Confirmed shooter identified as a student
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post and CNN. Silver Chips Online posts these stories to provide students with a forum for discussion.
Four days before the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, a shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Blacksburg campus yesterday left 33 dead, including the shooter who committed suicide. Cho* Seung Hui was recently disclosed as the gunman in this incident, which is now considered the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Around 7:15 a.m., two students were shot in the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory. Students were under the impression that it was safe to leave their rooms when the second shooting occurred at a Norris Hall classroom two hours later, which left an additional 31 dead. Questions have been raised about the police's involvement.
A young woman and a resident advisor were shot and killed at the dormitory, while other students locked themselves in their rooms. At Norris Hall, Cho opened fire in the doorway of a German language class, silently killing or injuring 21 out of 25 students. He attempted to return to the room 30 seconds later, but a few of the uninjured students barricaded the door with their bodies. Cho chained the doors of the building, sealing the exit for students and faculty.
Law enforcement officials received a 911 distress call at 9:45 and arrived at Norris Hall one minute later. Gunshots ended as police rushed up to the second floor, just as Cho turned his gun on himself.
Cho may have been behind both shooting incidents but has only officially been associated with the second one. He carried two guns, one 9 mm and a .22 caliber handgun, into the classroom building. A ballistics test revealed that one of the guns used in the second shooting could have fired the bullets found at the first shooting site. Authorities are unsure of whether or not Cho had an accomplice in crime.
Cho was an English major in his senior year at Virginia Tech with apparently no relation to any of the victims. Larry Hincker, the associate vice president for university relations, described the 23-year-old South Korean immigrant as a "loner."
A memorial service will be held this afternoon at the university. President George W. Bush and Virginia governor Tim Kaine will attend to address the attendees.
*Editor's note: By Asian custom, the last name is placed first, making Cho his surname.
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