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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Keep an M-16 (or an M4) clean and it isn’t unreliable at all

Yep.

I don’t know how it is in all types of units, buy not many 9mms are issued anyway. Officers, medics, maybe the 1st SGT, 60 gunners. Plus, I think if you asked cops which one they would rather carry….

reaganaut on April 16, 2007 at 10:25 PM

This is why the military trains you to attack through the ambush. The longer you stay in the kill zone, the more likely you will be killed. Of course, everyone has to rush the ambush to defeat it. Nobody rushed the shooter here. That’s why so many kids died. The politically correct passive doctrine of dealing with violence is deadly.

And we didn’t let this happen. The shooter did it and bears all the blame, not the university nor society nor bad toilet training.

Tantor on April 16, 2007 at 6:22 PM

Palabra…

PinkyBigglesworth on April 16, 2007 at 10:25 PM

Or should we take a ‘values’ exam before being allowed into the country? I think half the American populace would fail that..

Reaps on April 16, 2007 at 9:06 PM

You may be on to something there, mate. Not because I don’t want you into the country, you sound like rather a splendid fellow who would be a great credit to whichever one of our states you chose to reside in (please consider Texas, we’d love to have ya), but because I have a pretty good idea just what part of our locals might fail such a test and, who knows, maybe we could ship them to fwance afterwards. :-)

Misha I on April 16, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Why is there all this speculation about the effectiveness of the pistol? It doesn’t matter how small a gun is if you have a room of stationary students cowering under desks or on the ground within point blank to 30 feet range(which is plausible if its a contained classroom), it would be easy to target vitals like the head and heart if you blocked the exit, if they were autos, he could just sit at the door and spray people at his leisure.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 10:31 PM

So you think we should keep on letting everyone into our country, be it if they like our country or hate it?

Yet we have Nukemhill defending those who disagree with America’s ideals coming here to work, study, and become citizens.

I said nothing of the sort. I hope you enjoyed knocking down those lovely strawmen. This is typical of you. You put words in peoples’ mouths which simply don’t represent what they said at all. Then you go on a self-rightous rampage about how un-American they are, or, if they don’t believe in your G-d, they’re automatically a total relativist.

You argue with the logic of a 15 year old. Like I said before. Grow up.

nukemhill on April 16, 2007 at 10:32 PM

Greta just said Fox will look at the possible gun types the killer used. Wonder if we’ll see a smg or fully auto “assault rifle”?

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:33 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with the dead, the injured and their families. May their souls through the Mercy of God rest in Peace.

As for circumstances that lead to this, help is always several minutes away when the worst happens. An armed citizen could have made the difference for a few of the poor souls.

Zorro on April 16, 2007 at 10:33 PM

What has bothered me is he was such a good shot..to me that would mean he would have to be somewhat if not totally calm….very disturbing.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 10:34 PM

Scott Adams has a great response to your type of argument:

“I agree with your analysis of your hallucination.”

nukemhill on April 16, 2007 at 10:35 PM

Actually, I’ve heard just the opposite. The M-16 is so unreliable that a lot of service personnel will toss it in a fire fight and use the Beretta.

Nonsense. I hated the M-16 (I understand the M-4 is much more reliable, but never played with one) to the point that I chose to carry an M-14 (actually an XM-21) for most combat situations (other than clearing a building or tunnel). But I’d never have ditched an M-16 in favor of a 9MM. Now, ditching a 16 for an AK… Yeah, that is (was) not uncommon.

LegendHasIt on April 16, 2007 at 10:37 PM

Greta says killer had 9mm and .22. Firearms expert shows properly cleared wondernine. Greta wonders if it’s a killers gun of choice.

Expert tells truth, gun isn’t evil, just a tool.

Expert shows properly cleared .22 semi auto.

Gun expert again calls gun a tool, not evil being lusting for blood.

Expert leaves.

Better than I expected. Little to no gun foolishness and Enemy Press lies.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:38 PM

Greta just said Fox will look at the possible gun types the killer used. Wonder if we’ll see a smg or fully auto “assault rifle”?

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:33 PM

Nope, I’m surprised. Just a standard nine and a 22 target pistol, and the guy was very reasoned, said its just a tool, and that its the actions of a person.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 10:40 PM

I’m puzzled. Yes and pissed off that the victims
or would be victims didn’t swarm and flatten this nut.
Can anyone explain how this nut shot that many people
and wasn’t attacked by those near him.

