Report: At least 20 29 32 dead, 28 wounded in shooting at Virginia Tech; Update: Chinese man on student visa? Update: Two suspects?

posted at 12:28 pm on April 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

Good lord. I’ve been peeking at this story for hours and until a few minutes ago there was one reported dead and the gunman was in custody. Now the death toll is 22 and the gunman is supposedly dead too.

Standby.

Update: Apparently one of the cops said at the presser that many of the dead were students in classrooms. The gunman had an ammo vest on and was unloading at will.

Update: They think there’s only one shooter, but verrrry odd: “Local FOX affiliate WFXR-TV in Richmond reported that one shooting occurred between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, and another at 10 a.m. at Norris Hall.”

Update: More oddness from Fox: “On April 13, the campus closed three of its academic halls after they received a letter stating that explosive devices were in the building. Classes were canceled for the remainder of the day. A bomb threat was also made against Torgerson Hall on April 2.”

Update: Someone told Fox — purely unconfirmed — that the suspect went into Norris Hall looking for his girlfriend, then lined a bunch of people up and shot them execution-style. The debate at the moment is what kind of weapon he must have had.

Update: The scene at Norris Hall:

vtech.jpg

Update: The press corps is already pushing Dana Perino about gun control. Drudge is pushing the other way.

Update: According to NBC, the killer used two 9mm handguns and killed himself. It’s officially the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history.

Update (Ian): Gun control talk at the WH briefing:

Update: Just got this from a reader who says it was posted on his VTech frat listserv. Grain of salt:

Zach just got back and he told us his story. he can tell u the details better but he deserves to be recognized immediately. He was in norris hall and heard the gunshots comign from down the hall. while others hid in the class room zach got up and got a few others to help him baracade the door with desks. He could hear the gunman coming down the hall opening doors n firing into class rooms. Zach then saw his door handle turn and the gun man tried to get in but zach slammed the door back shut, others then got up to help, trying to hold the door shut with desks. zach then said he heard the the gunman reload a new magazine and fired two shots directly through the door, luckily didnt hit anybody. the gunman then gave up an continued down the hall

Update: 29 now, says ABC News. Now Fox says it’s 32, according to federal sources.

Update: Virginia Tech’s college newspaper is posting bulletins here.

Update: CNN’s got video taken by someone on campus this morning. You can see the cops approaching the building and hear rounds being fired in the background. Apologies for the relatively long commercial; I’ll replace this with an embeddable clip once it pops up on LiveLeak or wherever. Click the image to watch. Update: Okay, replaced it with a video sans commercial.

Update: Thinking on the Margin has a map of the campus and notes that there’s quite a bit of distance between the two scenes of the crimes.

Update: Fox is hearing that the gunman might have chained the doors shut to stop people from escaping.

Update: According to WaPo, this is now the deadliest shooting spree of any kind, on campus or off, in American history. And if Wikipedia is right, it’s already the third worst in modern world history.

Update: It might not be relevant, but the Blotter’s found its angle and it’s sticking to it.

Update: Bush is going to speak at 4:15. I can’t imagine he’ll have anything interesting to say but we’ll have video. Here’s a description of the suspect from NBC and a suggestion that this wasn’t as random as it might seem:

The name of the gunman, whom witnesses described as a young Asian man wearing a maroon cap and a black leather jacket, was not released. It was not known if he was a student.

The man did not appear to be shooting at random, NBC News’ Pete Williams reported, quoting federal law enforcement officials. He appeared to have specifically targeted the two locations, a co-ed dormitory and a classroom in an engineering building.

Update: Drudge just linked to this video at LiveLeak from MSNBC of one of the shooting victims describing the gunman. According to the victim, he emptied a full magazine into the room, hitting between 10 to 15 people.

Update (Ian): A moment of silence in the House:

Update: ABC News is collecting eyewitness reactions. The V Tech administration is in for a world of trouble, it sounds like: “Communication from college? I checked my e-mail about 8:30…I went to my class as I usually would. By 8:30 no one was notified that something had happened at 7. We went onto a dangerous campus not knowing…”

Update (Ian): Obama makes a statement:

Update: More complaints about the university being slow to notify students after the first shooting:

“What happened today this was ridiculous,” student Jason Piatt told CNN. He said the first warning from the university of a shooting on campus came in an e-mail about two hours after the first deadly burst of gunfire. “While they’re sending out that e-mail, 22 more people got killed,” Piatt said.

