The Virginia Tech massacre - aftermath.

17 April 2007

More information's come to light with regard to the massacre on the Virginia Tech campus yesterday. They think that they've figured out who the shooter was, a twenty-three year old English major named Cho Seung-Hui. He was reportedly a loner, and they're having a difficult time finding any information on him as a result. They're going through his schoolwork at this time (he was an English major, after all, so they've got stuff from composition classes and the like to analyze); they found a number of rants and missives about various sorts of people in his dorm room written during the time before the shootings yesterday. It's also known that he was depressed, possibly disturbed, possibly on antidepressant drugs.

Interestingly, Professor Carolyn Rude (chairwoman, VT English Department) stated that analyzing someone's writing isn't a sure way of figuring out what's going on in their head, because sometimes writing is creative, and sometimes it's a portent. One is not necessarily the other.

The reason I say that they think they know he was responsible for both sets of shootings is because there isn't much in the way of eyewitness account putting him at the first shooting outside of the dorm. They are certain that the same gun was used in both sets of shootings, and that Cho's fingerprints were on all of the guns used, so the evidence is very strong, but no official announcement has been made. They also know that Cho bought a Glock pistol in March of 2007, so the evidence is that much stronger.

Classes are cancelled for the rest of the week, and students are leaving campus in droves. Interestingly, the webmaster of Virginia Tech is a scanner afficionado, and was listening in on the police as they acted and kept people outside updated in the form of posts to the e-mail list of the Capitol Hill Monitors, a group of radio scanner hobbyists. Multiple agencies were involved in the response, as was clearly visible on the news last night (the FBI was involved, as were the local police in full riot gear), but campus security took point on the operation.