Virginia Tech … One Year Later … Day of Mourning After Worst Shooting Rampage in US History

Today, we remember those that lost their lives at VA Tech in Blacksburg, VA  and pray for their family and friends that they may find peace in such a tragic and horrible event. Please say a prayer.

VA_Tech_Mem

It is hard to believe that it was only one year ago when the worst shooting massacre in US history took place at VA Tech. 32 people were senselessly killed during Seung-Hui Cho’s rampage. It is always tragic when one passes. It is made even more sad when those that die are so young and full of promise. It is made even more profoundly unimaginable when 32 are taken at once due to a mad man with mental issues.

However, this is not about the killer … this is about those that perished, remembering and honoring them, and their family and friends. It is obvious that the pain still exists for families at their loss. There are some times no words of comfort that we can provide. We can only let them know that we are thinking an praying for them. Today, we all become VA Tech alumni and pray for Hokie nation.

Vatech_mem2

The darkness was broken by the flickering of a white candle, lit at the stroke of midnight. Soft weeping and the solemn strains of “Taps” were all that broke the silence of more than a thousand people gathered around the 32 memorial stones honoring the dead.

A Living Memorial After Virginia Tech

A year after Va. Tech, campuses more wary

Daily Commentary – Tuesday April 24th, 2007 – Media: Let The VT Healing Begin

Dana asks the media

  • to let the healing begin at Virginia Tech.

icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [2:10m]:  Download

Enough of the Agendas … Let’s Blame the Ultimate Person Responsible, Cho Seung-Hui

The Face of Hate

Vanderbilt_deprvd

(Vanderbilt – ’07)

S’not about guns, S’bout random lunatics.
Plenty of Gunophobes are now screaming that guns must be registered (read confiscated). Minutes after this psycho committed the mass murders, the anti-gunners were changing the subject to suit their agenda.  This miscreant coward shot himself to avoid the aftermath of his crimes
.

Let’s remember in all of the media analysis just who is to blame for this heinous crime that has shocked the sensibilities of all rational people. The videos show that this was a plane and premeditated event. Who is to blame? Ultimately it is the shooter, , Cho Seung-Hui. This man was so filled with hate there may have been no way to have stopped this massacre. He was hell bent on going out with a blaze of glory.

Developing …

Gunman sent package to NBC News

VIDEO

Daily Commentary – Obama Compares Virginia Tech Massacre to Don Imus Comments

Dana is amazed as:

  • Obama Compares Virginia Tech Massacre to Don Imus Comments

icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [3:05m]:  Download

Please Say a Prayer for the Victims of the VA Tech Shootings and Their Families … God Bless

As we all sit back and absorb the horror of yesterday’s shootings at VA Tech, let us VA_Tech_GWBremember those that lost their lives. Let us say a prayer for their families as their grieving must be beyond imagination. So many young lives lost.  As many of our Nation’s Colleges Mourn Va. Tech Victims let us never forget those that were lost. Say a prayer for their families and loved ones and may they find peace in God’s grace.

President George W. Bush spoke today at the convocation ceremony at VA Tech and told the many family, friends and students of those that perished the following: (audio here)

“To all of you who are OK, I’m happy for that,” Bush said. “To those of you who are in pain or who have lost someone close to you, I’m sure you can call on any one of us and have help anytime you need it.”

Quoting Scripture, he told those angered by the killings not to be overcome by evil.

“People who have never met you are praying for you,” Bush said. “They’re praying for your friends who have fallen and who are injured. There’s a power in these prayers, a real power. In times like this, we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.”

“On this terrible day of mourning, it’s hard to imagine a time will come when life at Virginia Tech will return to normal, but such a day will come,” Bush said. “And when it does, you will always remember the friends and teachers who were lost yesterday, and the time you shared with them, and the lives that they hoped to lead.”

Please let us remember those that passed away during yesterdays shooting. May they rest in peace and God bless. The magnitude of the violence and profound loss changed these students and faculty from VA Tech Hokies to one of a nations.

Va_tech_vigil

The University has set up a web site for condolences, The April 16th Memorial website. Please leave your comments, prayers and condolences. One can only imagine the grief that they Hokie community is going through and the words of comfort they so much are in need of.

  • Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, of Saugus, Mass., according to his mother, Lynnette Alameddine.
  • Christopher James Bishop, 35, according to Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany, where he helped run an exchange program.
  • Ryan Clark, 22, of Martinez, Ga., biology and English major, according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.
  • Austin Cloyd, an international studies major from Blacksburg, Va., according to Terry Harter, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Champaign, Ill., where Cloyd and her family lived before moving to Blacksburg.
  • Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, a French instructor, according to her husband, Jerzy Nowak, the head of the horticulture department at Virginia Tech.
  • Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, killed in his French class, according to his mother, Betty Cueva, of Peru.
  • Kevin Granata, age unknown, engineering science and mechanics professor, according to Ishwar K. Puri, the head of the engineering science and mechanics department.
  • Caitlin Hammaren, 19, of Westtown, N.Y., a sophomore majoring in international studies and French, according to Minisink Valley, N.Y., school officials who spoke with Hammaren’s family.
  • Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, of Bellefonte, Pa., according to Penn State University, his alma mater and his father’s employer.
  • Rachael Hill, 18, of Glen Allen, Va., according to her father, Guy Hill.
  • Emily Jane Hilscher, a 19-year-old freshman from Woodville, according to Rappahannock County Administrator John W. McCarthy, a family friend.
  • Jarrett L. Lane, according to Riffe’s Funeral Service Inc. in Narrows, Va.
  • Matthew J. La Porte, 20, a freshman from Dumont, N.J., according to Dumont Police Chief Brian Venezio.
  • Liviu Librescu, 76, engineering science and mathematics lecturer, according to Puri.
  • G.V. Loganathan, 51, civil and environmental engineering professor, according to his brother G.V. Palanivel.
  • Partahi Lombantoruan, 34, of India, civil engineering doctoral student, according to Kristiarto Legowo, a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
  • Lauren McCain, 20, of Hampton, Va., international studies major, according to a statement from the family.
  • Daniel O’Neil, 22, of Rhode Island, according to close friend Steve Craveiro and according to Eric Cardenas of Connecticut College, where O’Neil’s father, Bill, is director of major gifts.
  • Juan Ramon Ortiz, a 26-year-old graduate student in engineering from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, according to his wife, Liselle Vega Cortes.
  • Mary Karen Read, 19, of Annandale, Va. according to her aunt, Karen Kuppinger, of Rochester, N.Y.
  • Reema J. Samaha, 18, a freshman from Centreville, Va., according to her family. (AP)

VA Tech_vigil

Profiles of victims (MSNBC)

More about the victims from Fox News.

Beautiful, clever, talented victims honored (CNN)

Friends, family recall lives of selfless students, teachers

VA Tech Massacre … the day after … Gunman was a Student (Update: Cho Seung Hui Identified as Shooter)

One day after the most deadly mass shooting in American history we learn that the shooter, an Asian male was a student at Virginia Tech. The shooters name has not yet been released. The ramifications of this tragic event will play out for years to come. To the educational system in this country, it is their 9–11. Changes will have to be made across every campus to provide better communication and information for the security and safety of students. Many questions will be raised from this heinous and tragic event.

UPDATE I: Centreville Student, Cho Seung HuiWas Va. Tech Shooter. VA_Tech_Shooter

No red flags there from those that knew Cho Seung Hui.

The 23-year-old student who police say is responsible for one of the deadliest shootings in modern history was described by teachers and classmates at Virginia Tech as an eccentric loner whose writings were violent and troubling.

Cho Seung Hui, who graduated in 2003 from Westfield High School in Fairfax County, is is responsible for killing 32 people during a shooting rampage at two buildings on the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, authorities said today.

Law enforcement sources said that Cho died with the words “Ismail Ax” in red ink on one of his arms, but they were not sure what the words meant.

Investigators also found a note left in the shooter’s dorm room, said to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation. “It’s sort of a manifesto” said the source, who described the note as a rambling and somewhat incoherent list of grievances. Among the people that Cho attacked in the note were those he considered rich, spoiled students, the source said. “It was just sort of against the world,” the source said.