Update: Dan Riehl‘s following rumors on the V Tech sports bulletin board that the shooter caught his girlfriend in bed with someone and shot both of them. That doesn’t make sense, though; how often do crimes of passion turn into spree killings?

Update: It’s 33 now, according to the president of V Tech.

Update: Dan’s theory makes more sense if you assume that the killer had been dumped recently by his GF and went to her dorm intending to kill her in the first place. In that case he might have planned the rampage beforehand.

Update (Ian): President Bush said the nation is “shocked and saddened” at a 4pm press conference:

Update: NBC is reporting that the first warning to students didn’t go out until the shooting in Norris Hall had begun:

About 9:15, the gunman chained the doors of the classroom building so his potential victims could not escape and police could not enter. Once inside There, he shot more than 50 people in multiple classrooms.

Not until 9:26 a.m. did the first warning to students and employees go out by e-mail, according to the time stamps on copies obtained by NBC News. By then, the shooting was over.

The first e-mail had few details. It said: “A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.” The message warned students to be cautious and contact police about anything suspicious.

Maurice Hiller, a student, told The Associated Press that he went to a 9 a.m. class just two buildings away from the engineering building and that no warnings were coming over the outdoor public address system on campus at the time.

Update: VTech student Erin Sheehan was in German class when the killer opened the door and “peeked in”:

“It seemed so strange,” Sheehan said. “Because he peaked in twice, earlier in the lesson, like he was looking for someone, somebody, before he started shooting. But then we all heard something like drilling in the walls, and someone thought they sounded like bullets. That’s when we blockaded the door to stop anyone from coming in.”

“He was just a normal looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout type outfit. He wore a tan button up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something.”

“I saw bullets hit people’s body,” Sheehan said.

Update: I read somewhere earlier that it’s only a 10 minute walk or so between the dorm and Norris Hall. Where did the killer go between 7:15 and 9?

Update: Why wasn’t the school shut down after the first shooting? “According to Dr. Charles Steger, president of Virginia Tech, the administration locked down Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory after the first shooting. But classes weren’t cancelled because it was believed to be a domestic dispute and campus police thought that the shooter had left the campus.”

Update: Sounds like the cops know who the killer is. The 7:30 press conference is coming up; maybe they’re about to reveal.

Investigators offered no motive for the attack, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr. Police have been working on identifying the suspect and say they expect to release the name in the coming hours. When asked if the gunman was a student, police say “something like that,” indicating that perhaps he was a teaching assistant, reports Orr.

Update: The cops are being awfully coy about not linking the first shooting to the second, insisting that they’re waiting for lab tests to come back. The Chicago Sun-Times claims to have a hot tip about the killer’s — or one of the killers’ — ID:

Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa.

The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said. Investigators have not linked him to any terrorist groups, the source said.

Police believe three bomb threats on the campus last week may have been attempts by the man to test the campus’ security response, the source said.

Update: I’m utterly confused by the press conference. The cops claim they were speaking to a “person of interest” in the first shooting, who knew the two victims, when they got the word about the second shooting. They refuse to say whether that person has been ruled out yet.

Update: An interesting tip from reader Michael B. — there was a gun show in Roanoke County this weekend. Says Michael, he could have purchased anything he needed there with minimal background checks.

Update: Via Drudge, the Daily Mail embellishes the caught-in-bed theory: “He was said to have quarrelled in a dormitory with his girlfriend, whom he believed had been seeing another man. A student adviser was called to sort out the row. But the killer produced a gun and shot dead both his girlfriend and the adviser.”

Update: MSNBC says the “person of interest” is cooperating with police, is not in custody, and is not believed to be under suspicion. Federal and state cops all say they think it’s the work of a lone gunman.

Update: Early reports of two 9mm handguns appear to have been wrong. It was one 9mm and one .22.


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I’m watching the Live Feed and getting all the behind the scenes things. They were getting vid bites and there was a counselor or something saying how “They need a hug.” No, what they need are messures to keep this from happening again, like more armed gaurds/profs at least.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Pistols generally wound, not kill. At least not kill outright.

