Virginia Tech gunman identified as student
April 17, 2007
The gunman who took the lives of at least 30 people yesterday on the campus of Virginia Tech has been identified as Cho Seung-Hui. Cho was a senior English major and a native of South Korea.
p. According to the Collegiate Times, the student newspaper at Virginia Tech, University Police Chief Wendell Flinchum confirmed that the 23-year-old Cho was a student and an alien resident of the United States.
p. Flinchum also reported that ballistics evidence linked the shootings at West Ambler Johnston Hall and Norris Hall. Bullets retrieved from Ambler Johnston Hall were consistent with those from one of the weapons used at Norris Hall.
p. Police recovered two guns, a 9-mm Glock and a .22-caliber semi-automatic, from Norris Hall. The serial number was filed off on both guns. While one of the two recovered guns was used in both shootings, Flinchum could not yet confirm that the same gunman had perpetrated both attacks.
p. Authorities were hesitant to link the two shootings yesterday because a physical description of the shooter varied at each site.
p. According to CNN, Colonel Steven Flaherty of the Virginia State Police said that authorities are still investigating the possibility that Cho had an accomplice, either in the planning of the rampage or the shooting itself.
**‘He was a loner’**
p. Details about Cho are scarce.
p. “He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” Virginia Tech Associate Vice President for Community Relations Larry Hincker said in an MSNBC report.
p. There might have been red flags to Cho’s likely troubled psyche. According to Carolyn Rude, chair of the English department at Virginia Tech, Cho’s disturbing writings led to a referral to the school’s counseling service.
p. “There was some concern about him,” Rude told the Associated Press. “Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it’s creative or if they’re describing things, if they’re imagining things or just how real it might be. But we’re all alert to not ignore things like this.”
p. Rude said she was not aware of the outcome of the referral.