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Apr-18-2007 05:53printcommentsVideo

Virginia Tech Launches Memorial Website to Honor Shooting Victims (VIDEO)

The website is for individuals to share their condolences, thoughts, and prayers.

bush at virginia tech
Photo courtesy: Virginia Tech

(BLACKSBURG, Va.) - State, local, and federal law enforcement officials continue their round-the-clock investigation of the multiple fatal shootings that took place on the Virginia Tech campus the morning of Monday, April 16th. Within the past 24 hours, a search warrant was executed on the dorm room of Cho Seung-Hui, 23, in Harper Hall. Investigators are still determining the evidentiary value of papers and assorted items seized from the room.

Investigators have also been following up on leads related to the two weapons recovered at the scene in Norris Hall.

The two weapons used in this incident were a 9-millimeter handgun and a 22-caliber handgun. Investigators have traced the weapons and confirmed that Cho did legally purchase them in accordance with Virginia law.

There is no evidence at this time to suggest that Cho left behind or distributed a suicide note school officials said.

However media reports say that when police investigated Cho's dorm, they found a note describing how his life was hell and his plan of suicide.

In a note left in his dorm room he laid out a list of grievances in which he railed against "rich kids" or "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus.

Another sentence on the note read "you caused me to do this." The words "Ismail Ax" were found written on his arm in red ink.

His roommate told reporters that Cho had a normal expression on his face just two hours before the killing spree.

Cho, was a South Korean national living in Virginia as a United States permanent resident.

He arrived in the US with his family as an eight-year-old child in 1992.

His permanent address was listed as Centreville, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

He attended and, in 2003, graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia.

Victims Erin Peterson and Reema Samaha graduated from Westfield in 2006, but it is not known if Cho knew either of them.

He was an undergraduate student in his senior year, majoring in English. A spokesman for Virginia Tech has described him as a "loner", stating that the school was having difficulty finding information about him.

Cho lived in Harper Hall, a dormitory just to the west of West Ambler Johnston.

The Virginia State Police have been coordinating the notification of the victims’ next-of-kin with local authorities around the country. At this time, all families have been tentatively notified.

The major thrust of the Medical Examiner’s Office today has been obtaining fingerprint records to identify the victims.

These records must be obtained from local, state, federal, and international agencies.

Staff at the Medical Examiner’s Office are working 12-hour shifts with staff resources from all over the state to expedite the scientific collection of evidence and positive identification of the deceased. This process is expected to continue for several more days.

Last night, Washington Nationals players during their game against the Atlanta Braves, wore Virginia Tech baseball caps in memory of the victims.

Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students in the National Capital Region will gather together Wednesday, at noon at the Northern Virginia Center, room 100, to share collective sorrow about the tragic events of April 16th.

Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region will hold a public Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, 7:30 PM, at the Old Town Market Square, City Hall, 300 King Street, Alexandria, Va., to honor victims of the tragic events of April 16th on the university’s main campus in Blacksburg.

At 8:00 PM the same evening, the National Capital Region Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association will hold a Candlelight Vigil at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 9220 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Va.

This non-denominational event is an opportunity for Hokies to join together and show their support for the family and friends of the victims.

To honor and remember the victims of Monday's tragedy, the university has created the April 16th Memorial Website,, so individuals may share condolences, thoughts, and prayers.

April 16th Victims:

(Victims who have been specifically named in the media.)

First shooting: West Ambler Johnston Hall Dormitory

Emily J. Hilscher, 19, a freshman from Woodville in Rappahannock County, Virginia. The first victim was initially described as Cho's girlfriend, however it was later found out that they had no romantic relationship, and it was highly doubtful that Hilscher even knew Cho.

Ryan Clark, 22, a senior from Martinez, Georgia, United States. A resident advisor at the West Ambler Johnston Hall Dormitory, Clark was killed in the dormitory as he rushed over to investigate the initial shooting of Emily J. Hilscher who lived on the same floor as Ryan when he came upon the shooter.