SillyRyno on April 16, 2007 at 3:05 PM

We use hollow-points for carrying out and about and prefragged ammo at home… I’m pretty sure a pistol firing JHPs or prefrag’d bullets would kill people. Even FMJs kill people, but my *guess* would be that he wasn’t firing FMJs.

sarahk on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

I think they might also be withholding his name because his family has not been notified.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

blogless, thanks. I think Debbie Schlussel is on to something, and it is really weird that they have not released the name of the gunman/terrorist.

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/

januarius on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Rotten Hob-goblins.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Don’t make any assumptions about this guys motives, wait for the police report, most of what you’re relying on is pure speculation by media or panicked or sloppy second hand info.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Which Koranic verse will she utter on thier behalf.

Viper1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:40 PM

A mother on Fox, says she received a call from her daughter, who told her she was ok, that the police said that someone had been killed, but the school wasn’t on lockdown. The mother told her to lock the door.

The mother said the kids were allowed to walk around campus. The mother is a former FBI agent, who called and told the campus officials to lockdown the campus, with a shooter on campus.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 3:40 PM

She’s running with the Pakistani angle. I just don’t think she’s right, given that eyewitnesses describe him as Asian. To Americans, Asians are Oriental exclusively, even if that’s not the case in the U.K. If he were Indian or Pakistani, they would have described him as Middle-Eastern or Indian.

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 3:31 PM

I’ve been wondering about the “Asian” thing all day. You’re right: to most Americans, “Asian” generally means Chinese or Japanese or Korean. That’s certainly what comes to my mind.

But I’ve noticed that the mainstream media does frequently use “Asian” for everyone from Pakistanis to Indians to Filipinos. And they’re technically correct, of course – they are Asians.

I’m with Schlussel. Regardless of whether this has anything to do with Islam or terrorism, I’d bet money that the shooter will be from a country like Pakistan – someplace (rightly or wrongly) associated with the GWOT. I hate to say it, but in this current era of hypersensitity, I think the police and the media would go out of their way to say “Asian” instead of “Pakistani.”

Professor Blather on April 16, 2007 at 3:41 PM

The mother called the police, to tell them they need to lock down the campus. They told her that they were busy, and hung up on her. The campus went along, not locked down.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 3:42 PM

I told him to shut his pie-hole. And it’s ME that’s out of line?
Sure. That makes sense. Jesus.
Professor Blather on April 16, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Now shut the hell up, dipshit. Adults are talking.

Yes, out of line. Especially considering that for once Jaherer was simply countering a viewpoint as opposed to just baiting.
That said, I’m actually on your side here.
I’m not chastising you, but I felt you were a little over the top.
Regards.

SouthernDem on April 16, 2007 at 3:42 PM

I heard the student who was injured from the hospital say that the man was asian. This kid would have said “middle eastern” if he had been. So let’s just lay off that.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Fox 7 I think in VA are saying that there are students upset that classes were not canceled after the first shooting.

Also saying Cell Phone service is bad there. This was in regaurds to parents trying to reach students. But this might come into play when trying to contact police (from the students at least).

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:43 PM

I think the police and the media would go out of their way to say “Asian” instead of “Pakistani.”

The eyewitnesses like the one linked in the OP wouldn’t, though. Referring to Orientals as Asians is instinctive. He wouldn’t have used that term if the guy was Pakistani, no matter what the media may or may not be trying to do. If you want to run the Muslim angle, run with an Indonesian angle, since Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world.

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Local press conference not until 4:30.

mesablue on April 16, 2007 at 3:45 PM

I am not going to say this guy is a Muslim extremist but you have to remember you do not have to be Middle Eastern to be a Muslim extremist.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Presser going to be at 4:30est with atleast the uni pres and police chief.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:46 PM

Pistols generally wound, not kill. At least not kill outright.

SillyRyno on April 16, 2007 at 3:05 PM

We use hollow-points for carrying out and about and prefragged ammo at home… I’m pretty sure a pistol firing JHPs or prefrag’d bullets would kill people. Even FMJs kill people, but my *guess* would be that he wasn’t firing FMJs.

sarahk on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

It doesn’t matter, most students and educators duck and cover instinctively, a few run, a few less will try and talk him down and fewr still will resist, even if he had nothing but 22s, if the shooter has the will, he has a large number of student hiding under tables/desks who are paralyzed in fear, which was where most of the Columbine killings were.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 3:46 PM

I heard the student who was injured from the hospital say that the man was asian. This kid would have said “middle eastern” if he had been. So let’s just lay off that.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Did the “student” say the shooter was “asian”, or did the media “report” that the student said he was “asian?” If a student tells the cops that the shooter was middle-eastern … the cops will use the term “asian” in their press conference.

