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April 16, 2007 - Gunman kills 21 on Virginia Tech campus

Danjanou

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Breaking news from South of the Border

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070416/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_shooting

Gunman kills 21 on Virginia Tech campus (AP)

BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing 21 people in the deadliest campus shooting rampage in U.S. history. The gunman was killed, bringing to death toll to 22, but it was unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life.

Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said Virginia Tech president Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."

The name of the gunman was not immediately released, and investigators offered no motive for the attack. It was not immediately known if the gunman was a student.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in Washington said there was no immediate evidence to suggest it was a terrorist attack, "but all avenues will be explored."

The bloodbath took place at opposite sides of the 2,600-acre campus, beginning at about 7:15 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, a coed
dormitory that houses 895 people, and continuing about two hours later at Norris Hall, an engineering building, authorities said.
Police said they were still investigating the shooting at the dorm — and the campus was under lockdown, with students to stay indoors and away from the windows — when authorities got word of gunfire at the classroom building.

Some of the dead were students. One student was killed in the dorm, and the others were killed in the classroom, Virginia Tech Police Chief W.R. Flinchum.

Up until Monday, the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history was a rampage that took place in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower and opened fire with a rifle from the 28th-floor observation deck. He killed 16 people before he was shot to death by police. In the Columbine High bloodbath near Littleton, Colo., in 1999, two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives.

The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was in Killen, Texas, in 1991, when George Hennard drove his pickup into a Luby's Cafeteria and
shot 23 people to death, then himself.

Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia, about 160 miles west of Richmond. With more than 25,000 full-time students, it has the state's largest full-time student population. The school is best known for its engineering school and its powerhouse football team.

The rampage took place on a brisk spring day, with snow flurries swirling around the campus, which is is centered around the Drill Field, a grassy field where military cadets — who now represent a fraction of the student body — once practiced. The dorm and the classroom building are on opposites sides of the Drill Field.

A gasp could be heard at a campus news conference when the police chief said at least 20 people had been killed. Previously, only one person was thought to have been killed.

Investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began marking and recovering the large number of shell casings and will trace the weapon used, according to an ATF official who spoke on condition of anonymity because local authorities are leading the investigation.

A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said

After the shootings, all entrances to the campus were closed, and classes were canceled through Tuesday. The university set up a meeting place for families to reunite with their children at the Inn at Virginia Tech. It also made counselors available and planned a convocation for Tuesday at the basketball arena.

After the shootings, students were told to stay inside away from the windows.

"There's just a lot of commotion. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on," said Jason Anthony Smith, 19, who lives in the dorm where shooting took place.

Aimee Kanode, a freshman from Martinsville, said the shooting happened on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston dormitory, one floor above her room. Kanode's resident assistant knocked on her door about 8 a.m. to notify students to stay put.

"They had us under lockdown," Kanode said. "They temporarily lifted the lockdown, the gunman shot again."
"We're all locked in our dorms surfing the Internet trying to figure out what's going on," Kanode said.

Madison Van Duyne, a student who was interviewed by telephone on CNN, said: "We are all in lockdown. Most of the students are sitting on the floors away from the windows just trying to be as safe as possible."

Police said there had been bomb threats on campus over the past two weeks by authorities but said they have not determined a link to the shootings.

It was second time in less than a year that the campus was closed because of a shooting.

Last August, the opening day of classes was canceled and the campus closed when an escaped jail inmate allegedly killed a hospital guard off campus and fled to the Tech area. A sheriff's deputy involved in the manhunt was killed on a trail just off campus. The accused gunman, William Morva, faces capital murder charges.



(Mod edit to insert date in thread title.)
 

Blackhorse7

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From CBC.CA..

"At least 22 people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a Virginia college on Monday in what is being described as the worst campus shooting in U.S. history.


The injured are carried out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Monday. Most of the fatalties occurred in the engineering building, police said.
(Alan Kim/Roanoke Times/Associated Press) Another 21 people were wounded in the shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the town of Blacksburg, campus police Chief W.R. Flinchum told a news conference shortly after noon."

I have have said it time and time again, and it has already happened in Canada, although on a much smaller scale.  It's called Active Shooter, and unless Police as a whole start training (and the training is out there) to deal with these matters quickly and decisively, we will continue to have high casualties like the ones suffered at Virginia Tech.
 

Mike Baker

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I am watching it now on CTV. Man this isn't good. Hope they catch the shooter(s). RIP to the dead, and a speedy recovery to the injured.
 

GAP

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According to CNN the toll is up over 30 as of now.
 
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Jacqueline

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The motives are yet unknown. They've explored all possibilities including terrorism. Does anyone have more info?






RIP to the dead. Damn, that is way too many dead.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The school has a policy of "No guns" (aka "Victim zone") and recently disiciplined a legal CCW owner for bringing his gun on campus, you can bet lot's of people will be breaking the no gun rules now.
 

redleafjumper

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When there is a problem with a nut with a firearm, the solution to fixing it is usually to find someone else with a firearm.

