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Afternoon Press Conference Raises More Questions Than Answers

by Omar Maglalang
News Staff Writer
April 16, 2007

During a late-afternoon press conference Monday, Virginia Tech officials and administrators struggled to provide answers to a host of media questions about the massacre of 32 students in classrooms and a dorm earlier Monday morning.

When asked why officials did not close campus sooner when the shooting incident occurred in West Ambler Johnston, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said, “We thought the situation was handled. . . We knew two people were shot and that’s the information we went off of.”

Flinchum said police were aware the gunman had left the scene at West Ambler Johnston, a large dorm on campus where two people were shot and killed.

However, the many reporters from national and international news organizations that converged on the scene continued to press both Flinchum and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger for answers they didn’t have.

The lack of available information led university spokesman Larry Hincker to close down the questioning with the idea that another news conference would be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday with the idea that more information would be available.

For example, officials did not know how many of the more than 25 injured persons were critically injured.

“Hopefully we’ll have that information later tonight,” Hincker said after the afternoon session.

Officials said they are in the process of identifying bodies. When asked about morgue capabilities state medical examiner was brought on to facilitate the identifying of the dead bodies.

Various counseling centers have also been made available in Ambler Johnston, and in McComas, grief counseling will be provided as well.

A phone number for parents to identify their children has also been provided, (540) 231-3787, but this led to an automated answering machine.

“We have to think very carefully about the process of healing,” said President Charles Steger. “It’s going to be a long difficult road.”

Steger also noted that before reopening the university, “We have to find all the facts, we are dealing with tremendous grief.”


Comments (48)


I'm terribly sorry for the tragedy you and your classmates are suffereing through. I'm from a school that is slightly larger.

I'm sorry to hear that people are so upset about the campus not being shut down right away after the first two shootings. I believe the police handled the initial 2 shootings properly. I know that's hard to accept right now b/c of the devastation, but they reacted based on the information they had.

It is too difficult to close down a school of that size unless you have reason to believe that the rest of the student body is in danger. They had two people shot, which unfortunately is no reason to close the rest of the campus and cause undue panic. Hindsight is 20/20. No one is able to know how bad the situation is GOING to be.

V.R.F | April 16, 2007 8:28 PM

sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you

johnm6 | April 16, 2007 9:40 PM

I am deeply saddened by the horrific accidents that occurred. I feel for you, and agree that the police and campus officials could have done more to control the situation of the first shooting and control the campus in a better way.

Victoria | April 16, 2007 9:51 PM

It was a shocking thing to hear about the tragedy that occurred on the V-Tech campus today. I have lots of friends whom have attended V-Tech its just so hard to believe. Over the next few days the media will be doing all they can to point out all the things people didn't do and should have done. I find this very dissappointing. Although I don't totally agree with the way the campus police and the University handled the first shootings... I believe it is still very very difficult to judge the outcome of any situation. The first shootings seemed like an isolated situation. I don't believe that locking down the whole campus would have solved or prevented anything. It is quite obvious that this person had one agenda in mind and with a university of this size... there was really no way to stop him. Had the University and police acted differently it may have caused more of a panic and could have been worse than it was. Even if they had issued a lock down order the question would be... For how long do we stay locked down ??? After two hours of silence and no more shootings I am sure the lock down would have been retracted and the shootings still would have occurred. NO ONE can pass judgement on the people who witnessed todays tragedies, myself included. But the media really needs to stop passing judgement. The only person at fault today was the shooter himself.

Joe | April 16, 2007 10:21 PM

Thanks to the students who have been interviewed over and over about the
horrendous shooting today. Jamal
did an excellent job of telling his
cell phone video story! We have been
glued to the television all day and into
the evening. Our hearts, in this home,
send out prayers to you, on campus and
in the community.

Sally | April 16, 2007 10:34 PM

Thanks to the students who have been interviewed over and over about the
horrendous shooting today. Jamal
did an excellent job of telling his
cell phone video story! We have been
glued to the television all day and into
the evening. Our hearts, in this home,
send out prayers to you, on campus and
in the community.

Sally | April 16, 2007 10:35 PM

Thanks to the students who have been interviewed over and over about the
horrendous shooting today. Jamal
did an excellent job of telling his
cell phone video story! We have been
glued to the television all day and into
the evening. Our hearts, in this home,
send out prayers to you, on campus and
in the community.

Sally | April 16, 2007 10:35 PM

I disagree that the situation was handled correctly. I watched from San Diego as the news unfolded last year when the escaped convict was on campus and V Tech was shut down completely.The University should have handled this situation in the exact same way - and it appears that they just didn't want the negative publicity.
I am broken hearted that this tragedy took place and I beleive a University with the ability to shut down campus as they did last year should have done so again.

