Video:Gunman kills 32 students in Virginia
Bush expresses sympathy at Va. Tech
Investigators said Thursday the disturbing
video images of the student responsible for the worst shooting spree in
U.S. history did not add much to their probe of what happened and why at
Virginia Tech University on Monday. But the airing of gunman Cho
Seung-hui's ranting video has angered relatives of the victims and some
students. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has the latest on the
aftermath of the shooting tragedy from Washington.
Cho's video diatribe included angry tirades against rich students and what he
called their debauchery and
The video contained pictures of Cho posing with two handguns. The video
rant was often rambling,
incoherent and at times profane, with Cho blaming others for his anger and
"You had a hundred billion ways to have avoided today, but you decided
to spill my blood," said Cho Seung-hui. "You forced me into a corner and
you gave me only one option, but the decision was yours. Now you have
blood on your hands that will never wash off."
Police said the
video offered little new from what they already had learned about Cho's
troubled outlook on life and society.
Criminal profiler Pat Brown told CBS television that Cho's video
provided insight into the mind of a mass killer.
"What he has shown in this video is that indeed, he is a psychopath,
his very grandiose thinking, he is glorifying himself," said Brown. "He
justifies what he does and this is for himself, not actually for other
Cho sent the video packet to NBC News in New York.
Investigators believe he mailed the package in between the two
shooting incidents on Monday.
NBC decided to air excerpts of the video after turning over the
material to law enforcement officials.
Virginia State Police
Superintendent Steve Flaherty told a news conference at Virginia Tech he
was disappointed NBC had decided to air the video.
"The victims and their families, the entire university campus and even
the international community have certainly been afflicted by these
horrific events and this horrific tragedy and this intense media
attention," he said. "I am sorry that you were all exposed to these
Virginia Tech student Jonathan Brown was among those upset at seeing
Cho's video confession.
"I think it is really sick that he would do something like that," he
NBC officials said they debated whether to air Cho's video diatribe,
but in the end decided to go ahead.
NBC Today Show co-host Meredith Vieira defended the decision to air
Cho's video on Thursday's program.
"What was contained in that rambling and hate-filled manifesto was not
taken lightly, it was not made quickly and we understand that this is
going to be seen as devastating to many people who lost loved ones in the
shooting," she said.
Some criminal experts have expressed concern the Cho video could
encourage similar acts of violence elsewhere. In the video, Cho referred
to the two students responsible for the massacre at Columbine high school
in Colorado in 1999 that killed 12 students and a teacher.
Several universities tightened security this week in the wake of the
Virginia Tech shootings and several bomb scares were reported at colleges
and universities around the country.
"The copy cat effect in school violence is alive and well,
unfortunately, and it feeds on the attention that we give these school
shootings," said Jack Levin, a criminologist who specializes in mass
killers at Northeastern University in Boston.
In the wake of the shootings and now the disturbing video from the
gunman, the Virginia Tech community and the rural town of Blacksburg are
struggling to come to grips with the tragedy.
VOA's Brian Padden spoke to longtime local resident John Lemasters.
"We assumed the town was a safe place, that our university was a safe
place," said Lemasters. "And that morning all of our assumptions were
Restaurant owner Ranae Gillie said the healing process would take time.
"We are all affiliated someway or another with the university," said
Gillie. "When this horrific event happened, it affected each one of us
all. And we are trying, in our own way, to do some sort of healing."
University officials said Thursday those students who died in Monday's
shooting spree would be awarded their degrees posthumously during
commencement exercises later this year.