I’m not at all trying to be a jerk about this.
How could some of them not try to jump this nut seeing he’s
going to kill you. . . . Maybe some did. .

Confussed,puzzled, and pissed.

Texyank on April 16, 2007 at 10:50 PM

Can anyone explain how this nut shot that many people and wasn’t attacked by those near him.

The deadening hand of government “care.” We’ve infantilized ourselves too much. We no longer do, we wait for the government to do.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:52 PM

more info from ABC

Campus police have identified a person of interest who is not currently in police custody. Police say the person of interest is a male who knew the female who was killed in the original double homicide at the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory. Flinchum also said he is not a student and that he knew the female who was killed in the original double homicide.

William Amos on April 16, 2007 at 10:54 PM

I’ve been reading these 670 or so comments all day now and I am just stunned at how it’s gone to “what kind of gun” he used. We should be focused on why this guy did what he did and how we can prevent it in the future. this is a national tragedy and unfortunately, the left will use this to further their anti-gun agenda.
The bottom line is that no matter what kind of gun this evil man had, he ambushed all these kids – caught them off guard. And Texyank, maybe some of them did try to jump this nut and got shot in the process. We won’t know until the investigation is complete. Until then, it’s pointless to speculate and play the “what if” game.

pullingmyhairout on April 16, 2007 at 10:56 PM

If someone’s pointing a gun at you, RUSH THEM. The odds of you surviving by being passive are minimal, but if you rush you’ve got a chance (fairly good actually, given how fast you can cover ground, especially in a group situation where the guns not targeted at you and there’s too much stimulation for the perp). Much better to go down fighting like Flight 93 than to sit, hoping for the best as 33 or 3000 are killed.

Every person is a member of the militia and has a duty to defend the populace. Raise a hue and cry and deal with the perp, since the police will only get there in time to count the bodies and trace the ballistics. In an armed robbery or a mass shooting, you’re probably already dead. Try for another outcome.

libertarianuberalles on April 16, 2007 at 10:56 PM

Can anyone explain how this nut shot that many people and wasn’t attacked by those near him.
The deadening hand of government “care.” We’ve infantilized ourselves too much. We no longer do, we wait for the government to do.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:52 PM

Doubly sad if that’s the reason. Have we become
sheep, Zombies in addition to dependent . . .

Texyank on April 16, 2007 at 11:00 PM

pullingmyhairout on April 16, 2007 at 10:56 PM

We’ve covered most of the other aspects of the story already, that’s probably why we’ve moved on to the guns.

Unless the killer left a note or something, we’ll never know “why.” How to prevent it in the future? Enslave everyone, or free everyone to defend themselves.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:08 PM

Texyank,

Think “Katrina.”

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:09 PM

Re: The 9mm round

For these reasons, it is the standard issue sidearm for most of the U.S. armed forces. I believe they use Beretta.

Yes, the Beretta is the standard issue sidearm, but it’s not without criticism. Much as with the 5.56mm fired by the M-4/16, it’s held by some to be less-than-optimal due to the poor stopping power. For conventional, battlefield, army-on-army war situations, as with the 5.56mm, this was not considered an issue as the main emphasis was on enabling the soldier to maximize the amount of ammunition carried for the weight (one might tend not to think of it, but pick up a case of 9mm at a gun show someday and just walk around with it for half an hour–the stuff gets heavy). A secondary consideration was that, on the conventional battlefield, it’s often more valuable to wound than kill the enemy, as the wounded soldier sucks up additional resources. This was another part of the rationale for downsizing to 5.56mm from the 7.62mm of the M-14 when adopting the M-16. The 9mm of the Beretta seems to comport with this general philosophy.

Obviously, both the 5.56mm rifle round and 9mm handgun round are still lethal munitions, if generally less so than the heavier-hitters they replaced. But in the unconventional battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, where range and stopping power are more significant, serious questions are being raised as to whether the 9mm Beretta needs replacement altogether (the fact that it sports a less-than universally appealing firing mechanism no doubt doesn’t help its case–I’m betting there isn’t an honest diehard out there who won’t admit they prefer the action of a Glock, Sig, or even 1911), and the M-14 (which was never fully retired, particularly amongst special forces) has actually experienced a minor revival. So in the military, at least, hitting power may be slowly on the way back.