Second shooting: Norris Hall Engineering Building


Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, a sophomore from Saugus, Massachusetts, United States.
Brian Bluhm, a graduate student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, in Civil Engineering.
Austin Cloyd, a freshman from Blacksburg, Virginia, United States, in International Studies and French.
Matthew Gwaltney, from Chester, Virginia, United States, in Environmental Engineering.
Caitlin Hammaren, 19, a sophomore from Westtown, New York, United States, in International Studies and French.
Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, a graduate student from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, United States, in Civil Engineering.
Rachael Elizabeth Hill, 18, a freshman from Richmond, Virginia, United States.
Matthew La Porte, 20, a freshman from Dumont, New Jersey, United States, in University Studies.
Jarrett Lane, a senior from Narrows, Virginia, United States, in Civil Engineering.
Henry Lee, a freshman from Roanoke, Virginia, United States, in Computer Engineering.
Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, 34, a postgraduate student from Medan, Indonesia, in Civil Engineering.
Lauren McCain, 20, of Hampton, Virginia, United States, in International Studies.
Daniel Patrick O'Neil, a graduate student from Lincoln, Rhode Island, United States, in Environmental Engineering.
Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26, a graduate student from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, in Civil Engineering.
Minal Panchal, 26, a graduate student from Mumbai, India, in Building Sciences.
Daniel Pérez Cueva, 21, a student from Lima, Peru, in International Relations.
Erin Peterson, 18, a freshman from Centreville, Virginia, United States.
Michael Pohle, 23, a senior from Raritan Township, New Jersey, United States, in Biological Sciences.
Julia Pryde, 23, a graduate student from Middletown, New Jersey, United States in Biological Sciences.
Mary Karen Read, 19, a freshman from Annandale, Virginia, United States.
Reema Joseph Samaha, 18, a freshman from Centreville, Virginia, United States.
Leslie Sherman, 20, a sophomore from Springfield, Virginia, United States, in History and International Studies. Maxine Turner, a senior from Vienna, Virginia, United States, in Chemical Engineering.
Nicole White, a junior from Carrollton, Virginia, United States, in International Studies and German.


Christopher Jamie Bishop, 35, Instructor, Foreign Languages and Literatures (German); (son of the author Michael Bishop), and alumnus of the University of Georgia.
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Instructor, Foreign Languages. A French instructor from Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Kevin Granata, 45, Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics.
Liviu Librescu, 76, Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics, and Holocaust survivor. Killed while holding off the shooter so his students could escape out the window.
G. V. Loganathan, 51, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


See the other reports on the Virginia Tech school shooting:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Mattie Frazier April 27, 2007 10:29 am (Pacific time)

I send my sympathy to each family that loss a family member in this terrible killings. my heart goes out to each and God Bless each of you. and strenghten you in the days ahead of you. From Chester GaP vA Mattie

Larashia Jones April 26, 2007 10:54 am (Pacific time)

Dear, Students and Staff of Virginia Tech University, My name is LaRashia Jones. I’m a high school senior in Flint, Mi. I would like to take this time to let each and everyone of you know I understand what your going through even though I have never experienced anything like this, there is really no one to put at fought. The student who has given us this entire nightmare was miserable and no one didn’t realize what the problem was with him, I don’t even know if their were any signs or warnings to this day. I know that it had never crossed anyone’s mind that this day would ever happen to him or her or someone close to him or her. Words couldn’t express enough for the pain and suffering you all are experiencing at this time, no one can really fill the emptiness in your hearts I know its a tough situation to deal with not knowing a class mate would do something like this it’s a terrible feeling to me also, this could of happened anywhere. I just want everyone to know hold on and be strong there are brighter days too come the lord say he will never leave you nor forsake you. You all are in my heart and on my mind everyday I will keep you all in my prayers. I also would like for everyone too know if you ever need someone to listen I will be hear for you. Email me: Call- 1-810-597-7062

Tammy April 23, 2007 10:44 pm (Pacific time)

This has effected the way we send our children to collage. I am so scared for my daughter who be begining collage this fall. I want her to be safe but I also want her to be able to go out into this world of ours and be able to do her dream. I am so sorry to all the family, friends, collagues and students of Virginia Tech. Collage should be a safe place for student to be able to study and learn. A place where they can make friends that will last a lifetime.