Gregor on April 16, 2007 at 3:47 PM

No, the student said it himself. Click the MSNBC video.

A college kid would not call an middle eastern man asian.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:48 PM

We use hollow-points for carrying out and about and prefragged ammo at home… I’m pretty sure a pistol firing JHPs or prefrag’d bullets would kill people. Even FMJs kill people, but my *guess* would be that he wasn’t firing FMJs.

sarahk on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 PM

But the kid shot “through” his arm (linked in the audio/video clip above) wouldn’t have gotten out of the hospital so quickly. A JHP or prefrag would have caused far more serious damage than a clean bullet wound, correct? A clean wound implies soft tissue and hollow-points/pre-frags do their worst damage to soft flesh, correct?

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 3:49 PM

The student said asian in a black jacket with a maroon hat.

We’ll know what we need to know in a few hours.

We can do all the speculation we want after that.

mesablue on April 16, 2007 at 3:49 PM

President Bush is scheduled to address the shooting at Va. Tech

From http://www.wsvn.com/

- The Cat

P.S. Still looking to find the local channel they are steaming to get both sides of the newscast

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:51 PM

It sounds to me more like a deranged individual upset with his girlfriend rather than a Muslim extremist, but we will have to wait and see.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Since it’s in Virginiastan, I’m guessing religion of peace. Pray for the victims!

PRCalDude on April 16, 2007 at 12:47 PM

Please. Have you ever met an Engineering student?

ej_pez on April 16, 2007 at 3:53 PM

Katie Couric is on the ground . . . setting up for the 6:30 boadcast.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:54 PM

That said, it is also absurd to think that if every VT student was issued a handgun along with their dorm keys this wouldn’t have happened.

Ummm…what wouldn’t have happened? Yes, of course, he would still be able to shoot some people. I think what the CCW advocates are saying is that he could have been stopped much, much sooner.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Just found this:

Yes, I responded to assist with the shootings. Thanks to an
overwhelming number of other responders, I didn’t treat any of the
patients. However, I think I have a clearer version of the story than what
has been released on the news. I’m not sure on the total body count
though. While the news is currently reporting 22, I’ve heard as many as
40. As far as those injured, I have no idea. I do know that Montgomery
Regional and NRV had to go on diversion because they were
overwhelmed by numbers of patients.

Approximately 7 of the more critical patients were transported to
Roanoke Memorial and Lewis-Gale. The shooter is among those dead.
To the best of my understanding (from first-hand accounts) this all
started with an ex-boyfriend finding his girlfriend in bed with another
guy. He then shot them, killing the guy immediately and the girl died at
RMH. The shooter then went to Norris hall and entered a classroom
opening fire.

This does hit close to home on a number of levels. Everything from
the fact that we all lived in that dorm to classes that we took in Norris
Hall. It’s still hard for me to believe that something so tragic occured. It
makes last August’s events with Morva look like child’s-play.

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Did the “student” say the shooter was “asian”, or did the media “report” that the student said he was “asian?”

Gregor on April 16, 2007 at 3:47 PM

In the interview the kid says Asian man.

A college kid would not call an middle eastern man asian.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:48 PM

He would if he was using technically correct language. As a college student he may be smart enough to do so.

And the gunman could be a non-Arab Asian Muslim. But the description doesn’t tell us this either.

We are speculating a lot on what the witnesses and facts don’t yet tell us.

Lawrence on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Expect to see VT’s finest theater majors and poli-sci students tonight on the network news complaining about “BushCo’s ™ Christo-facist gun culture” as the cause.

Theater majors and poli-sci kids make perfect interview subjects for network news crews because from 7am-10am this morning they were all still asleep but will still have plenty to say about this horrendous attack based on what they read on Kos, DU, and Facebook from the safety of the dorms hours after the fact.

ScottMcC on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

If you have kids, you should take the first chance you have to contact your school and school board about what the schools policy is regarding shooting/bombing incidents, and how effectively they can enact it. The best program in the world won’t work without discipline in actually doing it. What is the policy for preventative policy? Schools should have a policy to watch for students that are risks. Often they do show obvious warnign signs. Many do tell other students before they act, and many show distinct signs.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

If the guy had a girlfriend, it isn’t likely he was a jihadist, folks.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

From the current FNC story:

The students and faculty were barricading themselves in their classrooms after what one person described as an Asian male wearing a vest opened fire.