No doubt “insiders” can and will pick at that, but it’s what I’ve gleaned from my readings of various periodicals, books, and websites. My personal experience is limited to handguns, and I’d have to say that if there were an intruder in my home I’d definitely reach for .40 or .45 before the 9mm. However, there’s no question that, in a semi-auto (which invariably kick harder than equivalent revolvers), 9mm is indeed noticeably less demanding to shoot.

About the only case I can imagine that a soldier in Iraq might set aside an M-4 in favor of a sidearm might be with special forces engaged in room clearing, as maneuvering in close quarters is easier with a handgun, and the elite guys still tend to carry .45′s, not 9mm’s. And in CQB stopping power is definitely still a good thing.

Blacklake on April 16, 2007 at 11:11 PM

Texyank,

Think “Katrina.”

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:09 PM

Triply sad

Texyank on April 16, 2007 at 11:11 PM

My last comment in this thread is this: a murderer, or fire or tornado or tumor or oncoming car or ham sandwich, etc can take your life, or the life of those you know and/or love. All we really have, that no one can take away is our own salvation in Christ. Night’ all.

Buck Turgidson on April 16, 2007 at 11:14 PM

No doubt “insiders” can and will pick at that, but it’s what I’ve gleaned from my readings of various periodicals, books, and websites. My personal experience is limited to handguns, and I’d have to say that if there were an intruder in my home I’d definitely reach for .40 or .45 before the 9mm. However, there’s no question that, in a semi-auto (which invariably kick harder than equivalent revolvers), 9mm is indeed noticeably less demanding to shoot.

Blacklake on April 16, 2007 at 11:11 PM

Use and practice with a 40 . It’s a great stopper with
good control.

Texyank on April 16, 2007 at 11:15 PM

Michelle also links to this 2002 shooting at Appalachian Law School in which the killer was subdued by two armed students, Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges.

INC on April 16, 2007 at 11:15 PM

Can anyone explain how this nut shot that many people and wasn’t attacked by those near him.

The deadening hand of government “care.” We’ve infantilized ourselves too much. We no longer do, we wait for the government to do.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 10:52 PM

I’m not sure if that’s true, but it should be investigated. Tex, we had a shooting at our school when I was there, and I will tell you, if my class had been there, the student would have been disarmed physically by the guys in my class. What I will tell you is, the student shot their intended target, a few students bolted and ALL the teachers bolted, but most students stayed put. The students were ordered on the ground by the shooter, and they all pretty much complied.

If a shooter’s intent is a large body count, even with a pair of pistols, these students are easy targets, espcially for someone looking to kill massively. Remember, most of the Columbine killers victims were killed with a sawed-off shotgun at point blank range in the library, sitting at or hiding under desks and tables.

While people ask why the Columbine killers didn’t kill more than this guy with more weapons and bombs as well, I believe they could have easily killed many more. They fired many rounds into the lockers and halls, and threw pipe bombs in the halls as well with no target, and also returned to the cafeteria to blow up those big bombs that failed to go off, again with no target. Those were rounds and bombs that could have just as easily been used to kill more people.

If it seems like I’m a little obsessive about school shootings and everything about them, its because of the shooting at my high school. When it happens again and you hear it in the news, it all rushes back to you, I can remember every second of that day, and most of the next.

For me, I study it, I don’t know why, I guess I just have to know what causes these things, and if I can, try and help people understand, or maybe help them prevent or minimize them. I used to keep it to myself, and try to be subtle about where I came from with my opinions on the subject when these shootings occured, but I felt like I had to out myself this time.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 11:19 PM

How to prevent it in the future? Enslave everyone, or free everyone to defend themselves.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:08 PM

imho, I think that carry laws are good. we have them here in Texas. The problem is that they don’t go far enough – there are so many “gun free zones” around that you might as well leave the darn thing in the car…my husband had a carry license years ago, but let it lapse – his comment: “What’s the point?”

If more people carried concealed weapons, criminals just might think twice about going on shooting sprees. Not that it mattered in this case because that sorry cowardly son of a b!tch shot himself.

Depressing day and I’m going to bed.

pullingmyhairout on April 16, 2007 at 11:23 PM

It’s my guess that after he snapped and shot his girlfriend he realized he’d be going to prison or the chair. So he must’ve gone home, loaded up and came back an hour or so later with his new plan to kill everyone he could. I’m anxious to hear how a chinese visa holder got his hands on those guns.

bambam on April 16, 2007 at 11:25 PM

I’m anxious to hear how a chinese visa holder got his hands on those guns.

bambam on April 16, 2007 at 11:25 PM

According to Mayor Bloomberg, he probably bought it from a gunshop…. The kind that consistently breaks gun laws.

