Posted by Curt on 16 April, 2007 at 11:35 am. 6 comments already!

I’m sure most of you have heard about the shooting today in Virginia, some excellent blogging done already by scores of bloggers (see below).  Extremely sad news, and something in which we (meaning law enforcement) train for quite routinely.  After Columbine the department I work for switched policies from a Containment mode to a Seek & Destroy mode (my terms, not the Department) meaning if there was an active shooter inside a school the first officers on scene must team up and hunt down the shooter.  I’m hoping this is what happened today:

At least 32 people are confirmed dead and at least another 21 are wounded after a shooting at Virginia Tech University Monday morning, federal law enforcement officials told FOX News.

Campus police said there was only one shooter and he is now dead. They are unsure if the shooter was a student and it was unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life.

[…]at 7:15 a.m. Monday, a 911 call came in to the campus police department concerning an incident at West Ambler Johnston, a residence hall, and that there were multiple shooting victims, Steger said. While that investigation was underway, a second shooting was reported in Norris Hall, located at the opposite end of the 2,600-acre campus.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said at least one person was killed at West Ambler Johnston, a residence hall, but several others were injured in that shooting. At least 20 were killed in classrooms in Norris Hall, an engineering building, Flinchum said.

I will update with more as it comes in.

UPDATE

Instapundit with an important update:

And reader John Lucas, who works with a Virginia law firm, emails that Va. Tech is a "gun-free zone." Well, for those who follow the law. There was an effort to change that but it failed: "A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly." That’s unfortunate.

All it would have taken is one gun and someone with the courage to use it to stop this madman.  



UPDATE II

Cell phone video from the scene:

UPDATE III

A bit more on the gunman:

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 IV

Eyewitness account:


UPDATE V

WTF!

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…

It’s so hard because I know that those police officers are putting their lives on the line and it’s so chaotic…There needs to be a better system…

Whoa boy.

UPDATE VI

From FR, not confirmed:

“Friend of mine says that an active at his fraternity reports that the shooter first had an argument with his girlfriend – it escalated, and he shot her. Then, about an hour later, he went over to Norris Hall and started popping people. “

Another:

4th person account here but a friend of a friend of mine has a brother who is a state trooper just north of Blacksburg and he has said that it was a disgruntled boyfriend. No additional info on how killing her turned into killing 30 more people then himself.


UPDATE VII

Another account stating that it was a boyfriend/girlfriend fight:

I work at Tech and the story I’ve heard is that the boyfriend himself spent the night with the girlfriend and that they got in an argument in the morning. When others in the dorm came to her “rescue” he pulled a gun and killed the girlfriend. The RA then came to help and was shot in the foot. No idea whether this is true, but it’s what I heard.

All of it is hearsay but take it for what it’s worth.

UPDATE VIII

Dan Riehl found this on a Virginia board:

Guys,

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 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.

Which jives with the other information we are getting.  BF shoots GF and her lover, goes and arms himself and then proceeds to go on a rampage.  Which makes this even more interesting:

“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 IX

Still no ID on the suspect according to some news organizations:

DC Channel 4 (NBC) said this just in… police have not ID’d the shooter, are having difficulty, can’t get fingerprints (that’s what the head said, but I think he meant no prints on file anywhere), had no ID on himself, and was not carrying a cellphone.

UPDATE X

Overview of the Va Tech President’s news conference:

V Tech president says they are still unsure if there was a connection between first and second shooting.

Question about why no lock down after first shooting. Campus police guy says they thought it was isolated to the one building.

President says at 7:30 people were already on their way to classes, because a majority of students live off campus.

Reporter says first e-mail came at 9:22.

If the guy did shoot his GF and her lover and then left the campus most of law enforcement, hell most people, would believe it was a isolated shooting and the guy ran.  Hindsight is always 20/20 but no one would believe that a nutcase would go rearm and then come back to massacre the school.  Just doesn’t happen that way.  Until now. 

UPDATE XI

Firsthand account from an EMT at the scene:

his is a fwd from an EMT : 26.2 : 4/16/07 3:43 PM
that is friends with a VT alum buddy of mine: “Guys,
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.”