The shooter was “wearing a vest covered in clips was just unloading on their door, going from classroom to classroom … they said it never seemed like it was going to stop and there was just blood all over,” Harrison said.

It’s probably just confusion, but “a vest covered in clips” sounds kinda different from a black leather jacket and maroon cap.

Maybe he wore the jacket to disguise the vest covered in clips…maybe there was someone else. They’re still identifying victims; if there was another shooter who shot himself it might not be immediately obvious.

As for the lethality of various loadings, FMJs won’t kill quickly enough for home defense. But if you barricade the building and let people bleed for three hours without meidcal attention, they will kill people.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Should have said that I found it at Dan Reihl’s site.

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 3:57 PM

I just heard some guy on FoxNews already blaming violent video games. The no-job political hacks are now coming out of the woodwork to capitalize. It is just pathetic.

zerodamage on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Fox’s livestream is streaming a local cbs station

- The Cat

Actually they just switched to the set up for the prez

FOX Stream CBS Local

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Katie Couric is on the ground . . . setting up for the 6:30 boadcast.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 3:54 PM

Make sure to call Katie C’s cellphone for a very unanchor-esque ringtone. Glad she has her “wife” to take care of her kiddies while she’s away in anchor-land.

Debbie Schlussel on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

I think we should all slow down on the Muslim angle here, at leats at this point. We have had far too many school shootings with no connection to Islamic extremism for us to jump to that conclusion at this point. If it later turns out he was Muslim, then we would be justified to run with it.

Lancer on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

But the kid shot “through” his arm (linked in the audio/video clip above) wouldn’t have gotten out of the hospital so quickly. A JHP or prefrag would have caused far more serious damage than a clean bullet wound, correct? A clean wound implies soft tissue and hollow-points/pre-frags do their worst damage to soft flesh, correct?

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Depends on the thickness of the fless the round penetrated, but yes.

If the round went through the arm before completely fragmenting then it might not do full damage.

Lawrence on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

A college kid would not call an middle eastern man asian.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:48 PM

I think you’re right.

Gregor on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

So he finds his girl in bed with another guy and kills them(happens) but then he kills a bunch of other people for the hell of it?….makes not sense.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Very speculative question: Does Virginia Tech have a large Hmong population?

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Should read “Makes no sense”

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

4/16. The same week of the 9th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

A college kid would not call an middle eastern man asian.

Rightwingsparkle on April 16, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Well as long as we’re speculating … as somebody else noted and I intimated, Muslim doesn’t necessarily equate to Middle Eastern. Someone above suggested Malaysian or something similar – and I think we’d all be likely to use “Asian” in that case.

We’ll know soon enough. Regardless, it is strange that more details aren’t forthcoming on that aspect.

Professor Blather on April 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

If the guy had a girlfriend, it isn’t likely he was a jihadist, folks.

???

RedWinged Blackbird on April 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

To the best of my understanding (from first-hand accounts) this all started with an ex-boyfriend finding his girlfriend in bed with another guy. He then shot them, killing the guy immediately and the girl died at
RMH. The shooter then went to Norris hall and entered a classroom opening fire.

…Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

So he chained the building and donned a vest studded with what must have been a dozen clips after he killed his ex and her new?

Maybe, but it sounds like this was planned in advance a little more carefully than that.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

I was on the VT campus this morning about 8:00. It appeared to be business as usual up until about an hour after the second shooting happened. Some Tech employees weren’t notified of the second shooting until almost noon.

High Desert Wanderer on April 16, 2007 at 4:01 PM

CNN reports that the deadliest part happened 2 hours after it began, while police were investigating. Blizter says that the campus was in lockdown, but the students themselves, say it wasn’t.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 4:02 PM

So he finds his girl in bed with another guy and kills them(happens) but then he kills a bunch of other people for the hell of it?….makes not sense.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Well, I don’t think sense is a big factor here in any event. I have a vague recollection that the guy who shot up the U of Texas campus back in the 60′s was acting on some such personal slight, but that could be wrong.

honora on April 16, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Expect to see VT’s finest theater majors and poli-sci students tonight on the network news complaining about “BushCo’s ™ Christo-facist gun culture” as the cause.