Wilma April 23, 2007, 10:18 pm April 23, 2007 10:25 pm (Pacific time)

My heart goes out to the families of all the deceased and wounded. But it goes out, too, to the family of Cho Seung Hui. Can we even imagine the horror THEY are going through, knowing that their son or sibling took all those lives ? ! They, too, will never recover from this tragedy. SADLY, IT COULD HAPPEN TO THE CHILD OF ANY ONE OF US !

Pattie, Pennsylvania April 23, 2007 11:24 am (Pacific time)

The pastor of my church devoted his sermon to remembering the many victims of this terrible tragedy, reminding us that even though it is hard to understand why something like this happens, it has brought people together on their knees, to look to God for help. At the end of the sermon, the pastor passed out to each of us, a little slip of paper that held the name of one of the victims, asking us to look at that name we were given and remember that each one had a history, a life filled with hopes and dreams. He asked that we keep them in our hearts and pray for them and their family and loved ones.

The name I was given was Ryan “Stack” Clark. Although I did not know him, I read that he lost his own life coming to the aid of another in the dorm. John 15:13 – Jesus said “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” No, I did not know Ryan Clark, but I know that this powerful Bible verse sums up who Ryan Clark was – and may he have a special place in Heaven. My prayers are with his family.

Irene Margaretta Old Bridge NJ April 20, 2007 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

As a parent of a student currently attending VT,my thoughts and prayers go out to the VT Community during this difficult time. I pray for much needed healing and strength and peace for the students, faculty and families

Jean James April 20, 2007 8:34 am (Pacific time)

Take Time for Peace Today we take time to honor Virginia Tech And their courage in the face of tragedy Today our hearts are full And with them we vow to be In times when a gun Can steal a parent’s daughter or son Let’s speak out against violence in America Let us be the ones Take time to say a prayer That violence will cease Show Virginia Tech that we care Let us all pray for peace! Jsjames Bettie F. Williams Elementary School Virginia Beach, VA April 20, 2007 6:50 AM

Sharon Chicago, IL April 20, 2007 6:09 am (Pacific time)

God Bless the victims at Virginia Tech. It is not fair that this sick person took the lives of these innocent people.

Peggy, Ct. April 19, 2007 7:47 pm (Pacific time)

My heart and prayers go out to all of the families of the victims, and also to the wounded and all of the students at VT. As a native Virginian always proud of my state, I am equally proud of all of these students, of how they want to continue at VT and the memory of their classmates and professors will live on in them.

carlos garcia ny. April 19, 2007 6:25 pm (Pacific time)

im speachless my respects to the pour wonded familys may god be with them all

George April 19, 2007 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

You are in our Circle of Love. We are Hokies by tuition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hokie Nation!Peace!Shalom!Salaam! May the Hokie low move again to a Hokie Hi!

sharon arnold April 19, 2007 3:59 pm (Pacific time)

All of you at VT are forever in our hearts and always in our prayers.

brian,mayfield pa April 19, 2007 3:12 pm (Pacific time)

my thoughts and prayers are with everyone at viringa tech,god bless.

o' neill s Ireland April 19, 2007 3:02 pm (Pacific time)

you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time of great sadness and loss ...may we someday not have a troubled world and evryone can live in peace ..may you feel gods comfort,guidance and love throughout your entire lives xx

kristie carneal April 19, 2007 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

Healing Angels In the still hours of the night Angels descend from above; They come to ease the suffering Of those crying out for love. They know where a heart is aching, A body that's wracked with pain; A soul reaching out to Heaven, To be with a loved one again. They tend to the sick and dying, Give comfort to those who grieve, Blessed with strong healing powers They touch each soul as they leave. Warm hearts filled with compassion They shine with radiant light. These are God's special angels, Who visit us mortals at night. So when you are tired and weary Of the weight of the cross that you bear In the darkness an angel will call Bringing you comfort and care. Copyright © Marian Jones, June 2003 Poem Used With Permission To Visit Marian's Website Click Here also go to

dominique chicago ,IL April 19, 2007 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

it's truley sad that all these speical people had to leave this earth they had so much to live forand so much ahead of them It seems so unreal but their all in a better peaceful place I want to send out my condolences to all the families and virgina tech who have lost someone they loved!32 beatiful will be truly miss but will not be 4gotten

Sas Berman (uk) April 19, 2007 2:27 pm (Pacific time)

To all staff and students our hearts go out to you at this terrible time. I hope in time that you will be able to heal and that while you will never forget you will be able to rebuild your lives.

