Virginia Tech Part II

It is now official. Police say that of the two guns found at the scene where so many were murdered, at least one of the guns was used at the scene of the ‘domestic incident.’ They are not definitively saying that the shooter was the same in both incidents but there is definitely a connection between the two tragedies.

The shooter was from S. Korea and was in the U.S. as a permanent resident. He was 23 and a student at the University. He is described as a loner  and ‘troubled’ that no one knew well. He reportedly did leave a note with invectives and rants about rich white kids.

It is believed the shootings were planned. The shooter did not carry any identification, the serial numbers on the weapons were rubbed out, there were chains put on the exit doors at the second building.

Little is being said about the first shooting that was classified as a domestic. But one report indicates that the shooter was alleged to have been stalking several women recently. Recently his creative writing had gotten so disturbing that he had been referred to the student counseling service.

But more important is the victims. 32 dead. One victim was a professor. Liviu Librescu was an Israeli who was born in  Roumania. He was a holocaust survivor. He lived in the U.S. and taught at the college. When the shooting began to draw near, he used his body to bar the door to his classroom and encouraged his students to go out a window. He died protecting his students.

At least 2 other professors were also reportedly killed. The students came from across the U.S. and even from other countries. They were English majors, biology, French, international relations students, engineering and other courses of study. Our future leaders.

Students within the buildings were reported as having tried to help and protect each other and care for each other. Most were shot multiple times, as much as three shots per victim.

Numbers of injured have varied according to the source. But some reports indicate that 15 are now in stable or good condition. Two remain critical.

The college is offering counseling to the students.


Though I have tagged this as domestic violence, the issues surrounding the first shooting as less defined today than yesterday. The first shooting was initially identified as a domestic shooting. Very little is being said about that incident or it is being swallowed up in the news about the rest of the shootings.

I can say that while it is not unknown for a domestic incident to develop into a spree killing, it does seem to be relatively rare.

In DV the attacker most usually expends their rage on the wife or girlfriend, and sometimes bystanders who try to interfere or who happen to be ‘in the line of fire’ between them and the girlfriend. Sometimes they will go after other family members or persons they have a grudge against, but a spree killing- going after relative strangers is relatively rare in comparison to the number of domestic violence murders that happen.

In my opinion the key here is not DV. It is more in the terms ‘troubled’ and ‘loner’, the recent allegations of stalking several women and the reports that his creative writing had become more disturbing.

Spree killings often have a ‘trigger’. An incident that may have initiated the beginning of the murders. But in a spree rampage, any incident or person could precipitate it- not just one persons actions.

This one will continue to be investigated for months if not years. Each witness will be interviewed, some more than once. Each piece of evidence will have to be tested and the bodies will be examined. In short all is not known about this spree, it could be months maybe even years before all the information on the shootings is released.

Besides the crime scene, the college and all responders actions will be examined, critiqued and criticized. It is important to remember that everything happened in two short hours. Two hours to examine a crime scene, develop a theory of the crime, attempt to notify and protect thousands of people. It is a lot easier to look back at the issues now than it would have been in the midst of the chaos that would have accompanied even the first crime. And much more is known now than would have been known at the first crime scene. You know the old saying about hindsight being 20/20 or the one about Monday morning quarterbacking.

About the victims                                            

My thoughts, my sympathies, and my prayers to out to the students- both those who survived and those who did not, to the faculty and other employees of the college, to the families of them all and to the community as well as the state.

My sympathy is also with the rest of my country and my society. We all lost yesterday- though some more than others.


More and more disturbing info coming out about the shooter.

Info about the accusations of stalking, his detention for mental illness. Between the 1st and 2nd shootings, he sent materials to the NBC News which are described as disturbing.


1 Comment

  1. April 18, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Motives and triggers are unimportant. Only the absence of inhibitions matters. See Lesson V.

%d bloggers like this: