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VA Tech Gunman Was S Korean Student

From a shocked and dismayed Associated Press:

Va. Tech: Gunman student from S. Korea

By Adam Geller, AP National Writer  |  April 17, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. –A Virginia Tech senior from South Korea killed at least 30 people locked inside a classroom building in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, the university and police said Tuesday.

Ballistics tests also found that one of the guns used in that attack was also used in a shooting two hours earlier at a dorm that left two people dead, Virginia State Police said.

Police identified the classroom shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior from South Korea who was in the English department at Virginia Tech and lived in a different dorm on campus. Cho committed suicide after the attacks, and there was no indication Tuesday of any possible motive.

“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced, said Cho’s fingerprints were found on the guns used in the shootings. The serial numbers on the two weapons had been filed off, the officials said.

One law enforcement official said Cho was carrying a backpack that contained receipts for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol.

Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said it was reasonable to assume that Cho was the shooter in both attacks but that link was yet definitive.

“There’s no evidence of any accomplice at either event, but we’re exploring the possibility,” he said…

A federal law enforcement official said Tuesday he had been told by other federal law enforcement officials that the two guns recovered in the shooting had had their serial numbers scraped off…

The shooting began about 7:15 a.m. on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston, a high-rise coed dormitory where two people died.

Police were still investigating around 9:15 a.m., when a gunman wielding two handguns and carrying multiple clips of ammunition stormed Norris Hall, a classroom building a half-mile away on the other side of the 2,600-acre campus.

At least 20 people were taken to hospitals after the second attack, some seriously injured. Many found themselves trapped after someone, apparently the shooter, chained and locked Norris Hall doors from the inside.

Students jumped from windows, and students and faculty carried away some of the wounded without waiting for ambulances to arrive.

SWAT team members with helmets, flak jackets and assault rifles swarmed over the campus. A student used his cell-phone camera to record the sound of bullets echoing through a stone building.

Inside Norris, the attack began with a thunderous sound from Room 206 — “what sounded like an enormous hammer,” said Alec Calhoun, a 20-year-old junior who was in a solid mechanics lecture in a classroom next door.

Screams followed an instant later, and the banging continued. When students realized the sounds were gunshots, Calhoun said, he started flipping over desks to make hiding places. Others dashed to the windows of the second-floor classroom, kicking out the screens and jumping from the ledge of Room 204, he said.

“I must’ve been the eighth or ninth person who jumped, and I think I was the last,” said Calhoun, of Waynesboro, Va. He landed in a bush and ran.

Calhoun said that the two students behind him were shot, but that he believed they survived. Just before he climbed out the window, Calhoun said, he turned to look at his professor, who had stayed behind, apparently to prevent the gunman from opening the door.

The instructor was killed, Calhoun said.

Erin Sheehan, who was in the German class near Calhoun’s room, told the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times, that she was one of only four of about two dozen people in the class to walk out of the room. The rest were dead or wounded, she said.

She said the gunman “was just a normal-looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout-type outfit. He wore a tan button-up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something.”

The gunman first shot the professor in the head and then fired on the class, another student, Trey Perkins, told The Washington Post. The gunman was about 19 years old and had a “very serious but very calm look on his face,” he said.

“Everyone hit the floor at that moment,” said Perkins, 20, of Yorktown, Va., a sophomore studying mechanical engineering. “And the shots seemed like it lasted forever.”

At an evening news conference, Police Chief Wendell Flinchum refused to dismiss the possibility that a co-conspirator or second shooter was involved. He said police had interviewed a male who was a “person of interest” in the dorm shooting and who knew one of the victims, but he declined to give details.

“I’m not saying there’s a gunman on the loose,” Flinchum said. Ballistics tests will help explain what happened, he said…

So the killer wasn’t a typical gun-crazed American after all.

What a bitter disappointment for our watchdog media.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 17th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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