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Va Tech Staff Warned Their Families First

From a suddenly outraged Washington Post:

Tech staff 1st told kin, not school, of shooting


Campus alerted over hour later, corrected report says

By Brigid Schulte
Saturday, December 5, 2009

On the morning of April 16, 2007, the day of what would go down in history as the largest mass murder at an American college, Kim O’Rourke, a Virginia Tech official, called her son and told him that there had been a shooting on campus. Lisa Wilkes, another university official, warned her family, according to a school spokesman.

A corrected report about the massacre, released Friday, says those calls went out at 8:05 a.m., one hour and 21 minutes before university officials sent out the first e-mail warning students, faculty and staff members about the shootings…

O’Rourke, chief of staff to Tech President Charles Steger, said the corrected report misconstrues her actions. She said she called her son, then a Tech student, that morning to make sure he was awake, as she often did. "I did tell him what had been happening, and I told him to go to class," she said. "He was in class at the time of the shooting in Norris Hall." …

The corrected report, the result of more than a year of lobbying by victims’ families, publicly confirmed for the first time what families had discovered privately: that university officials alerted their children to the shootings and that some offices were locked down well in advance of the general warnings.

"They were locking doors. They were calling their children," said Suzanne Grimes, whose son, Kevin Sterne, was shot and nearly killed. "The vet school was locked down at 9 a.m. The governor’s office knew at 8:40 a.m. And my son was on his way to Norris Hall. How does that make me feel? Angry as hell."

According to the revised report, veterinary college officials decided to lock down at 9 a.m., just moments before the school’s government affairs director "ordered the university president’s office to be locked." …

Grimes and other relatives of victims said they first found out about the lockdowns and phone calls a year ago in private meetings with Tech officials. Later, the university opened a vast archive of reports and e-mail exchanges as part of an $11 million settlement most of the families signed with Tech. Two families are suing the university over the deaths of their children…

The corrected report also criticized the university for failing to notify Emily Hilscher’s family that she had been shot. Hilscher, one of Cho’s first victims, survived for three hours before dying. Her family was notified only after her death.

And some additional details from a likewise suddenly outraged Associated Press:

Va. Tech report: Staff warned their families first

By Tom Breen And Zinie Chen Sampson, Associated Press Writers Sat Dec 5

BLACKSBURG, Va. – New details on the response to the first shootings of what would become the Virginia Tech massacre show that at least two administrators alerted their family members well before the rest of the campus was notified that a gunman was on the loose.

The revised state report released Friday also revealed that garbage collection on campus was canceled before students and staff were notified of the danger, and the family of an injured victim wasn’t notified until she died hours later

The two administrators notified their families about the dorm shootings around 8:05 a.m. — an hour and 20 minutes before a campus-wide e-mail warning was sent to staff members, faculty and students. The massacre in the classroom building began at 9:40 a.m…

In other new findings in the report:

• It took 17 minutes for the chief of the Virginia Tech Police Department to get through to the executive vice president’s office after he learned of the dorm shooting.

Campus trash collection was canceled 21 minutes before students and teachers were warned.

• Virginia Tech’s government affairs director ordered Steger’s office locked around 8:52 a.m. Two classroom buildings were also locked down well before the notification went out. But Owczarski said the office was never locked.

• One student killed in the dorm, Emily Hilscher, survived several hours after being shot, but no one bothered to notify her family until she had died. A call to her parents Friday wasn’t immediately returned.

An administrator who was a member of a policy group dealing with the shooting mailed a colleague in Richmond around 8:45 a.m. that a gunman was on the loose, but warned the colleague to make sure that information didn’t get out because it was not yet "releasable."

• Virginia Tech had two different emergency-alert policies in effect at the time, and that led to the delay in issuing the university-wide alert.

The original report criticized the university’s failure to act on warning signs from Cho that included violent, twisted writings and sullen, hostile behavior. It also criticized the communications failures and other problems that allowed nearly two hours to elapse between the first gunshots and the campus-wide notification…

We can’t help but wonder how many of the Va Tech staff are Obama supporters.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Va Tech Staff Warned Their Families First”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    “Cowards and wussys”

    They are the one’s who voted Ali Bama and his Den of Thieves into power.

  2. btown says:

    While it’s 7th-level-of-hell shameful that they didn’t inform everyone they could, I fail to see how this is as bad as voting for Obama.

  3. beautyofreason says:

    ” The original report criticized the university’s failure to act on warning signs from Cho that included violent, twisted writings and sullen, hostile behavior. ”

    Another clear danger sign, but not even this situation compares to the obvious and avoidable danger that Mr. Hasan posed to his fellow military men in Fort Worth, Texas.

    Both situations could have been avoided, if only bureaucratic incompetence in both, and political correctness in the second had been thrown aside.

  4. wardmama4 says:

    Here is what liberals brought to us through the years that lead to this:
    1) Thanks to their successes via Healthcare Laws – Parents (Cho’s for example) are never told of any medical issues or arrests to attempt to remove their son/secure real help from a situation that was escalating into serious problems.
    2) Two Employed Women still felt at college level the ______(fill in the blank, guilt, BabyMommieForever, vapid liberal stupidity) to call their ‘babies’ to wake them up/check to make sure they were up and oh btw as an after thought warning them not to go to class – before even considering calling 911, Campus Security or anyone in a position to stop/control the event. Sorry, if I was a parent of the dead or wounded, I would not be angry – I would be suing them as aiding and abetting the violence.
    3) And of course the obvious, that the only armed people (or even trained on how to re-act in a emergency) are the police – and you know the two adages about the police – When seconds count, the police are minutes away and The police arrive after the crime, therefore they are simply report filers.

    And all of the above are due to stupid liberal policies and ‘expert opinions and research’ that have neutered our society, put the criminal above the society, and taken away any and most all defense the average individual has – while letting the criminally insane and most violent roam free among us – while the liberals involved dial Sonny Boy to make sure he isn’t in the line of fire.

    God Help America.

  5. deMontjoie says:


    I do not think that this word means what you think it means.

    If it does, then folks are gonna be reprimanded, terminated, and possibly even held personally liable for their crimes of omission/commission committed on that dreadful day.

    If however, Kaine is just spouting-off (as I strongly suspect), then the actions/inactions by Tech Staff and State Gov’t Employees will have ZERO repercussions.

    Please Governor, surprise me. PLEASE!

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