have CHL's, and there are millions who have them in America, have a problem with gun crime. In fact what little criminal arrests that have been made, are below that of sworn officers. You simply are not informed, hopefully you are now. More guns, less crime! Fact!


charles almarode April 19, 2007 10:18 am (Pacific time)

I believe more authority should have been taken when the first was shot but its only the killer fault.the campus should of been put on lock down


David April 19, 2007 2:40 am (Pacific time)

You can rest assured, that if that had been an African-American male, writing smut like those plays, and turning them in to a professor. Not only would he have been "kicked out of class" but out of the school and the State of Virginia !!!!


Phoney Spotter April 18, 2007 2:52 pm (Pacific time)

Bush, do you want to know something? I would like for the U.S. to try to market guns to all and have two years of reality testing. A gun in every home, a car in every garage and a chicken if every pot...so to speak....you may know the President I am talking about from decades past. Let's test reality. From road rage to spousal abuse to drunken brawls, I would like to see what happens as I avoid most people for two years. I would rather see more early term abortions but this may be an effective way to reduce population. Maybe I will be able to get a seat on the bus finally.


Bush April 18, 2007 7:25 am (Pacific time)

To all I would hope that "phony spotter" can provide you scientific data that people with concealed handgun licenses have a big gun crime problem. "CANNOT DO IT!!" This population has a lower crime rate than sworn law enforcement personnel. There are literally millions of bits of data that show those area's/states that allow concealed handguns have lower crime rates. For example look at Washington DC, it's illegal to even have a gun (though there is a pending 2nd Amendment case about DC heading towards the Supreme Court),DC has the highest gun crime rate in the country (New Orleans may take over that spot), then compare Vermont where you don't even need a license to carry, incredibly low crime. Here in Oregon, around 15 people have had their CHL's revoked in the last ten years (that's 15 out of 100,000 CHL holders), and never once for a gun crime. That number is statistically insignificant. People do not believe the gun grabbers like Sen. Feinstein and others like her, for they only want their own bodyguards to have guns. Suffice, those who have CHL's, though there will always be a few who get in trouble, they make your environment safer. Literally hundreds of thousands of violent crimes have been prevented, or kept from geting worse by CHL holders. These are "empirical facts" not some suppositional nonsense as so stated by "phony spotter" or any other source. Peace and be safe. Be vigilant.


Ol' Soul in Alabama April 18, 2007 6:03 am (Pacific time)

It's hard for me to place blame on VT's administration or law enforcement for the sad sad events that occured. It saddens me when anyone so troubled allows Satan to befriend them. I do believe this is the only person responsible ( not officials and not his parents and not the whole Korean population). I know none of the victims personally but, that does not make this seem any less personal. It's not fair that 32 innocent people had to pay for one man's battle against himself. I pray that the victims' families ( including the gunman's parents) know that God can see them through anything and I pray that the families of the lost AND the wounded find peace through these tough times. My prayer is that anybody feeling depressed or that the world is against them to PLEASE talk to someone, for there isn't a person on God's green earth who is in this world alone or not loved by someone- May God smile on all who are in need of a blessing.


The Truth April 17, 2007 10:54 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with you Jan. I am not saying I do not care about what happened, but so many things that can be prevented are not. Even suicide occurs in far greater numbers than homicide but the media focuses on the dramtic when suicide is a national crises. Yet the culture focuses on material things which mean next to nothing.


Jessica April 17, 2007 9:59 pm (Pacific time)

The blame cannot be put on anyone... except the killer. When something goes wrong all everybody else is worried about is whose fault it was. It's no ones fault that Cho decided to do this horrible thing to all those innocent people. My friend died in my arms Monday, and there was nothing I could do. Should I blame myself... No! All we can do is Thank God that we live in a country that will come together in time of a tragedy and pray for one another and their families. Even the killer's family needs prayer... Stop trying to put the blame on everyone else. How can you possibly know how to prevent something that may or may not ever happen... You can't. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of the victims on Monday April 16, 2007.


Jan April 17, 2007 8:06 pm (Pacific time)

Lets put this into perspective: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 Nearly one in five pedestrians (18%) killed on America's roadways is the victim of a hit-and-run crash, according to a major research report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety. *In 2003, 4,827 pedestrians were killed by vehicles. (average 13 per day) *In last 10 years, 51,989 have died. (average 14 per day) *Senior citizens, African- American and Latino pedestrians suffer a fatality rate well in excess of the population at large. *Walking is by far the most dangerous mode of travel per mile. (http://www.deadlyroads.com/media.html) This is a very sad and tragic event, but there are people dying by someone's hand numerous times in any given day, just with different weapons.