UPDATE XII 1410hrs PST

Another first hand account:

NFT: Virginia Tech : AJ23 : 4/16/07 3:08 PM
Just thought I’d post up another thread. I KNOW there are other threads, but thought you guys would appreciate the point of view of someone that was there.

I woke up around 10 in my dorm to the loudspeaker on campus saying classes were cancelled and the campus was on lockdown. Apparently the kid did his girlfriend in first execution style in a dorm (West AJ) about two minutes from my dorm. He then injured the RA and got away where two hours later he chained doors at Norris Hall and went off on people there. I’m sure you guys have been hearing the same, but what looks to be the gunman my friends saw standing in shock right outside of burruss hall around 1030. I can’t tell you for sure if that was the gunmen, but all reports look like it was an Asian in a black coat who my friends saw. Police were everywhere this morning.

In response to all you guys complaining about the security and police at Virginia Tech, I can assure you the police force we have in place here is a damn good one. It would be easy for a suspect to go across campus on a Monday morning with no problem and for him to access an academic building in any campus, let alone ours. I’m confident the police did their best work in the situation they were in. As awful as it is, this is the truth. I still feel safe at Virginia Tech, despite the two fluke events that happened this year.

The above was what I told the Philadelphia Daily News this afternoon. Just thought you guys would want to know, and I expect the flaming will begin for an extra post on this because some of you guys never seem to let go even during a tragedy like this.

UPDATE XIII 1430hrs PST

All of this talk about locking down the campus is missing the point in my opinion.  We’re not talking about a high school campus people.  We’re talking about a HUGE school with dormitories spread out in a huge area.  Does anyone have any idea of the logistics of doing that?  For ONE crime scene that everyone and their brother believed to be a isolated incident? 

Come on, get a grip. A campus that size is almost as big as a good sized town!  Are people now going to expect the police to lock down the whole town due to one shooting incident?

I know people always love to blame authorities but the person to blame for this is the suspect.

UPDATE XIV 1445hrs PST

Awesome post about the sudden urge to blame authorities for this:

Can YOU predict the behavior of your next door neighbor? Can you predict the behavior or 26 thousand people? Only in GENERAL can you do that, and in GENERAL, they did all the correct things.

Did they notify the students? Yes they did.

But THINK man, they had to get to the first scene, interview shocked witnesses, follow up on those leads, the information they had led them to believe that it was an isolated incident, they treated it as such. They went about looking for the individual.

Now if NOTHING further had happened, and they shut down the campus, people would have been yelling about how they shut down the campus for an isolated incident. They have stated they had no reason to believe that anything further would occur. THAT piece of information lay in the CHOICE of the shooter, this all assuming that the two incidents are directly related which they have NOT yet disclosed, if indeed they even know yet.

Now take into consideration, had they shut down the campus, it would have taken HOURS to clear it of the people already there and in transit. this STILL would have left hundreds if not thousands of people still in the vicinity, because the lock down would have simply stoppered people where they were, and its CLEAR that the gunman was among them already. NOTHING would have been prevented by locking down the campus. People would STILL have died. Ultimately the SHOOTER is responsible for his choices and actions. EVERYTHING else is REACTIONARY, and that takes TIME, it takes TIME to move that many people to action and you can NOT make choices as to whom or where to move those people when you have a virtual if not COMPLETE lack of information. You may as well have locked down the whole city. It would have done about as much good.

Some people in a rush to place blame on authorities have lost all their common sense.

UPDATE XV 1500hrs PST

A poster at FR put up the name RETRACTED (wrong info, not the shooter), a 2006 VT grad, as the shooter.  It’s unverified and the post has since been removed so we have no idea if this is just a prank or not, take it for what it’s worth.  The poster did attach a supposed picture of him also with a girl.  Won’t put that up until we verify this info.

UPDATE XVI 1730hrs PST

Drudge has this up right now:

He was said to have quarreled in a dormitory with his girlfriend, whom he believed had been seeing another man. A student adviser was called to sort out the fight. But the killer produced a gun and shot dead both his girlfriend and the adviser….