A second note was found near Cho’s body. It also contained obscenities and angry denunciations of “rich kids” and others who he said had “ (Washington Post)

Va_tech_shooting_amb

UPDATE II: Who’s joking Now?

Did we learn nothing from 9–11 and previous school shootings to warn people other others bizarre and abnormal behavior?

“We always joked we were just waiting for him to do something, waiting to hear about something he did,” said another classmate, Stephanie Derry. “But when I got the call it was Cho who had done this, I started crying, bawling.” (Yahoo News)

UPDATE III: Killer’s Note: ‘You Caused Me to Do This’

In typical loser fashion of a blame everyone else mentality, Seung-Hui Cho left a note that blamed other for the causes of his violent rampage. Heaven forbid this individual take responsibility for his own actions.

Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 32 people and then himself yesterday, left a long and “disturbing” note in his dorm room at Virginia Tech, say law enforcement sources.

He also wrote at least two violent plays for an English course that worried his professor and several classmates.

Sources described the note, which runs several pages, as beginning in the present tense and then shifting to the past. It contains rhetoric explaining Cho’s actions and says, “You caused me to do this,” the sources told ABC News. (ABC News)

As many had speculated after the horrendous massacre, were there signs that the gunman was showing prior to the shooting? Was he acting in a bizarre manner or did he do things that should have raised red flags? The answer appears to be yes, but no one did anything. Seung-Hui Cho’s writings should have been a warning.

Lucinda Roy, a co-director of the creative writing program at Virginia Tech, taught Cho in a poetry class in fall of 2005 and later worked with him one-on-one after she became concerned about his behavior and themes in his writings.

Roy spoke outside her home Tuesday afternoon, saying that there was nothing explicit in Cho’s writings, but that threats were there under the surface.

She said she notified authorities about Cho, but said she was told that there would be too many legal hurdles to intervene. She said she asked him to go to counseling, but he never did.

UPDATE IV: The Writings of a Mad Man

Read the Virginia Killer’s Violent Writings
Play told of pedophilic stepfather, murder of 13-year-old boy

UPDATE V: Va. Tech gunman writings raised concerns

News reports said that he may have been taking medication for depression and that he was becoming increasingly violent and erratic.

Despite the many warning signs that came to light in the bloody aftermath, police and university officials offered no clues as to exactly what set Cho off on the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

A student who attended Virginia Tech last fall provided obscenity- and violence-laced screenplays that he said Cho wrote as part of a playwriting class they both took. One was about a fight between a stepson and his stepfather, and involved throwing of hammers and attacks with a chainsaw. Another was about students fantasizing about stalking and killing a teacher who sexually molested them. (Yahoo News)

He was allowed to walk among us why? This is how we protect the masses of students, letting a troubled individual simmer into a time bomb?

The gunman in the Virginia Tech massacre was a sullen loner who alarmed professors and classmates with his twisted, violence-drenched creative writing and left a rambling note raging against women and rich kids. (Charlotte Observer)

Backlash from many Including Parents of how VA Tech Shootings Were Handled

It was becoming apparent early in the VA Tech shooting massacre that questions would VA_Teach_shootMapabound as to how the VA Tech Administration and police handed this matter. The first shots were fired at 7:15 AM at West Ambler Johnston Hall. Two people were killed, the Hall was locked down, and a gunman was on the loose. Then at 9:15 AM the carnage truly began as a gunman opened fire in Norris Hall and killed 31 people including himself. Why did campus police allow classes to continue with an unaccounted for gunman on the loose. There was no way of knowing where he could be or what was going through his mind. My not error on the side of caution, wasn’t that our biggest learning lesson from 9–11?

There was no way any one could have known that our countries worst mass shooting would ever have occurred in such a peaceful college setting. However, that is why we are supposed to have policies in procedures in place.

The following are the text of the e-mails that were sent out by Virginia Tech to students and staff following the initial shooting at 7:15AM. Which begs the questions by many, why the delay? Informing the public of danger is a great tool. It would appear that many campuses will have to work on this line of security.

Times according to the time stamps on the e-mails.

- E-mail sent at 9:26 a.m.:

Subject: Shooting on campus.

