Posted by: L | April 26, 2007

Cho – new details: security, shooter theories, psych profile, updated 5/2

Update: Apparently he fired 225 rounds altogether, according to this report:

Cho fired as many as 225 shots in rampage

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Cho SeungHui fired off as many as 225 shots as he gunned down 30 students and faculty on the campus of Virginia Tech before turning the gun on himself, a law enforcement source told CNN Friday.

That figure is based on the number of bullets and the 17 empty ammunition magazines found at Norris Hall, the source said.

Another law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said most of the victims were shot at least three times. A doctor who treated some of the survivors Monday said they also had multiple gunshot wounds, and no one had less than three. –From CNN’s Deb Feyerick and Kevin Bohn (Posted 2:08 p.m.)

Update: There is an ABC report, May 2, saying that a note was left after the first shooting at Ambler Johnston. This gets really confusing. Are they talking about the 8 page note said to be in his backpack or found in his room, depending on which report you read? Or is this something new? Puzzled.

Update: 45 hits (dead and injured) according to some, 61 according to Wiki -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_victims_of_the_Virginia_Tech_massacre

OK….each victim was hit at least 3 times, so that’s 135 hits…and maybe more, say 150, out of 170 rounds fired, which is a very high hit rate. If we use wiki’s figure, that’s 183…out of 170!

Have to check when that report about 255 rounds came out .Is that old? Unsubstantiated? A new version to make the whole thing make sense? No idea right now.

 

Wiki’s description of Cho before high school makes him sound very normal; it’s even positive:

Cho studied at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly, an unincorporated section of Fairfax County. According to Kim Gyeong-won, Cho’s friend in elementary school for three years (and currently a student of Seoul’s Kyung Hee University), Cho finished the school’s three-year program in one and a half years. Cho was noted for being good at mathematics and English, and teachers pointed to him as an example for other students.[18]

Kim met Cho in fifth grade, attending the same classes and riding the school bus together. There were only three Korean students in the school.[19] Back then, he said, nobody hated Cho and he “was recognised by friends as a boy of knowledge… a good dresser who was popular with the girls.” Cho kept a distance from others because he chose to do so. Kim added that “I only have good memories about him.”[18][19]

 

In an interview with WSLS News Channel 10 in Roanoke, Chastity Frye told the station she was hired by Cho for an hour of services.“He was so quiet, I really couldn’t get much from him, he was so distant,” said Frye. “It seemed like he wasn’t all there.” In relation to this, I want to note that there were also reports that Cho had been interested in a college mate and then had complained that he saw “promoscuities” in her eyes.

Others have speculated about Cho’s isolation, pointing out that V Tech was renowned for the beauty of the young women who studied there and that the taciturn, moroseCho might have felt acutely isolated. Cho was actually a Math A student in high school who switched to English. Others have suggested that Cho was a narcissist whose complete self-abosrption , grandiosity and lack of empathy led him to avenge his own failings on others. They point out the exhibitionism displayed in the methodical nature of the killings, the exibitionism in the videos, the dress-up aspect of it – cutting his hair close and working out in the weeks before, as well as discarding his gold rimmed glasses.

This post suggests schizophrenia, associated with the children of parents who work as dry-cleaners, and caused by chemicals used in their work.

Here he is described as having conversations with himself and having stopped coming to class for a month before the killing. Doesn’t anyone keep track of attendance?

One blog post theorizes that Cho could not have been the killer, because of the nature of the gunshots that killed him. The poat also notes the early descriptions of a killer fleeing the building and of someone who was 6 ft doing the shooting.

There was no one who actually witnessed him killing himself as everone in the room (except one person) was dead in the classroom in which Cho’s body was found. That story is repeated in this account too.

Now, this report states that the police heard the last shot just as they climbed to the second floor. They didn’t say they actually aw him do it.
Another interesting fact is reported in this article which suggests that Cho might have been of Japanese origin (??? doesn’t look Japanese to me, but I know nothing about the area) and that he might be one of a group of children (maybe it means Korean children) kidnapped and trained to harass adults. Need to learn more about this.

And this:

A school official points to the name of Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman in the Virginia Tech shootings in Blacksburg, Va., in a school record at the Shinchang Elemetary School that Cho attended for first grade and half of second grade in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 18, 2007. Cho‘s family had struggled while living in South Korea and emigrated to the U.S. to seek a better life, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The Korean words read ” Immigrate to oversea, Cho Seung-Hui.”