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.

While NIN has this up:

16 April 2007; 5:40 pm: From law enforcement source, speaking under strict condition of anonymity:

"I can tell you that there was only one shooter. Following the initial shooting at ‘West A.J.’ early this morning, police believed the suspect left the campus, and that the suspect was not a resident of the campus. It was during that investigation that the suspect returned to the campus prepared to kill as many people as possible. This was a premeditated act of mass murder, planned well in advance."

UPDATE XVII 1750hrs PST

186k Per Second found some real winners from the left on this shooting:

Freedom  says:
April 16th, 2007 at 11:03 am

This story reaks of a staged event… the headlines are totally coded as a staged event…

… Any time the phrase “at least” is preceeded before an injured or death count, it’s code (like graffitti is gang code) as a false flag/black op operation…

Here’s the proof:
http://frogsinhotwater.blogspot.com/

Yes, I’ll bet people died, but these shootings are always timed as distractions… and readers of Firedoglake know we’re about to have Gonzales in front of Congress shortly.

Pretty interesting, eh?

Nice….

Many eyewitness accounts here.

UPDATE XVIII 1945hrs PST

Take this for what it’s worth:

"Well, I’m screwed. They found a receipt in the gunman’s pocket indicating that he bought the gun from me in March. ATF is at my shop right now. See you later, I’m on my way to the shop right now."

[…]"Call BS all you like, but I just spent the last several hours with 3 ATF agents. I saw the shooter’s picture. I know his name and home address. I also know that he used a Glock 19 and a Walther P-22. The serial number was ground off the Glock. Why would he do that and still keep the receipt in his pocket from when he bought the gun? ATF told me that they are going to keep this low-key and not report this to the tv news. However, they cautioned that it will leak out eventually, and that I should be ready to deal with CNN, FOX, etc. My 32 camera surveillance system recorded the event 35 days ago. This is a digital system that only keeps the video for 35 days. We got lucky. By the way, the paperwork for Mr. Cho was perfect, thank God."

When some noted that the guy has been in country for less then a year he replied:

Mr. Cho had proof of Virginia residency, checkbook (for a second ID), and his green card(which is, of course, not green). That is all he needed to purchase a handgun.

We shall see.

UPDATE XIX 2110hrs PST

This blog has updated names and times:

In the morning around 7:15 am, he went to her dormitory at the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston Hall. If she were there, he shot her. If it wasn’t her, he shot her female roommate and then the residential assistant, Ryan Clark of Martinez. They didn’t shut down the university, so he continued and tried to find the ex-girlfriend or her new boyfriend in the engineering classrooms of the Norris Hall – see the picture above – a few hours later.

He didn’t know the exact location, so he has visited a few classrooms and lined up all students against a wall. The worst massacre took place at 9:50 am in room 200 where the students were learning German 2105. He shot them one by one; yes, the professor, Jamie Bishop, died first. Finally, the calm animal killed himself by a shot into his head once he was cornered.

Only problem with this is the timeline.  Over 2 hours went by between the two shootings.  Was he walking the campus all that time looking for the girl or was he, as I suspect, back home arming himself to the teeth for this massacre?

UPDATE XX 04-17-07 0900hrs PST

Overnight it appears they have identified the shooter and all the rumors over who it was yesterday were wrong, as usual:

The gunman suspected of carrying out the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead was identified Tuesday as a senior English major from South Korea. But police and university officials offered no clue to his motive.

"He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him," school spokesman Larry Hincker said, a day after the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

The rampage consisted of two attacks, more than two hours apart — first at a dormitory, where two people were killed, then inside a classroom building, where 31 people, including the gunman, died after being locked inside, Virginia State Police said. The gunman committed suicide.

Police identified the gunman in the classroom attack as 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui (pronounced Choh Suhng-whee). Cho held a green card — meaning he was a legal, permanent U.S. resident — and had been in the United States since 1992, federal officials said. Officials said he graduated from a public high school in Chantilly, Va., in 2003.

