On April 16th, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, America’s deadliest random act of violence occurred.
Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed thirty-two people and wounded 15 others. After the attacks he later shot and killed himself which makes the total amount of deaths thirty-three people. This massacre is the most deadly shooting by a single gunman in United States history. Students were getting ready to go to class just like any other day. However one student planned on changing things up that day.Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech began the random attacks at 7:15 am. The first classes of the day didn’t even begin until 8 am.
The killer started off the spree at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a co-ed dormitory that houses 895 students. The police originally thought the killer left the campus after his first set of killings of Emily Hilsher and Ryan Clark so the university was not locked down and classes remained scheduled as normal. However, Cho did not leave the campus and he was preparing to continue his rampage at another university building.His next stop was at Norris Hall, an engineering and science building and he reportedly chained the doors so people could not escape. From there he went from classroom to classroom, building to building, shooting anyone that he came into contact with. At this point the university sent out a mass email. “Subject: shooting on campus” “A shooting incident occurred at West Ambler Johnston earlier this morning.
Police are on the scene and are investigating. The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case.Contact Virginia Tech Police at [phone number removed]. Stay attuned to the www. vt. edu.
We will post as soon as we have more information. ” This email brings up controversy simply because it didn’t give the students enough information regarding what was going on around campus. So some students ignored it and later paid the price. They later sent out a second mass email as well. “Please stay put,” it warned.
“A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows. ” That email s what reporters believed should have been sent out first because it was more demanding and informational and would make the students realize that whatever was going on outside wasn’t a joke and is actually happening at their campus. Seung-Hui Cho was only twenty-three years old at the time of the attacks. He was a twenty-three year old mass murderer however. He was a senior undergraduate student at the university which he killed thirty-two people.
He later killed himself after officers breached the doors of the building where the majority of the shooting had taken place.He was originally born in South Korea but moved to the United States when he was eight years old with his family. In middle school, he was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder also known as selective mutism, as well as major depressive disorder. After he was diagnosed he began to receive therapy and special education until his junior year in high school.
There were reportedly several instances of his abnormal behavior while he was attending Virginia Tech but were ignored until after the killings.Some of his plays that he did in his Theater class and other writings he submitted were considered odd. Most of his writings had references to violence which caused concern among his teachers and his classmates. A few members of his family came out and expressed concerns about his behavior during his childhood after the incidents. They believed that Cho was mentally ill and that his immediate family was in denial about his mental health. One of his uncles noticed he never said much and did not mix with other children while growing up.His aunt described Cho as cold and a cause for family concern when he was just in grade school. His grandfather during an ABC News Nightline interview on August 30th, 2007 expressed his concerns for Cho growing up because he would never make eye contact, would never look up at him, nor ever calling him grandfather which was thought to be as very disrespectful in the Asian culture.
Cho was considered very intelligent by his classmates growing up because he was so good at mathematics and English while attending school but it went unnoticed because of all the antics.In 1999 while Cho was in eighth grade, the Columbine High School massacre made national news and Cho seemed to be intrigued by it according to one of his classmates. “I remember sitting in Spanish class with him, right next to him, and there being something written on his binder to the effect of, you know, Fuck you all, I hope you all burn in hell,” which I would assume meant us, the students.
” As you can see, Cho has more than enough encounters with his fellow students growing up. And then the massacre occurred. And everybody that knew Cho growing up came together saying how they believed something was mentally wrong with Cho.After examination, law enforcement investigators determined that Cho used a Glock 19 pistol during the attacks and fired more than 170 shots during the killing spree and found at least seventeen empty magazines at the scene.
The time Cho spent between the two shooting events on April 16th, Cho visited a local post office near the Virginia Tech campus where he mailed a package with a DVD inside to the New York headquarters of NBC News, which contained video, photographs, and a note explaining the reasons for his actions.NBC later contacted authorities and made the controversial decision to publicize Cho’s sendings by releasing some of what they received like pictures and clips of the video he sent. I think that Virginia Tech could have handled the day of April 16th, 2007 a lot better generally speaking. I feel that they could have prevented a lot of the deaths if they responded earlier, sent out better emails saying what exactly was going on, and could have more aggressively pursued Seung-Hui Cho to prevent the amount of killings that he actually did.So much so that the Department of Education fined the University $55,000 on March 29th, 2011 for waiting too long to notify students of the initial shootings.
That fine was the highest amount that the Department of Education could levy for failing to notify students in a timely manner. I also believe that this massacre could have been prevented if Cho got the mental treatment that he needed considering the fact that he had two known disorders. Major Depression Disorder and Severe Anxiety Disorder.
His family could have helped him and got him the help that he needed.The combination of the two and the fact that he was unstable throughout his short lifetime could have been just enough to prevent this awful killing spree from happening. To this day, Americans as well as students all over the world are still affected by the massacre. Thousands of heartfelt messages of sympathy arrived on the Blacksburg, Virginia campus.
Some of them beings letters, some of them being paintings. I feel that America came together as a whole to commemorate the people lost in this tragedy. People also gathered to mourn after the shootings by lighting candles and making memorials to those killed or injured during the attacks.