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Apr-18-2007 05:53TweetFollow @OregonNews
Virginia Tech Launches Memorial Website to Honor Shooting Victims (VIDEO)Salem-News.com
The website is for individuals to share their condolences, thoughts, and prayers.
(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, rosa.hosting.vt.edu/index.php/memorial, 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.
Christopher Jamie Bishop, 35, Instructor, Foreign Languages and Literatures (German); (son of the author Michael Bishop), and alumnus of the University of Georgia.
See the other Salem-News.com reports on the Virginia Tech school shooting:
Articles for April 17, 2007 | Articles for April 18, 2007 | Articles for April 19, 2007