His family lives in Centreville, Va., a Washington suburb, but he was living on campus, in a different dorm from the one where the bloodbath began, the university said.

One law enforcement official said Cho’s backpack contained a receipt for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol. As a permanent legal resident of the United States, Cho was eligible to buy a handgun unless he had been convicted of a felony.

That Glock jives with the information from that gunshop owner in Update 18 btw….

UPDATE XXI 0930hrs PST

More information here which corroberate that gunshop owners story (that website seems to be down now, I wonder why?)

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said that a 9-milimeter handgun and a 22-calibur handgun were recovered from Norris Hall. Ballistic tests, conducted at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lab in Maryland, confirmed that one of the weapons matched the shooting in West Ambler-Johnston Hall.

The person of interest in regards to the first shooting in West Ambler-Johnston was an acquaintance of the female victim and is still under questioning. He was stopped immediately following the first shooting and was detained for questioning. As he was being questioned, the Norris shootings occurred. He is not a student.

The personal items of the victims were strewn all over the second floor, making it difficult for investigators to identify them, said Colonel Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police.

Victims were found in at least four different classrooms. The gunman was found amongst them, having taken his own life, Flaherty said.

There is no evidence at this time that there was an accomplice. Investigators are exploring if anyone helped Cho at any time.

Now we all know the gun control freaks will be out in force worldwide but all you have to do is point out that ONE person, whether it be the professors or the kids, inside those 4 classrooms…had they been armed then ONE bullet would have ended this massacre.  It takes time for police to arrive at a location, assess the situation, and then respond to it….thats just reality.  But a professor with a gun would have stopped these people from dying.  The gun control freaks can wail and cry all they want but the fact is that guns are here.  Laws will NOT stop a criminal from getting a gun.

Show some common freakin sense.

UPDATE XXII 0945hrs PST

Confederate Yankee has called out ABC and Brian Ross for the misinformation and outright lies he printed in his blog:

A day after posting a blog entry replete with falsehoods, and despite more than dozens of comments pointing out the factual inaccuracies of the story, Brian Ross and Dana Hughes of the ABC News blog "The Blotter" have yet to issue a retraction.

[…]The Ross entry states that high-capacity magazines "became widely available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned assault weapons." This is a patently false statement, containing no truth at all.

High-capacity magazines have been around for more than half a century, and the sale of high-capacity magazines was not impacted whatsoever by the 1994 Crime Bill. These magazines were freely and commercially available, both in retail stores and online, without interruption, for the 10-year life of the ban, the decades preceding it, and afterward.

Ross implies that high-capacity magazines are now for sale on Web sites as a result of the ban expiring. Again, this is a deceptive, inaccurate statement.

The fact of the matter is that high-capacity magazines were always available for purchase (as noted above) both online, and in retail stores, without interruption.

[…]It is also worth noting that one of the weapons used did not have a high-capacity magazine by any definition, and the other is typically used with a standard 15-round non-extended magazine that is moe or less an industry norm for pistols of its size.

So which side of the gun lobby do you think the MSM is on?

Doesn’t matter the story or the incident, the MSM continuing bias shines bright.

UPDATE XXIII 1015hrs PST

Atlas Shrugs and Fox News is reporting that the killer had ISMAIL AX written in red ink on his arm along with a note left in his dorm that railed against:

"rich kids" and "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus.

This blog ties it to Islam:

Just heard it on Fox News. Cho Seung-Hui left a suicide note and signed it as Ismael-AX (or Ismail-AX as the media published just now). Ismael is the Arabic for Ishmael the father of the Arabs, the son of Abraham and the one that Muhammad the founder of Islam favored above Isaac the father of the Jews. This terror seems to have indeed been motivated by Islam. Muslims believe that it was Ishmael that Abraham almost sacrificed on the mount of Moriah rather than Isaac. The feast of sacrifice, Eid Al Adha, celebrated by Muslims, celebrates that event by slaughtering sheep. Ismail-AX definitely slaughtered many innocent people like sheep yesterday.

We shall see.  And what kid uses words like "debauchery and charlatans?

ther’s Blogging:

>