I am not certain if this next post is authentic, but, in it apparently the gun-owner who sold the Glock to Cho says that the ATF ( Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) indicated to him that they would keep the information about the receipt (not clear) low-key. (Warning: not clear about this thread’s authenticity)

A Washington Post report describes the killer as impassive and in blue jeans and blue jacket (later he was laughing and wearing all black):

“The shooter, whose name was not released last night, wore bluejeans, a blue jacket and a vest holding ammunition, witnesses said. He carried a 9mm semiautomatic and a .22-caliber handgun, both with the serial numbers obliterated, federal law enforcement officials said. Witnesses described the shooter as a young man of Asian descent — a silent killer who was calm and showed no expression as he pursued and shot his victims. He killed himself as police closed in.”
By the way, the media is mistaken in calling this the biggest school killing. The most prolific school killer is Andrew Kehoe (45 people) in the Bath School disaster, three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, USA, on May 18, 1927.

This report talks about the number of rounds: 170 rounds were fired in 9 minutes. His body was found in a classroom with his victims. That time frame sounds incredible to me, although I hear that the Glock is capable of it.
More on Security:

Here, for comparison, is the security routine that is actually practiced on most campuses. V- Tech, despite its prior experiences, seems to be quite lax:

Boise State is actively patrolled by campus security officers, law enforcement officers and parking services personnel. The Boise Police Department is physically located on campus with a dispatch center that monitors alarms and then sends security and police officers to incidents on campus.
We are assigned six police officers plus one lieutenant exclusively. There are 38 emergency blue light phones on campus that have a direct line to the Boise police substation.

 

In the residence halls, there are on-site professional staff members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are two security officers assigned exclusively to the residence halls. All doors require electronic card access to open.

 

Boise State operates a department of public safety. Campus security is very active in crime prevention. For example, Boise State offers an emergency cell phone program, online crime reporting services and an Ask-A-Cop program among other safety initiatives.

 

*******************

 

Now here are some timelines/explanations I’ve gathered:
This report details early explanations given by by the school.

And this has an early description of the shootings.

Monday, April 16th 2007 12:23PM
Virginia Tech police have confirmed 22 fatalities resulting from the campus shootings today. The gunman has also been confirmed dead.

Three people were escorted out of Norris Hall by police. The three were handcuffed, separated, questioned, unhandcuffed and then canine teams were sent into Norris Hall said junior computer engineer Nick Saunders who watched the events unfold from the the second floor of Randolph Hall.

According to the university, classes have been cancelled for Tuesday, April 17.

Monday, April 16th 2007 11:57AM
Three people were escorted out of Norris Hall in handcuffs by police. The three were then unhandcuffed and canine teams were sent into Norris Hall.
http://collegemedia.com/

Further details:

An Arlington County consulting firm that evaluated the emergency response to the 1999 Columbine High School shootings and other public safety crises has been hired by state officials to assist the panel that will investigate the Virginia Tech massacre.

TriData Corp. will provide staff and research support to the eight-member panel named last week by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). Kaine, in Northern Virginia yesterday for a community meeting with the South Korean ambassador, met privately with Philip S. Schaenman, TriData’s president. Schaenman said the contract terms are being worked out.

A division of defense contractor System Planning Corp., TriData is best known for studying fire safety issues. But it also conducted a study for the Federal Emergency Management Agency on police and emergency medical response to the shootings at Columbine, in which two students killed 15, including themselves, at the Colorado school. The report pointed out problems with communications and management of the disaster scene.

The firm was retained by Virginia officials to review the chaotic response to a false positive anthrax test at the Pentagon’s remote mail facility and a similar alarm at Defense Department sites in Fairfax County in March 2005.

Again the firm concluded that poor communication and unclear chains of command hampered coordination between federal officials and local jurisdictions.Schaenman told a congressional committee that the response was “the homeland security version of the fog of war.”

ABC made an interesting gaffe related to whether the Feds actually have a data base of all drugs:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3048108&page=2

“Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of him in the governments files on controlled substances. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in computer databases, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.

(NOTE: Some readers may have inferred from an earlier edition of this story that the federal government keeps a comprehensive record of all prescriptions. The Drug Enforcement Agency says it does track prescriptions of so-called controlled substances — including some mood-altering medications — but not all prescriptions made in the United States.)

More details:

Sections of chain similar to those used to lock the main doors at Norris Hall, the site of the second shooting that left 31 dead, were also found inside a Virginia Tech dormitory, sources confirmed to ABC News.

One neighbor, Marshall Main, describes Cho’s parents as quiet and polite. Neither Main nor another neighbor recalled seeing the son in recent years.

Mask and speech mentioned in early report of killer’s demeanor

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=22&art_id=nw20070418093520510C653345

By The Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — A shooting at a Virginia Tech dorm Monday left one person dead and one wounded, a state government official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press.

A government official with knowledge of the shooting said the gunman had been arrested. [emphasis added]

The state university said on its Web site that a shooting had occurred at a residence hall and that students should stay in their homes away from windows.