Here again is the classic failure of gun laws to prevent or resolve a tragedy.  The CCW license is the way to go.  Victim (gun free) Zones just make these sort of incidents easier for the lunatic.

Condolences to the victims and their families.
 

emmiee

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At least 31 dead in Va. Tech shooting rampage
Gunman shoots 30 people in a dorm, second building; suspect also dead
28 wounded 31 deceased.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18134671/

em
 

emmiee

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There are now 32 dead as off 16:00.  28 wounded

It is being said the gunman had be looking for his girlfriend who recently broke up with him.
 

Michael OLeary

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http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/04/16/virginia-tech-070416.html

Toll climbs to 33 in Virginia campus shooting
'We heard some loud banging … then we heard some screaming.…It didn't stop for at least two or three minutes'
Last Updated: Monday, April 16, 2007 | 4:00 PM ET
CBC News

At least 33 people are dead and several others wounded after a gunman opened fire at a Virginia college on Monday in what is being described as the worst campus shooting in U.S. history, according to government officials.
 

ronnychoi

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Condolences to all families aboard. I sincerely hope this wasn't a terrorist attack, because it may spawn more, given the relative available means of execution to all Americans.

Regards

 

manhole

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condolences to all the families and a speedy recovery to the wounded.  There are no words to describe the horror of this.....
 

emmiee

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Here is more on what has been found concerning the gunman

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18155081/

My heart goes to the families of those who lost their lives, injured and community of Virgina Tech.

em
 
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Jacqueline

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Va. Tech Gunman Sent messages to NBC

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070418/ap_on_re_us/virginia_tech_shooting

By MATT APUZZO, AP National Writer
1 hour, 48 minutes ago

  BLACKSBURG, Va. - Midway through his murderous rampage, the Virginia Tech gunman went to the post office and mailed NBC a package containing photos and videos of him brandishing guns and delivering a snarling, profanity-laced tirade about rich "brats" and their "hedonistic needs."

"You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today," 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui says in a harsh monotone. "But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

NBC said the package contained a rambling and often-incoherent, 1,800-word video manifesto, plus 43 photos, 11 of them showing him aiming handguns at the camera.

He repeatedly suggests he was picked on or otherwise hurt.

"You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience," he says, apparently reading from his manifesto. "You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people."

The package arrived at NBC's headquarters in New York two days after Cho killed 32 people and committed suicide in the deadliest one-man shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. It bore a Postal Service time stamp showing that it had been mailed at a Virginia post office at 9:01 a.m. Monday, about an hour and 45 minutes after Cho first opened fire.

That would help explain one of the biggest mysteries about the massacre: where the gunman was and what he did during that two-hour window between the first burst of gunfire, at a high-rise dorm, and the second fusillade, at a classroom building.

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," says Cho, a South Korean immigrant whose parents work at a dry cleaners in surburban Washington. "Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."

Some of the pictures show him smiling; others show him frowning and snarling. Some depict him brandishing two weapons at a time, one in each hand. He wears a khaki-colored military-style vest, fingerless gloves, a black T-shirt, a backpack and a backwards, black baseball cap. Another photo shows him swinging a hammer two-fisted. Another shows an angry-looking Cho holding a gun to his temple.

He refers to "martyrs like Eric and Dylan" — a reference to the teenage killers in the Columbine High massacre.

The package was sent by overnight delivery but did not arrive at NBC until Wednesday morning. It had apparently been delayed because it had the wrong ZIP code, NBC said.

An alert postal employee brought the package to NBC's attention after noticing the Blacksburg return address and a name similar to the words reportedly found scrawled in red ink on Cho's arm after the bloodbath, "Ismail Ax," NBC said.

NBC News President Steve Capus said that the network received the package around noon and notified the        FBI. He said the FBI asked NBC to hold off reporting on it so that the bureau could look at it first, and NBC complied, finally breaking the story just before a police announcement of the package at 4:30 p.m.

Capus said it was clear Cho videotaped himself, because he could be seen leaning in to shut off the camera.

State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller cautioned that, while the package was mailed between the two shootings, police have not inspected the footage and have yet to establish exactly when the images were made.
 

Jarnhamar

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What a looser.

I'm angry so I'm going to go kill near helpless students.

I'm glad NBC aired his rantings, I'm glad he got the extra help to get his message out.

I'm anxiously awaiting the media to pick apart what movies he liked, what video games he played and what he had for breakfast.
 

redleafjumper

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It would be much better to spend some time on the victims.  These nutbars want attention and giving it to them just encourages the next one to break this grisly "record".
 

ronnychoi

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Sorry for the delayed response, my message didn't go through because of my comp.

I was stating that the BPD and the VT PD could have issued much more aggressive orders to their subordinates. Such as very aggressive patrols with assault rifles on the whole campus as soon as the forces responded on site. They ONLY established a perimeter and no go zone on one building in the whole area as a response to Cho's initial decoy killings.

I know they had the means..I looked it up.

Too lax...

-Choi
 
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