“A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.

“The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411 (read more …)

The tragic carnage appears to have started as a lover’s tiff and escalated into the worse Va_tech_johnstonhallmass shooting murder spree in US history. However, many are scratching their heads as to how this was handed. Why were classes allowed to continue when police knew that there were two students murdered and a killer on the loose? Why the delay in notifying the students as to what originally happened?

Many parents of Virginia Tech students are out raged and are calling for the firing of VA Tech President, Charles Steger and the Police Chief. Every one had to know that it was only a matter of time before this occurred. The Q&A from the press conferences today left much to be desired. The cold hard fact is that 31 innocent people are dead at VA Tech and someone(s) is going to have to be accountable. It is also a matter of time before the law suits reign down upon VA Tech as well.

John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said “screwed up” the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter.

“My God, if someone shoots somebody there should be an immediate lockdown of the campus,” said John Shourds. “They totally blew it. The president blew it, campus police blew it.”

The Shourds said they received a phone call from their daughter, Alexandra, a freshman at the college in Blacksburg, who was unsure of how to handle a vague university e-mail received around 9:20 a.m. regarding the first shooting incident that happened at the West Ambler Johnston Hall around 7:15 a.m. Later, it was learned that a lone gunman entered that hall, two buildings away from Alexandra’s dorm, and opened fire, killing two people. (Fox News)

 UPDATE I: The Gunman was a VA Tech Student

Virginia Tech’s president said Tuesday that a student was the gunman in at least the second of the two campus attacks that claimed 33 lives to become the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

The University president continued to defend its actions in notifying students and faculty of the earlier shooting; however, it is evident that many had no idea what had transpired earlier that day.

Steger said the university was trying to notify students who were already on-campus, not those who were commuting in.

“We warned the students that we thought were immediately impacted,” he told CNN. “We felt that confining them to the classroom was how to keep them safest.”

He said investigators did not know there was a shooter loose on campus in the interval between the two shootings because the first could have been a murder-suicide.

Two students told NBC’s “Today” show they were unaware of the dorm shooting when they reported to a German class where the gunman later opened fire.

Derek O’Dell, his arm in a cast after being shot, described a shooter who fired away in “eerily silence” with “no specific target — just taking out anybody he could.” (Yahoo News)

One Dead in School Shooting at Virginia Tech, Suspect in Custody (Update: Reported 20 Fatalities, Now 22 … 29 … 32 … 33)

Officials have confirmed that one person is dead and several others have been wounded in a shooting incident incident at the West Ambler Johnston residence hall. The gunman is reportedly in custody. Many more updates to follow below including from local Blacksburg, VA newspapers of actual accounts.

VA TECHnorris_map

Report: Gunman at Virginia Tech University Caught After 1 Person Killed

UPDATE I: Two shootings have occurred at VA Tech this morning. One at West Ambler Johnston residence hall and the other at Norris Hall.VA_TechShootings

From the Virginia Tech web-site:

University Advisory:
Gunman on campus; all classes canceled
04/16/2007, Updated 10:51 a.m.

In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall. Police and EMS are on the scene.

Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.

All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice. All entrances to campus are closed.

VA_TECH map

(locations of shootings at VA Tech)

AP: As Many as 8 Additional Casualties in Shooting at Virginia Tech Campus; 1 Confirmed Dead

School officials planned a noon EDT press conference Monday.

The school’s Web site also confirmed the shooting at opposite ends of the 2,600-acre campus at West Ambler Johnston, a residence hall, and reported “multiple victims” at Norris Hall, an engineering building.

Local FOX affiliate WFXR-TV in Richmond reported that there were two shooting incidents on campus — one that occurred between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston Dorm, and another at 10 a.m. at Norris Hall. Police will not confirm in which incident someone was injured, or where. (Fox News)

UPDATE II: 1 Killed in Shootings at Virginia Tech

“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 shooting took place.

Madison Van Duyne, a student who was interviewed by telephone on CNN, said, “We are all in lockdown. Most of the students are sitting on the floors away from the windows just trying to be as safe as possible.”