Theater majors and poli-sci kids make perfect interview subjects for network news crews because from 7am-10am this morning they were all still asleep but will still have plenty to say about this horrendous attack based on what they read on Kos, DU, and Facebook from the safety of the dorms hours after the fact.

ScottMcC on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

This will happen, there will also be people who ham to the camera just because its there, most fo the students are gonna avoid the camera because they’re trying to deal with what happened internally. The media is gonna be hell for these students, the media is relentless when this happens, particularly a shooting on this scale.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Stunning how fast the MSM is to blame the tool in a case like this. Why not push a ban on radios after the recent Imus shenanigans? And why do the same people not raise questions about the rights to drink alcohol or drive cars when there are DUI-related deaths?

This all feels like a tired argument, but I still find it confounding. Why does the left make this giant leap to the irrational so eagerly only when the tool in question is a firearm? At times I lean towards thinking it genuinly has to do with an aversion to the mere idea of individuals having power in lieu of the government, but frankly I don’t think most Democrats think that Stalinistically (though I recognize some do). So is it just party-line programming? Is there something about the idea of personally holding an item capable of taking life somehow terrifying to them? What’s the genuinely weird thing I’m missing?

Blacklake on April 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM

If the guy had a girlfriend, it isn’t likely he was a jihadist, folks.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Interesting notion. Consider that in Muslim culture if a boyfriend has a girlfriend problem he can and often does attack the girlfriend. But in Western culture (for some strange reason) the boy or girl is likely to lash out at others in a psychotic attempt to lay the guilt on the person they are angry with.

The fact that the guy is identified as Asian tells us nothing about his nationality and culture.

Lawrence on April 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Did Blitzer just say “our President”? Maybe I heard it wrong.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM

honora on April 16, 2007 at 4:02 PM

There was also some proof he had a brain tumor that set him off.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM

tommy1–I thought about that, with that crazy deer hunter guy in Michigan.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:04 PM

this all
started with an ex-boyfriend finding his girlfriend in bed with another
guy. He then shot them, killing the guy immediately and the girl died at
RMH. The shooter then went to Norris hall and entered a classroom
opening fire.

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Wait a second. See, this just makes no sense. The guy finds his girlfriend in bed with another guy in the college dorms, and then loads up with an arsenal of weaponry while still on campus, grabs a few chains to chain up the doors, and proceeds to shoot 60 plus students? When did he grab the ammo vest? Where did he get it from? Where were the guns at on campus? Come on! I guess we’re to believe this guy had a bunker stashed under his dorm room pillow?

I’m not believing this for a second. Sorry.

Gregor on April 16, 2007 at 4:04 PM

If the guy had a girlfriend, it isn’t likely he was a jihadist, folks.

???

Fundi Muslims are very, very strict about any sort of pre-marital relationship, not matter how innocent, with the opposite sex. Even being alone with a woman who is not a family member is considered haram by most strict Muslims.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 4:04 PM

President Bush: Please, no “heckuva job” comments to the university administration. I’m begging you.

My thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.

Dave Shay on April 16, 2007 at 4:05 PM

From MSNBC link;

Jamal Albarghouti, a graduate student, said that instead of fleeing, he began shooting video footage on his cell phone.

“I’m from the Middle East, so I’m not used to this sort of thing, but I’ve been in similar situations,” Albarghouti told MSNBC-TV.

“I heard many gunshots,” perhaps 10 to 15 in just 30 seconds, he said. “I don’t know who made the shots, whether it was the cops or the shooter.”

That name doesn’t pass my sniff test.

Terp Mole on April 16, 2007 at 4:06 PM

It’s going to be:

“My lawyer against yours”

ar_basin on April 16, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Make sure to call Katie C’s cellphone for a very unanchor-esque ringtone. Glad she has her “wife” to take care of her kiddies while she’s away in anchor-land.

Debbie Schlussel on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Not a fan of the KC just parroting what I was overhearing. :)

Looks like the fox feed has switched to setting up for the Prez.

- The Cat

CBS Local Fox LiveStream The Fox feed is bouncing all over the place right now

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 4:07 PM

If that guy is right my guess is that some at the hall had known about his girlfriend and this other guy and never told him. Trying to get back at everyone involved.