T. Bone April 17, 2007 7:57 pm (Pacific time)

I am a person dedicated to helping troubled teens and My prayers go to all involved. Blame should not be an issue here. There is no one to blame. It is a time to pull together and help those who will never heal because of this horrible tradegy. The loss is so great and we need to keep prayers alive and remember it could have been anyone of us. Life is so hard that we forget to tell each other to hold on your not alone. That we are here together and we never walk this life by ourselves. Stopping the cruelity we show each other in words and actions is what our focus must be. How many of us say and do unkind things to each other everyday and do not stop to realize the pain we inflict that could last a life time no matter how long or how short. That pain can hurt so deep that things like this can happen so easily. Pray for the courage to be the best you can be and forget the cruelity of others. Instead, work to just being there for those that need us. Perhaps by touching the heart with warmth and prayers we can stop another from feeling the way this student felt. What is it we read, Turn the other cheek...or smile and just go on... all those things we take for granted are but gifts we forget to cherrish. Every day we open out eyes to a new day and a new change to be a friend to one another should be cherrished. Life will go on long after this has passted us by and just placed in History books. What matters most is what have we learned from all of this pain? Maybe if one stops and thinks a bit longer before speaking hateful words to someone, Perhaps ask someone if you can help or just listen, this list is endless but just may be a reminder of all those things our parents taught us. ...Do unto others as you would have done to you... Think before jumping into hurting each other. What a horrible lesson to learn in such a fashion.


Phoney Spotter April 17, 2007 7:24 pm (Pacific time)

Brittany, You are in 6th grade like I am O.J. Simpson. As someone else said, you obviously have not been on the L.A. Freeways. Who and whatever you are, most people are not trained like law enforcement and even they pop their corks from time to time. Yeah, give grandma a gun, maybe she will shoot the dog when he poops on the rug. Did you ever hear of a Bar Brawl. I used to bartend. I have seen what people do without guns, drunk or not. God help us if everyone has a gun. As a matter of fact, since people can tolerate the Patriot Act (which I hate) maybe they can tolerate having to surrender their registered guns within 30 days or face arrest. Only special needs people should have guns...for example, a real estate broker that I used to know who also had rental property in deteriorated neighborhoods, or people that drive Brinks trucks. The average citizen does not need a gun. The reponsiblity of confiscating guns from criminals is what the federal and state peace keepers are for and if you want, throw in the F.B.I. and C.I.A. Let the government try to flush out the gun smugglers. They come up with other ideas much crazier like that stupid wall between us and Mexico. The real solution is that everyone should move to France.


TEE April 17, 2007 5:33 pm (Pacific time)

i've been reading articles about the Virgina Tech Shooting and some say that he was a "troubled" young man, and that it was so intense that he went to counselers , then why wouldn't they talk to him more. and why wont they try to get him straighten out, itsn't that what their jobs are FOR!?


Brittany April 17, 2007 4:30 pm (Pacific time)

I am a 6th grader and we watched the press confernce on the news today! The Virginia Tech president shouldn't have had a meeting..... Instead they should have gotten a permit to carry their own gun and shot that Guy!!!!!!!


Desiree April 17, 2007 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

I am sorry for everything that happend i may not live in virginia i live in new jersey but i realy care about what happend and i say sorry to everyone who lost someone and r.i.p. to all students hat died and cho if i were there oohh i swear u made the wrong choice and i hope u killed urself for saddness or better because if not parents would want to strangle u


Editor April 17, 2007 3:43 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks Ashley, correction noted.


ashley April 17, 2007 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Leslie Sherman was a sophomore, not a senior


WMD April 17, 2007 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

Bush, That is why no one is concerned about you or cares about your crackpot opinions.


Bush April 17, 2007 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

I really am far more concerned with what happens to "most" American citizens. This is a tragedy, what happens in the rest of the world is put on a lower priority schedule for me. As far as the Iraqi's killing each other, so...what! Nor should one cocern themselves with crackpots.


