Video:Gunman kills 32 students in Virginia
Bush expresses sympathy at Va. Tech
New evidence is emerging about the student
who killed 32 people Monday at Virginia Tech University. Police say the
gunman was previously accused of stalking two female students, and
acquaintances expressed concern that he might be suicidal. NBC News says
it received a package Wednesday containing pictures of the shooter
brandishing handguns, a video and some writings. Virginia police called
the package a "critical component" of its investigation. VOA's William Ide
has more from Washington.
Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum says authorities met with
Cho Seoung-hui on two separate occasions in 2005, after his phone calls,
e-mails and contacts with two women raised concerns.
In both incidents, police say, they spoke with Cho, a 23-year-old
student at the university. But they say he did not make any threats. One
of the women who filed a complaint against Cho told police that he was
"annoying," but neither of the two women pressed charges.
Authorities say Cho was also referred to the school's disciplinary
system. University officials did not comment on whether any action was
ever taken against Cho.
In December 2005, police chief Flinchum says, acquaintances called
"Our department received a call from an acquaintance of Cho, who was
concerned that Cho might be suicidal," he said. "Officers again met with
Cho and talked with him at length. Out of concern for Cho, officers asked
him to speak to a counselor. He went voluntarily to the police
department. Based on that interaction with the counselor, a temporary
detention order was obtained, and Cho was taken to a mental health
Flinchum says police heard nothing more after that.
"Since those contacts in November and December of 2005, more than a
year ago, I am not aware of any additional incidents or reports that were
made to our department," he said.
Mental health officials at the university say they are vigilant about
monitoring students who might turn violent, but also note that that can be
difficult to predict.
"Clearly, if anyone had any warning of a violent incident people would
have stepped in and acted," said campus counselor Chris Flynn. "This
university is extremely proactive at meeting and discussing students of
As the nation continues to mourn the tragedy, leaders from around the
world sent condolences.
Among those killed in Monday's
was Liviu Librescu, a engineering and math professor,
and Holocaust survivor, who is being called a hero for his action to
protect his students from the gunman.
President Bush noted his sacrifice, during a speech Wednesday at the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, which is marking the
National Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust.
"With the gunman set to enter his class, this brave professor blocked
the door with his body, while his students fled to safety," he said. "On
this day of remembrance, this Holocaust survivor gave his own life so that
others may live."
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said Tuesday he will
appoint an independent panel of law enforcement experts to evaluate
whether Virginia Tech reacted appropriately to the shootings.