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 4:08 PM

A tech junior said that he also received an email, which didn’t tell people to avoid class or that the school was in lockdown.

amerpundit on April 16, 2007 at 4:08 PM

tommy1–I thought about that, with that crazy deer hunter guy in Michigan.

The reason I ask is that Hmong men are notoriously jealous about any sort of indiscretion on the part of their women. Even being touched (like tapped on the shoulder) by a male who isn’t related prior to marriage is considered a major disgrace by traditional Hmong. If he was Hmong, it isn’t likely he could be too traditional if he had a girlfriend in the first place, but it is still possible he might have some serious cultural hang-ups about unfaithful women.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 4:08 PM

More wild, flailing speculation apropos of the Asian connection, today is the Nepalese new year.

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Why do they even bother with the “Asian” description? All it does is fuel speculation. Is he from Asia? If he was white, would they say European? Are they not sure, so they picked the biggest continent?

The guy is dead, right? So, why not just wait until he is id’d and release the correct, detailed info. It’s not like he’s still at large and they need to get his description out over the wires.

reaganaut on April 16, 2007 at 4:09 PM

It’s times like this that I need a room like Jack Bauer’s brother in Day 5

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 4:10 PM

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 3:49 PM

yes, correct. i was just thinking of the high ratio of dead people. i haven’t been looking at reports of injured and hadn’t seen the reports about the wounded. that’s why it’s called speculation. i was responding simply to the amazing statement that pistols in general don’t kill people, only wound.

sarahk on April 16, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Fundi Muslims are very, very strict about any sort of pre-marital relationship, not matter how innocent, with the opposite sex. Even being alone with a woman who is not a family member is considered haram by most strict Muslims.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Unless the woman is considered a non-Muslim Dhimmi or slave/whore, then it’s not haram. At least when I was in college some of the biggest playboys on campus where ‘Middle-Eastern’ men. More often than not they where Saudi’s.

Lawrence on April 16, 2007 at 4:12 PM

I guess if you just killed two people, and you know you’re going to get the needle — why not kill everyone else you hate, too? In for a penny, in for a pound.

Tanya on April 16, 2007 at 4:12 PM

“Fundi Muslims are very, very strict about any sort of pre-marital relationship, not matter how innocent, with the opposite sex.”

But for reasons I don’t understand, the 9-11 crew was hanging out with strippers before their run.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:14 PM

Tanya on April 16, 2007 at 4:12 PM

One is a crime of passion which a lot of times ends in suicide or turning themselves or going on the run…not going bat sh*t crazy and going on a killing spree.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 4:14 PM

Maybe, but it sounds like this was planned in advance a little more carefully than that.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:00 PM

It sounds thoroughly planned and skillfully carried out.

Before today, I would have told you this would have been impossible for anybody but a highly trained special ops type.

By comparison, Charles Joseph Whitman was a former Marine; he planned his massacre – he killed his wife and mother the night before, after he had already purchased supplies for the next day. Then he spent the night preparing.

And even then, firing with a pair of high-powered rifles /w mounted scope … and from a protected, elevated position … he still didn’t come close to today’s tragic total. Something like 15 dead and 30 wounded.

And this guy did this unplanned, with a .22 caliber handgun (at least partly?), in an emotional rage?

There’s more to this story. I don’t know what happened … but it was not some untrained outraged boyfriend on an unplanned rampage. Not a chance.

Professor Blather on April 16, 2007 at 4:14 PM

VA Tech has a university wide alert and announcement system. There are lights that go off at posts all over the campus as well as a loud speaker system that goes along with it that notifies everyone if there is an emergency. This should have been used.

zerodamage on April 16, 2007 at 4:16 PM

But for reasons I don’t understand, the 9-11 crew was hanging out with strippers before their run.

That was supposed to be a part of their being “undercover” for al-Qaeda. Having a committed relationship is different. None of the al-Qaeda operatives had anything of that nature to the best of my knowledge.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Why haven’t they released the name of the killer yet?

frreal on April 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Professor Blather

Who says this was unplanned? From the link I provided above my guess is this guy found out his girlfriend was cheating on him. He then planned to kill her and her new friend. During the planning stage he decided to kill those who he thought knew about it but didn’t tell him. He then waited until he knew his girlfriend was with this other guy. Then his plan was put into motion

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Scratch what I said earlier. The Nepalese new year was the 14th.