WMD April 17, 2007 12:06 pm (Pacific time)

Sometimes even military personnel go nuts and blow people away.


The Truth April 17, 2007 11:56 am (Pacific time)

Christian: You can never live in a world with perfect security. The population has doubled since I was a kid. This has little to do with lacking security. Sometimes Security Guards go nuts and blow people away. This is part of life in a sick culture.


Christian Lane April 17, 2007 11:45 am (Pacific time)

I live In VA BEACH and OBX i wanted to go to V-Tech and wrestle i dont understand why you can take people out with you and nobody can stop you that is 33 family including the killer the was also a fault in secyrity though


The Truth Is April 17, 2007 11:36 am (Pacific time)

Blame the culture that is indifferent to this happening 10 times a day and twice on Sundays....in Iraq.
You just are not seeing the coverage of it, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. If you did see, which I have been able to find a little bit on the internet of the little kids, without limbs and all the rest, crying and screaming in pain because they do not have enough pain killers, crying for their mothers.....then maybe you would not support the troops being there but support them to come home with all of the benefits they need to start a healthier and productive life. We have over 100 bases in less than 60 countries. We are there for base building and resource stealing. Actually it is not you or I that is benefiting. The large multinational oil will benefit and keep it under their control and you will pay even more for gasoline. Before Bush got in oil was dirt cheap. So was gasoline... like water. Don't believe this demand from China and India crap, they are still lucky if they get a bowl of rice a day. Get your information from the internet. Not that stupid T.V. This war is about defense contracts, base building and its contracts, corruption of kickbacks with most of Congress and big corporations, not a group of Saudis and Egyptians crashing planes, which if that crap is true it proves that our defense system has been useless since the WWII and the public has been getting ripped off for false pretection by a bunch of overpaid nitwits. 60 years of paying Pentagon bills....all padded and inflated and the C.I.A. does not pick up on a domestic attack? Then Bush has the extended Bin Laden family wisked out of the country on 9/11 because his family did so much business with them and he has to protect Saudis (at least in his mind). The American public can be so "GULLIBLE". Give me a break! You are not your government. Your government never serves you. It is run, doesn't matter which party because you have to be super-rich to be President and then kiss corporate ass for campaign contributions to get visibility. So a two party system of wealthy connected and corrupt people are not people that represent you. They represent themselves and a small group of super privileged people. Simple!


AKC April 17, 2007 11:22 am (Pacific time)

I agree that in any tragedy such as this, people will place blame wherever they can. The police and administration used their best judgement at the time and we can't ask any more than that. I can't say that I wouldn't have done the same. Of course, in retrospect, we all would have done things differently. However, none of us were forced to make that call and until we're put in a situation similar to this one, we really have no room to make judgements.


jwy April 17, 2007 9:55 am (Pacific time)

It's common sense though to shut everything down after the first shooting how'd they allow him to get back inside no one should have don't anything or been allowed to leave or go anywhere after the first this would have had a good chance of saving many people


AMD April 17, 2007 9:41 am (Pacific time)

I think that no matter how you look at this, a person walked into a school with a gun and opened fired, killing 33 people, there is no where else to put the blame, he pulled the trigger, he killed all those students. This kind of action is absolutely disgusting and I cannot fathom how someone could do something like this. It shocks me.


JSR April 17, 2007 8:55 am (Pacific time)

History repeats itself. thats a given for any school at this point, after the high school shooting,should have changed and improved its security. at this point people should be pointing at the administration


Kim Wilson April 17, 2007 8:10 am (Pacific time)

I think it is human nature to place blame and try to explain the unexplainable. If the shooter had survived there wouldn't be so much finger pointing at the administration. Lets face it, if any one had reason to believe there was going to be a second shooting they would of taking appropriate action. No RATIONAL person could of for seen this or would of turned a blind eye.


Concerned minority April 17, 2007 7:27 am (Pacific time)

It is a shame that this kind of tragedy occurred. We need to be aware of the influx of people coming to live in America. These people have been permitted to do alot more than some of the minorities who were born here.


pwc April 17, 2007 7:14 am (Pacific time)

Place the blame where it belongs, the person that pulled the trigger...over,over,over,over, over,over,over,over,over,over,over, over,over,over,over,over,over,over, over,over,over,over,over,over,over, over,over,over,over,over,over,over, over,over,over,over,over,over,over,and then finally he took himself out...

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