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:34 PM

One factor that might help explain the lethality of this incident might be (believe it or not) the .22 he was carrying. Overall a .22 is a pretty weak round. However, from what I understand (and assuming I’m not being taken in by an urban legend on this), a .22 caliber handgun round to the head can be exceptionally lethal. That is because a .22 doesn’t usually possess enough energy to exit the skull. Supposedly, it continues to “bounce around,” causing massive internal damage to the brain.

I’ve always heard this is why many professional hitmen in organized crime prefer to do their handiwork with a .22. That and the reduced blood spatter involved.

tommy1 on April 16, 2007 at 11:35 PM

ScottG on April 16, 2007 at 11:34 PM

or from the trunk of a car.

EnochCain on April 16, 2007 at 11:35 PM

Don’t be surprised if, once they autopsy the shooter, the report comes back that he was taken out by a police sniper or other rifle. That presumes that the reports of him missing part of his face/head are accurate. I don’t remember any of the contact head wounds I’ve seen from 9s doing that.

Catseye on April 16, 2007 at 11:37 PM

If it seems like I’m a little obsessive about school shootings and everything about them, its because of the shooting at my high school. When it happens again and you hear it in the news, it all rushes back to you, I can remember every second of that day, and most of the next.

For me, I study it, I don’t know why, I guess I just have to know what causes these things, and if I can, try and help people understand, or maybe help them prevent or minimize them. I used to keep it to myself, and try to be subtle about where I came from with my opinions on the subject when these shootings occured, but I felt like I had to out myself this time.

Bad Candy on April 16, 2007 at 11:19 PM

Thanks, Bad Candy

Texyank on April 16, 2007 at 11:45 PM

Don’t be surprised if, once they autopsy the shooter, the report comes back that he was taken out by a police sniper or other rifle. That presumes that the reports of him missing part of his face/head are accurate. I don’t remember any of the contact head wounds I’ve seen from 9s doing that.

I’ve been wondering that myself. When word first came out that he’d “shot himself in the back of the head”, my thought was “no, that means he didn’t shoot himself at all. Someone else did.” I wouldn’t be at all surprised. Like I said, mucho bad info for the first day or two. And it only gets amplified by Teh Intarweb.

nukemhill on April 16, 2007 at 11:53 PM

WaPo (the entire MSM, in fact) has an agenda — GUN CONFISCATION.

georgej on April 16, 2007 at 11:55 PM

….No doubt “insiders” can and will pick at that,
Blacklake on April 16, 2007 at 11:11 PM

Haven’t been an ‘insider’ for quite a while, but I’m sure not going to pick at that. You are essentially corect.
——————————–

I’ve been wondering that myself. When word first came out that he’d “shot himself in the back of the head”, my thought was “no, that means he didn’t shoot himself at all. Someone else did.”
nukemhill on April 16, 2007 at 11:53 PM

I had a passing thought along those lines earlier, after thinking of one of my earlier posts a bit more: It certainly is within the realm of possibility that another student or staff WAS armed and ended the massacre with a well placed shot from behind.

And not coming forward for fear of repercussions from the College Admin, Law enforcement or ambulance chasing lawyers for carrying a weapon in contravention of the rules and regulations.

Given the climate of the country these days, I wouldn’t blame him for not coming forward.

Just a thought.

LegendHasIt on April 17, 2007 at 12:05 AM

Huh? That’s just stupid. If you are visiting here, you are only allowed to say nice things?

nukemhill on April 16, 2007 at 9:51 PM

“That’s stupid?” It’s “stupid” to expect that visitors to our country actually show a little respect? Would you go to China and mouth off about what a disgrace it is? Would you go to Russia and publicly bash Putin? Would you walk down the streets of Cuba waving an upside down Cuban flag? Would you go to dinner at a buddy’s house and tell his wife that her cooking sucks?

Very strange comment

Gregor on April 17, 2007 at 12:21 AM

A secondary consideration was that, on the conventional battlefield, it’s often more valuable to wound than kill the enemy, as the wounded soldier sucks up additional resources. This was another part of the rationale for downsizing to 5.56mm from the 7.62mm of the M-14 when adopting the M-16. The 9mm of the Beretta seems to comport with this general philosophy.