Julie April 19, 2007 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Words cannnot express the sadness we felt when we learned about the shooting at VT. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Charles Richardson Florida April 19, 2007 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

Our daughter is a graduate of Va.Tech and we visited the campus for many functions.What a beautiful place.I can just imagine how I would feel if this had happened when my daughter was a student.As a veteran of two wars I have seen the lose of life. It is expected in war, not on a college campus. We were born Virgina natives and VPI will always remain in our hearts.Our condolences and prayers go out to the entire Hokie Nation.

Jill,Florida April 19, 2007 2:12 pm (Pacific time)

Our family and community are shocked,disheartened and sad for Virginia Tech students and their families. Know that the country mourns with you. God bless you all and may your hearts heal with time.

I love James R April 19, 2007 12:43 pm (Pacific time)

Hope God listens to all are prayers and everybody that dint made it in the tragedy, RIP and to all the families that lost their love ones and the friends of the students that suffer all of the ones that are alive the best of the luck in the world and good BLESS U PEOPLE........

brittany April 19, 2007 11:17 am (Pacific time)

I know that yall feel sad up there. cause i feel very sad for yall who eva are staying up there. why wont yall just leave from up there can yall get from up there do yall need some help

Brent T April 19, 2007 10:54 am (Pacific time)

Truly a shame....God Bless all the Families and friends affected by this maddness.

Codie Staley April 19, 2007 9:03 am (Pacific time)


Dusty April 18, 2007 8:29 pm (Pacific time)

I think this song says it..

Kim T, PA April 18, 2007 5:13 pm (Pacific time)

I know that all the sweetest words ever created could not heal the pain that envelops the families and entire state of VA at this moment on Earth. But please know that I too, just as the rest of the world, are praying for all of you in this time of such great saddness.

Janie April 18, 2007 12:24 pm (Pacific time)

I feel incredible disbelief and sadness for the entire Virginia Tech family. As another one said, "I'm sorry" just doesn't quite get it. But please know that I'm just one more person who is thinking about all of you and keeping all of you in my prayers.

John New York April 18, 2007 11:07 am (Pacific time)

I have not seen this on the main stream media broadcasts or on their websites. Thanks for the information.

karen anderson, st.catharines, ont.c April 18, 2007 10:58 am (Pacific time)

We would like to send our prayers out to all of you and let you know that you are in ours hearts. Our sincere condoleces.

Debra April 18, 2007 10:50 am (Pacific time)

May the thought of eternal love prevail. CHANGE history NOW - these murders should never have their names mentioned...not even on their grave stone ie Ed Geene--- only as John Doe's.... if they have this crazed idea of going down big- would they if noone ever heard their names?

The Editor April 18, 2007 10:38 am (Pacific time)

Thanks, the link is working now.

Help us!! April 18, 2007 10:14 am (Pacific time)

There is a link in the story that is not active.

Teresa April 18, 2007 9:08 am (Pacific time)

My prayers are with everyone there. It's sad they had to go through something like this and will stay on their minds forever. My prayers are with you all.

Patrick in N.J. April 18, 2007 9:07 am (Pacific time)

So Sad! With So Many Apparent Disturbing Signs, Why Didn'T The School Take A Serious Look At This Guy??

Charlene--Louisiana April 18, 2007 9:03 am (Pacific time)

As a teacher and parent, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless All

Connie white April 18, 2007 8:45 am (Pacific time)

My heart aches for these families. God be with them.

S.LaMarche; April 18, 2007 8:11 am (Pacific time)

yes, mine too. Saying I'm sorry just doesn't really get it, I think you know what I mean.

Michelle Whitley April 18, 2007 7:16 am (Pacific time)

My thoughts and prayers are with the Hokie Family, Friends, and Staff

Peggy, Florida April 18, 2007 6:57 am (Pacific time)

As a parent myself we would like of offer our condolences to all of the family members of the wounded and deceased our prayers and thoughts are with you through out the United States

Pearl April 18, 2007 6:56 am (Pacific time)

This will effect lives forever

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