Virginia Shooter Sent Images to NBC During Rampage
Wed Apr 18, 2007 21:49

Virginia Shooter Sent Images to NBC During Rampage


Virginia Tech gunman had history of mental problems
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 5 hours ago
By Andrea Hopkins and Patricia Zengerle. BLACKSBURG, Va. (Reuters) - The gunman who went on a deadly rampage at Virginia
Tech had been accused of stalking ...

April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech gunman had history of mental problems
By Andrea Hopkins and Patricia Zengerle

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Reuters) - The gunman who went on a deadly rampage at Virginia Tech had been accused of stalking women students and was taken to a psychiatric hospital in 2005 because of worries he was suicidal, university police said on Wednesday.

The new details added to an already chilling portrait of Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old student from South Korea who massacred 32 people and then took his own life on Monday in the bloodiest shooting spree in modern U.S. history.

Cho Seung-Hui, the South Korean-born gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech University, is seen in this police handout released April 17, 2007. (REUTERS/Virginia State Police/Handout)

Still grieving for the victims, students and teachers have described a sullen loner whose creative writings for his English literature degree were so laced with violence and venom that they alarmed some of those around him.

University Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said his officers confronted Cho in late 2005 after two women complained separately that he had harassed them in person, through phone calls and with instant messages.

"I'm not saying they were threats; I'm saying they were annoying," Flinchum told a news conference at the sprawling rural campus in southwestern Virginia.

After the second incident in December 2005, Cho's roommate warned police he might be suicidal, prompting them to issue a "temporary detention order" and send him to a nearby mental health facility for evaluation, Flinchum said.

Officials would not say how long Cho stayed at the facility, but roommates said he was gone for a couple of days. The women declined to file charges against Cho. Neither was among his victims on Monday, police said.

Despite encounters with the law and his past psychiatric treatment, Cho was able to legally purchase the two handguns he used in the attack. The shooting has rekindled debate over U.S. gun laws, the most lenient in the Western world.


News of Cho's past contacts with police and mental health specialists added to accounts of his erratic behavior, raising questions whether anyone could have picked up warning signs.

One of his former teachers, poet Nikki Giovanni, said she had insisted Cho be removed from her class in 2005 because he intimidated other students by photographing them and writing obscene, violent poetry. "There was something mean about this boy," she told CNN. "There was a real mean streak."

Police were studying Cho's writings for clues to a motive. In a search of his dormitory room, they seized a computer, a camera, books and notebooks, a warrant showed.

Cho, who immigrated to the United States with his family in 1992 and was raised in suburban Washington, D.C., chained doors shut to prevent escape and worked his way through classrooms, shooting his victims one by one. He stopped only to reload.

Police said the same gun was used in the shooting deaths of two people in a dormitory two hours earlier.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said he would appoint W. Gerald Massengill, who headed the Virginia State Police during the Sept. 11 attacks and the killing spree of a sniper pair in 2002, to head a panel to review the response to the shootings.

The probe was requested by the university, which has defended itself against criticism it waited too long after the first shooting in the dormitory to warn students of danger.

"I'm satisfied that the university did everything that they felt that they needed to in the heat of the moment ... but you've just got to look at this in the cold light of day and ask those questions," Kaine told CBS' "Early Show."

With the Virginia Tech campus still on edge, students got another scare on Wednesday when police swarmed into a building housing the university president's office. But an initial report of suspicious activity turned out to be a false alarm.

Jitters also spread to several other college campuses around the United States. Fox News reported that a bomb threat had forced the evacuation of seven buildings at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Gie Kim, head of the Korean American Coalition's Washington chapter, said Cho's parents, who live in Centreville, Va., and have made no public comment on the shooting, were "still in the grieving process."

"The perpetrator's family is as much a victim as anybody else who lost a family member in this incident," she said.

In Seoul, President Roh Moo-hyun said he and his fellow South Koreans felt "shock and a wrenching of our hearts" over the shooting. Some Korean officials feared a backlash against the large Korean community in the United States.

(Additional reporting by David Morgan in Washington)

Copyright 2007 Reuters


Cho Seung-hui (January 18, 1984[1] – April 16, 2007), was the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre[2][3] of April 16, 2007, in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States, according to police reports. He committed suicide after law enforcement officers breached the doors of the building in which he had killed 32 people and wounded many more, both staff and students. Approximately two hours before his shooting rampage, it is believed that he killed two students in a campus dormitory.

# Cho's mental evaluation formPDF,
December 2005, hosted by The Washington Post

Gunman came to U.S. at age 8 from South Korea -
The gunman in Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech was Cho Seung-hui, a 23-year-old senior English major from Centreville, Virginia, Virginia Tech Police ...

News results for Virginia Tech "Cho Seung-Hui"

Gunman sent package to NBC News
‘When the time came, I did it,’ says message mailed between shootings


NBC News President Steve Capus said the package arrived in New York late Tuesday night and was delivered to NBC headquarters about 11 a.m. Wednesday. The letter carrier noticed that it bore a return address from Blacksburg and alerted NBC security officers.



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