That is assuming the enemy cares about it’s troops. Soviet Russia didn’t much.

As it stands right now, the only resources that a wounded enemy soldier/terrorist consumes is our resources. We fix them, feed them and eventually turn them out to kill us again. I wonder how many captured in Iraq have turned on us again, after they have been released.

Tim Burton on April 17, 2007 at 12:29 AM

Tommy1 wrote: “Keep an M-16 (or an M4) clean and it isn’t unreliable at all.”

Correct.

My son said that his fellow Marines in Iraq would clean their rifles at least twice a day, often more, depending upon the sand and wind. Before he deployed, at my suggestion, he took two large bottles of Militec-1 synthetic lube (with some smaller dispensers) with him. As some returned Marines informed him, CLP appears to be a notorious “sand and dirt magnet” over there.

He emailed me to say that after using Militec-1, any sand and dirt would simply wipe away with a rag (something that I had already discovered in competition shooting). His unit armorer ended up putting in an order for the entire company.

He, personally, never had any failures while in Iraq.

georgej on April 17, 2007 at 12:33 AM

“That’s stupid?” It’s “stupid” to expect that visitors to our country actually show a little respect? Would you go to China and mouth off about what a disgrace it is? Would you go to Russia and publicly bash Putin? Would you walk down the streets of Cuba waving an upside down Cuban flag? Would you go to dinner at a buddy’s house and tell his wife that her cooking sucks?

Very strange comment

Sigh. Again with the strawmen.

nukemhill on April 17, 2007 at 12:33 AM

duff65: “Once more we have the same problem. In gun free zones only the “nutcase” has a gun. The president of the University and the state legislature should be held responsible for this outrage. If anyone except the killer had have been armed the outcome would have been much different.”

The murderer is responsible for his murders, not the president of the university nor the state legislature nor society nor President Bush nor the Easter Bunny. Even if concealed carry weapons were allowed on campus, it’s unlikely somebody would have been carrying one in the group that was targeted.

The fact is that there isn’t anything we can do about the occassional atrocity if we want to live in a free society. All the remedies are worse than the problem. In the end, we just have to suck it up.

Tantor on April 17, 2007 at 12:34 AM

I’ve always heard this is why many professional hitmen in organized crime prefer to do their handiwork with a .22. That and the reduced blood spatter involved.

As I recall, the .22 with the barrel removed (I don’t recall the reason for that detail, just the detail itself–might have had to do with the desire to maximize the energy involved, considering there was no need for any kind of accuracy over distance) held directly to the skull was a favorite of the Bolsheviks, as well. I believe it was used to dispatch a number of the Romanovs.

Blacklake on April 17, 2007 at 12:46 AM

dear Lord.

So much pain. Grief and pain.

daveintexas on April 17, 2007 at 12:50 AM

dear Lord.

So much pain. Grief and pain.

daveintexas on April 17, 2007 at 12:50 AM

Hi Dave, I’m an ace poster too.

Yeah, and it won’t get better. It doesn’t help that the media is crawling around everywhere. The media is relentless, they don’t leave you the f*ck alone. We had cameras and mics poking in our faces as we were evacuated and dickhead reporters shouting questions at you and chasing you with their crew, and ours was a minor event. Some people are hams and wanna be in front of the camera, but most want to be left alone, and the media is very stressful, frustrating and intrusive.

The dirty little secret is, the media doesn’t give a sh*t about you, they want their dramatic shot or sound bite, they sit and do their little Geraldoesque “oh what a horrendous, dastardly tragedy” but they don’t care about whether you wanna talk to them. I wanted to rip their damned cameras out of their hands and smash them in the street.

Bad Candy on April 17, 2007 at 1:06 AM

That is assuming the enemy cares about it’s troops. Soviet Russia didn’t much.

You’d think not, and it’s pretty clear survival of the individual in Stalin’s army of WW2 was infamously not a priority. But there are some surprising things to be found later on. For instance, in the jet age Soviet ejection seats, particularly the later ones, were (and for that matter still are) utterly outstanding, and easily a match for, if not clearly superior to, their western counterparts. (Of course, considering the costs of training pilots, this might have more to do with simply protecting one’s investments than respecting life per se–coupled, of course, with some solid engineering).