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 4:18 PM

guess if you just killed two people, and you know you’re going to get the needle — why not kill everyone else you hate, too? In for a penny, in for a pound.

Tanya on April 16, 2007 at 4:12 PM

Because they usually don’t give the needle for heat-of-passion, unplanned fit-of-jealousy murders.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:18 PM

“Fundi Muslims are very, very strict about any sort of pre-marital relationship, not matter how innocent, with the opposite sex.”

But for reasons I don’t understand, the 9-11 crew was hanging out with strippers before their run.

see-dubya on April 16, 2007 at 4:14 PM

Because they aren’t religious as thier underlying underlyingness. They were serial killers/mass murderers first and foremost. They just found thier shelter of acceptence. Like why for years were most serial killers ummm vanilla whites(for lack a wanting to essay it out hehe)? Because others had groups (klan, gangs, the mob, etc) that made them heros for what they were.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 16, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Professor Blather

Woops, should have read your comment to the end. I see you’re thinking along the same kind of line.

Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Before today, I would have told you this would have been impossible for anybody but a highly trained special ops type.

Nonsense. Walk into a classroom with a gun and get everyone to line up to be shot execution-style. Huge death toll without any wild flailing and shooting. Move on to another classroom and repeat.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM

But for reasons I don’t understand, the 9-11 crew was hanging out with strippers before their run.

Visit a strip club here in the Detroit area and you’ll see a lot of things that are not understandable. Sure, these are ‘americanized’ muslims, but they sure over-represent.

mesablue on April 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM

I just signed up for my first year membership with the NRA even though I don’t yet own a firearm. It’s hard to believe I was once a liberal.

Canadian Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Why haven’t they released the name of the killer yet?

frreal on April 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM

They usually don’t for a long time, though I’m surprised that the media isn’t speculating right now. Wait for the police report.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 4:21 PM

All the interviews with the students and they haven’t found one person that new who the boyfriend of the girlfriend was?
They know why won’t they tell us?

frreal on April 16, 2007 at 4:22 PM

I seriously doubt this was a crime of passion in the legal sense (i.e. in hot blood). It was methodical, premeditated in in the coldest of blood I can imagine.

spmat on April 16, 2007 at 4:22 PM

I think we should all slow down on the Muslim angle here, at leats at this point. We have had far too many school shootings with no connection to Islamic extremism for us to jump to that conclusion at this point. If it later turns out he was Muslim, then we would be justified to run with it.

Lancer on April 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM

The FBI and Virginia Tech are the ones who seem to be fueling this speculation by refusing to give the name of the gunman. And the FBI has made it clear in the past that they think Americans bent on hate-crimes against Muslims are as dangerous to our security as Islam.

Why would they not name this terrorist shooter of students if he were not Pakistani or Indonesian? BTW, Tech has an Indonesian population with a website telling how to best get a visa.

Anyway, this tragedy is a real wakeup call. Anyone can get a student visa, and campuses have very little security. Does anyone recall that Muslim student at UCLA (or USC I can’t remember) who tested security at the library? And another student just happened to record it with a cellphone. Terppole’s comment reminded me of it.

januarius on April 16, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Why haven’t they released the name of the killer yet?

If he’s a student (and conceivably under 18) I’m sure they have to contact his next of kin first.

They’re also dealing with a bunch of dead kids – I doubt their biggest concern is the media (no snark intended). I feel just awful for the first responders, in addition to the victims and their families. Nothing could prepare them for this.

Tanya on April 16, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Professor Blather

Who says this was unplanned?
Capitalist Infidel on April 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM

For example:

To the best of my understanding (from first-hand accounts) this all started with an ex-boyfriend finding his girlfriend in bed with another guy.

Your theory certainly makes more sense than that – but I still don’t believe it, unless we find out that he had some extensive training in his background.

And even then it seems impossible. Compare the firepower that two shooters in Columbine used.

Maybe we’ll find out it really was some spurned boyfriend who happened to be on the Olympic pistol team. Who knows?

Professor Blather on April 16, 2007 at 4:26 PM

All the interviews with the students and they haven’t found one person that new who the boyfriend of the girlfriend was?
They know why won’t they tell us?

frreal on April 16, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Is it getting reported on message boards? If not, then the media probably doesn’t know either.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 4:26 PM

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