“There’s just a lot of commotion. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on,” said student Jason Anthony Smith, 19, who lives in the building where the shooting took place.

The shooting was reported at West Ambler Johnston Hall.

Officials ordered the campus closed, the second time in less than a year the 26,000-student campus was shut because of a shooting.

In August 2006, 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.

Cho suspected his Taiwanese girlfriend of seeing another man and had a row with her in the West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall, a co-ed dormitory in the sprawling campus of the university Monday morning. When a residentadvisor came to resolve the problem between the two students, Cho shot him. He then shot the girl.

University police, who came to West Ambler in response to an emergency call, told inmates of the dormitory to stay inside and started investigations.

Cho reported as smiling in early reports:

According to one witness, “he shot every person thrice” with a smile on his face. G.V. Loganathan, the 51-year-old Indian origin professor of civil and environmental engineering, was taking a class when Cho shot him in his head.

According to reports, also killed was Minal Panchal, a 26-year-old female Indian student who was attending Loganathan’s class.

http://www.drudge.com/news/93413/cho-seung-hui-spoke-class-monday

In recent weeks his routine had changed. His roommates say he went to the campus gym at night, lifting weights to bulk up. He went for a haircut — surprising them by coming back to the room with a military-style buzz cut.

Aust and another roommate, Karan Grewal, say they were aware that Cho had pursued women on campus. They said he also seemed to have an imaginary girlfriend, a supermodel named “Jelly.” ”

Uh-oh. Cho was sneakin’ around with Sick Willy’s main squeeze, Jelly.

Think her initials are K Y.?

And that military buzz cut. That’s a dead give away. All atheist Buddhist mass murderers have those, if you will notice.

Delay in reporting deaths:

Ross Alammedine

Mass. man slain in Virginia Tech massacre mourned in Saugus

by jay lindsay / associated press writer

> email this to a friend

APR 17, 2007 10:10 PM EDT

SAUGUS, Mass. (AP) — When the computers went down at Austin Preparatory School, there was no need to call the technicians if Ross Alameddine was around.

Alameddine was a well-known a computer whiz, fixing problems so quickly that teachers didn’t bother with the IT guys. He also sold computers during a summer job at a mall a few miles from his Saugus house.

On Tuesday, the drapes at that house were drawn as his family mourned the 20-year-old Alameddine’s death at the hands of a senior who killed 32 in a mass murder at the Virginia Tech campus, before turning the gun on himself.

A few feet from the door of his Saugus home, a police cruiser was parked around midday to keep the media away and help the family deal with their grief in private.

“I’m just trying to get through the day here,” said Alameddine’s mother, Lynnette, said earlier Tuesday.

Stunned friends and former teachers remembered Alameddine not only for his smarts in a range of subjects, from math to foreign languages, but also for his dry wit and ironic sense of humor.

“We’re very sad that he’s gone,” said David Boschetto, a math teacher at Austin Prep, the private school in Reading where Alameddine’s sister also attended. “It was very, very shocking to me and the rest of his teachers … He was just a wonderful kid.”

The sophomore was in French class at the Blacksburg, Va., school on Monday when Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old, moved between classrooms, indiscriminately shooting at students in morning classes.

Lynnette Alameddine didn’t find out her son was one of the victims until more than 12 hours later, which she called “outrageous.”

“It happened in the morning and I did not hear (about her son’s death) until a quarter to 11 at night,” she said. “That was outrageous. Two kids died, and then they shoot a whole bunch of them, including my son.”

At Best Buy in Saugus, store manager Rich Stoney followed the news of the shootings because he knew his summer worker Alameddine went to Virginia Tech. He was devastated to learn the young employee was among the dead.

Stoney said Alameddine was fun-loving, good-humored and had a great touch with customers because he was able to relate his “exceptional” computer skills to the average person.

“There’s not enough good things to say about that kid,” Stoney said.

Classmate Katherine Williams said Alameddine was known in the tight Austin Prep community as a genial kid who was ready to lend a hand with homework, if needed.

Later in his high school career, Alameddine developed at interest in drama, and performed in the school’s production of the Agatha Christie play, “The Mousetrap.”

His interest in gaming was seen in a March post on a blog about Guild Wars, an online role-playing game.

At a facebook.com tribute, friends recalled Alameddine as “extraordinarily witty and sarcastic, strong willed and a grammar god far superior to all of us.”

At the Web site, some longtime classmates wrote about their days in school withAlameddine, dating back to St. Mary’s elementary and middle school in Melrose. They recalled everything from his “crazy legs” on the dance floor to where he sat in French class.

Some expressed their grief with poems and others, like a student from Bridgewater State College, kept the goodbyes simple. He wrote, “rest easy ross.”

——

 

 

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