Also, a look at the treatment of the wounded during the Soviet stint in Afghanistan would be interesting. I’ve no doubt the medical care they received pales in comparison to the stuff US forces have available to them in the field today, but I still doubt that, unless they were under active duress to do so, any soldier anywhere would be inclined to completely ignore the needs of his injured comrades (no pun intended). So I have to assume the wounded would at least have to have been carried away by a couple of men, administered some sort of first aid, medevacced, etc., much like western troops. Anybody have specific information about how this actually was handled?

None of this is intended to root in retrospect for the bad guys, of course. The Soviet military model obviously had issues. I just have difficulty believing the strict Stalinist model of troop care could have long survived Stalin.

Blacklake on April 17, 2007 at 1:10 AM

I do not think I would want to be interviewed on TV as the guy who jumped out of the window. But this is what the system teaches them….surrender.

dingoatemebaby on April 17, 2007 at 1:50 AM

Blacklake – well, that fits in nicely with this thread, but someone told you wrong.

No barrel on a firearm minimizes, not maximizes energy.

The bullet is accelerating until just after it leaves the barrel.

The longer the barrel, the more velocity with the same load (up to some ridiculous extreme where the expanding gas can no longer push as hard – for a 22 that’s probably an 8-10 foot long barrel (don’t have the figures handy).

On another subject mentioned here, the M4 is a great submachinegun, just not much of an MBR. :) Actually the M4 is a carbine, but it’s on the low ragged end of the energy range for something like an MBR.

An M14 would be better. A lightweight M14 would be better still. The M4 would, especially with the HK 416 upper, make an awesome backup for snipers or heavy subgun, especially with the option of C-mags (100rd dual drum magazines).

Merovign on April 17, 2007 at 2:28 AM

From my blog, in response to many of the comments here tonight:

It’s been said today that these types of madness-driven mass murders have occurred throughout history, that this is nothing new. Perhaps that’s true, this kind of horror has shown a regular pattern in every civilization since man first created fighting implements that improved our skill in killing. But I would submit two points that make my initial blog entry above more poignant:

1. America is the epitome of civilization. We have made progress on every aspect of the human existence in this project we call America. We have broken many patterns of horror and hardship that plagued mankind until the dawn of America: disease, poverty, war. So why is it that we have not only retained this particular horror but increased it’s frequency?
2. America did not see mass murder perpetrated by a single person or a small group (less than 5) on this scale before the late 20th century. Why? It wasn’t means. The handgun was invented in the late 19th century, the fully automatic rifle just a few decades or so later. We certainly had the means. Clearly, this incident ratchets up the scale of such acts not only in the body count but also in how close it is to the last occurence of such a massacre. Let me put it this way: if public shootings were birth contractions, we would be very very close to a birth. Going mad enough to kill is not new, but not losing your will to murder after the first or second or fifth victim is. War-hardened soldiers should be immune to carnage, not students.

It is plain that a man seeks to destroy his enemy when he feels threatened. This man set out to destroy a whole building full of people. Nothing was particular about the victims to him except that they needed to die. I can’t help but think this guy was angry at the whole campus, and between 7 and 9am today the people in that academic building represented the collective campus in some sort of payback attempt. Think about it, he used two handguns: 9mm, and a .22. This seems very last-minute and very deliberate. Last minute because the two don’t match. You’d think if he had two guns they would be of the same kind or caliber. Deliberate because he had thought enough about the massive carnage he intended to inflict to see that he needed more than just a single handgun. Based on all this, the following is clear to me:

* He had a grudge against the VT campus, professors and students. He used all the ammo one man can carry. The group was clearly the target here.
* Something pushed that grudge over the edge today.
* He was not crazy. There was too much planning here (two guns, chains for the doors) for this to be some heat-of-the-moment event (though the slaying of his girlfriend may have been). Also, he committed suicide at the end of it all. If he was psychotic, he would have felt nothing, especially not suicidal feelings.

I’m going to add one more thing. A prediction. I predict that before the investigation and media tragedy-whoring is over it will come out that this guy was enduring some kind of slow anxtie emotional burn. A happy, well-adjusted person doesn’t slaughter 32 people and themselves. A psychotic doesn’t come all the way from China to study at Virginia Tech. Something happened to this guy, either in China or here that allowed him to watch the spurting blood and listen to the wailing of his classmates, bullet after bullet after bullet. 32 people is a lot of bullets, a lot of blood, and a lot of screams. I suspect that after all the screaming around him had died down, it was the screaming left in his head that made him fire the very last bullet.

unamused on April 17, 2007 at 2:44 AM

Well now we know why the identity of the shooter was “withheld” by “them”. Occam’s razor as usual.

honora on April 17, 2007 at 8:40 AM

Cho is a Korean last name.