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

UPDATE III: Virginia Tech Shooting: One Dead, 2 Possible Shooters, One In Custody

Virginia Tech Shooting Update – A gunman, who is possibly one of the students, is currently on the loose at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.  One gunmen has been apprehended and there would appear to be a second one on the loose, according to reports. 

The campus of Virginia Tech is currently the scene of at least two separate shootings. (Post Chronicle)

UPDATE IV: Reports are now indicating that there may be at least 17 wounded in the shooting.

UPDATE V: Va Tech News Conference, OMG there appear to be 20 fatalities in this mornings shootings. The police believe that there was only one gunman. This story just went from bad to tragic. The police are reporting that there are at least 20 dead from this mornings shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech. Our prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of this senseless and tragic event.

UPDATE VI: Updates from The Collegiate Times, Now 22 fatalities and gunman confirmed dead

Monday, April 16th 2007 12:23AM
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.

UPDATE VII: 22 dead in Va. Tech shooting rampage

The numbers of dead and casualties continue to rise.

VA_Tech_victims

VIDEO

BLACKSBURG, Va. – At least 22 people were killed Monday in a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus, police said. They said the gunman was among the dead.

In addition to those killed, officials said at least 28 people were wounded.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said the gunman was dead, but that he didn’t know how he died. (MSNBC)

UPDATE VIII: Local TV Accounts of the Deadliest Shooting on a School Campus in History.

UPDATE IX: President George W. Bush reacts to VA Tech

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush was described Monday as shocked and saddened by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, the deadliest incident of campus violence ever in this country.

“He was horrified and his immediate reaction was one of deep concern for the families of the victims, the victims themselves, the students, the professors and all the people of Virginia who have dealt with this shocking incident,” White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said. “His thoughts and prayers are with them.”

VA_Tech_shooting2

UPDATE X: Death Toll Up to 29 as per ABC, Massacre at Virginia Tech: 29 Confirmed Dead

Now Fox News is stateing that there are 32 confirmed deaths.

UPDATE XI: Follow continued live reporting from Roanoke.com

Statement from VA Senator Jim Webb

“I am truly saddened to hear of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. My heart goes out to the parents and families of the victims of this senseless act. My office has been in communication with the Governor’s office and officials at Virginia Tech to offer any assistance.”

UPDATE XII: President George W. Bush comments on shootings at VA Tech.

THE PRESIDENT: Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today. The exact total has not yet been confirmed, but it appears that more than 30 people were killed and many more were wounded.

I’ve spoken with Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. I told them that Laura and I and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy. I told them that my administration would do everything possible to assist with the investigation, and that I pledged that we would stand ready to help local law enforcement and the local community in any way we can during this time of sorrow.

Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community.

Today, our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts, we lift them up in our prayers, and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today.

Thank you.

VA_TechShooting5

(AP/The Roanoke Times)

UPDATE XIII: Video of Press Conderence from VA Tech

Watch the VIDEO HEREVA_Tech_president

  • No ID of the gunman as there was no identification on him
  • Will realease name of victims tomorrow after all parents have been notified
  • Investigation continues as to whether there is a connection between the first and second shooting.

During the press conference, school officals struggled to explain the chain of events and why events occured as they did this morning.

University President Charles Steger said authorities believed that the shooting at the dorm was a domestic dispute and mistakenly thought the gunman had fled the campus.

“We had no reason to suspect any other incident was going to occur,” Steger said.

He defending the university’s handling of the tragedy, saying: “We can only make decisions based on the information you had on the time. You don’t have hours to reflect on it.”

Steger said school officials are notifying victims’ next of kin, and state police and the FBI are still investigating the various crime scenes. Campus police confirmed that the bodies of some of the victims had not yet been removed, and the process of identifying them was ongoing (Fox News)

UPDATE XIV: 33 now dead, Gunman kills 32 including himself in Va Tech Massacre 

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the Va_tech_shooting_ambdeadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday, cutting down his victims in two attacks two hours and a half-mile apart before the university could figure out what was going on and get the warning out to students.

The bloodbath ended with the gunman committing suicide, bringing the death toll to 33 and stamping the campus in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains with tragedy, perhaps forever. (Yahoo News)

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