I wonder if the guy was influenced by the perpetual nonstop anti-American propaganda in the South Korean media and public education system. I lived in Korea and know it firsthand. Look at the following webpage by an American documenting this propaganda and notice how they use children for the anti-Americanism. Korean students get twelve years of anti-Americanism. Here is a webpage documenting it:

http://www.usinkorea.org/

Also, look at this hit movie in Korea (even playing in the Washington area) with the American as the villain: http://www.hostmovie.com/

If this guy turns out to be Korean, I would start demanding the South Korean government to put an end to its sanctioned anti-Americanism.

januarius on April 17, 2007 at 8:57 AM

Umm… if this was a lovers quarrell:
1. Why did he have so many guns and so much ammo?
2. If he killed the girlfriend and lover in the dorm, why would he continue to kill?

faraway on April 17, 2007 at 9:17 AM

Universities gather together the best American youth by the thousands and then neglect or refuse to provide a visible, armed guard to protect such a treasure trove.

Meanwhile, the American federal government refuses to screen entrants into the U.S. effectively and neglects to take a hand in controlling anti-American propaganda. I’ve said before that the American governments (federal, state, and local) neglect core responsibilities of Justice, State, and War in favor of playing sugar daddy and nurse maid. It seems the hundreds of billions of dollars the Americans spend on Social Security and Medicare would be much better spent safeguarding the future of one’s own family and the future of the country.

Kralizec on April 17, 2007 at 9:31 AM

I heard this morning that 3 of the 4 critical victims have been upgraded to stable condition. At least some goodness.

I wonder what Rosie and the gang at “The View” will be discussing this AM.

Wuptdo on April 17, 2007 at 9:31 AM

Blacklake – well, that fits in nicely with this thread, but someone told you wrong.

No barrel on a firearm minimizes, not maximizes energy.

The bullet is accelerating until just after it leaves the barrel.

In that case, maybe they removed the barrels to diminish the energy. As I said, I only recall the peculiar detail that the barrels of the pistols were removed, not the why of it.

Also, I’m not certain the weapons in question were .22′s, only that they were rather small caliber.

Blacklake on April 17, 2007 at 11:29 AM

Possibly, at the very least his immigration status was not a prohibitor, the firearms were illegaly modified (sn# obliterated) AND illegaly stored on campus, AND illegaly carried on campus (I point this out only to demonstrate that he was NOT a law abiding citizen before he went on a rampage)

Drtuddle on April 17, 2007 at 3:17 PM

I’ve always heard this is why many professional hitmen in organized crime prefer to do their handiwork with a .22. That and the reduced blood spatter involved.
As I recall, the .22 with the barrel removed (I don’t recall the reason for that detail, just the detail itself–might have had to do with the desire to maximize the energy involved, considering there was no need for any kind of accuracy over distance) held directly to the skull was a favorite of the Bolsheviks, as well. I believe it was used to dispatch a number of the Romanovs.

Blacklake on April 17, 2007 at 12:46 AM

Black, 22 rifles are commonly used by ranchers precisely because of the small caliber bullets tendency to pass through one layer of bone but not make it out the other side. Ranchers who need to put down cattle would take a shot at the skull knowing it would scramble the brains but not make a horrible mess. I imagine mobtypes had similar logic. As far as a carry weapon, most people would argue that its not powerful enough to stop an angry attacker or someone high on drugs. On the other hand, it has little recoil compared to a 45 or 9mm handgun and even little bullets that hit their target obviously are more effective than big bullets that miss.

RobertCSampson on April 17, 2007 at 7:38 PM

Possibly, at the very least his immigration status was not a prohibitor, the firearms were illegaly modified (sn# obliterated) AND illegaly stored on campus, AND illegaly carried on campus (I point this out only to demonstrate that he was NOT a law abiding citizen before he went on a rampage)

Drtuddle on April 17, 2007 at 3:17 PM

You forgot to mention the he is a MURDERER too.

RobertCSampson on April 17, 2007 at 7:39 PM

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