Lizzie Lacey | April 16, 2007 11:02 PM

Anyone who tries and defends the INactions of the police and campus authorities has no experience with such situations. We had an incident just last year where a couple of gunmen robbed a local gas station/convenience store and tried to flee on foot (car failed them). They were spotted a few blocks from a local grammar school. Our police and school district locked down the school and school personnel called each and every parent to inform them of what was happening. Within a couple of hours all students had been released to their parents and were safely home. Our town had a plan to follow ... developed post 9-11 ... and followed it to perfection. The gunmen were caught near the school grounds and a possible hostage situation was prevented.

All VT had to do was cancel classes ... place squad cars at every campus entrance ... lock down all campus buildings AFTER the first murders and this senseless tragedy would have been avoided. There is no excuse ... post 9-11 ... for the type of incompetence displayed by the campus and local police and by the University Administration.

We are a small town in New York. Maybe 9-11 hit us harder than most. But everyone should have learned that being prepared AND following a logical plan regardless of your "feelings" or "appearances" is the best way to prevent such horrible situations.

Daniel | April 16, 2007 11:05 PM

I don't know that you can blame the campus and Blacksburg police for not closing down campus as soon as those initial events took place. First, many people were already there, on the way there, or out of contact until they were going to be there. That places a lot of people in a very unsafe place outside of their classrooms/offices/buildings. If you lock down every single building immediately, where to the people outside go? What if they had locked down campus and the gunman had shot 20 people outside on the Drillfield? Would you be making speculations the other way?
Secondly, no one could have ever expected that after shooting two people in a dorm room, the gunman would then go on a rampage and shoot more than 50 people. Hindsight is always clearer, and we all have the luxury of speculating on what "could have been done" or "should have been done." What we have to keep in mind is that these men and women did everything they could to keep control of an already devastating situation. If there were someone fleeing from a double homicide (and again, there's no reason to think he wasn't fleeing), would it be better to have everyone going about their normal buisiness in their usual places, or to have 20,000 people scambling all over campus? Which seems safer for the general community?
I do agree that they should have made the university community aware of the situation earlier, and I do agree that, in hindsight, things could have been done differently. But placing the blame for these events on the men who were doing everything the could to protect and serve the Virginia Tech community is unfair. It's unfair to them and to those they work every day to keep safe.

Great reporting PB. Thanks for all your work through a very trying time.

Take care,

cd

cd | April 16, 2007 11:51 PM

I will not use hind sight to criticize the actions of the campus police chief or the university president. They did what they thought was right based on the facts as they knew them. Assuming that 26000 students and 10000 employees can be notified in the blink of an eye is rediculous, not to mention locking down "hundreds" of buildings and closing all entrances to an open campus in a matter of minutes. Had they known the future would they have done things differently? Of course they would have. But who out there anticipated a second attack a couple of hours later?

Russell | April 17, 2007 12:48 AM

The Campus should have been shut down after the first incident. The College Police clearly got tunnel vision in thinking that this was an isolated incident. We hear " our information at the time was" "we assumed" "we thought it best." The indisputable facts at the time were that two people had been shot and the shooter was "on the loose." The Campus population was notified Two hours later! They should have had the opportunity to make their own informed decisions; this being the "groves of Academe.".The VT Campus, students, staff, and relatives have my sincere condolences.......

Butch Toth | April 17, 2007 12:51 AM

Johnm6, What kind of dumb, stupid, ignorant statement is that??? The monumental, life-changing grief being felt by this community is expressed by you in a sarcastic way by saying "sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you". I am hoping that the webmaster removes your idiotic comments. You are obviously a mentally and socially backward individual. Your remarks are not cute, they are not appropriate. Grow a heart, its time to grow up.
To all of the VT community affected by today's events...you are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that God assuage the grief dealt so quickly and deeply to you today.

You_R_A_MORON_Johnm6 | April 17, 2007 12:56 AM

There is a lesson somwhere here isn't there? RIP to all that passed, except 1!

steve kaye | April 17, 2007 12:57 AM

This is a post in response to Daniel's comments from 11:05 pm. To compare the lockdown of a "local grammar school" to locking down and canceling classes at a 26,000 student university is inappropriate. I am glad that his "small town in New York" handled the situation with the gunmen who robbed a local convenience store to his satisfaction. However, to suggest that the decisions of university officials or local police were negligent and to imply that they didn't have the students' and staff's welfare in mind is unfair. It is also offhand to associate Virginia Tech and local police response as inadequate before all the facts are known. It seems that mostly level heads are prevailing and people are largely recognizing that the media's need to point a finger of blame isn't necessarily constructive. It also isn't constructive to link the university's, or law enforcement's, response--positively or negatively--to 9/11. That date comes with its own emotional burden. Until all of the facts are knows and full information is released, we should focus on the families who lost loved ones, and students who lost friends or have been otherwise traumatized by today's events. As a VT alum, my heart goes out to the campus community--students, administrators, families, staff, and Blacksburg locals--as well as to those across the nation and the world who love Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, Virginia, and cherish the time they spent there. We are all one family in orange and maroon today.

jb | April 17, 2007 1:04 AM

This is a post in response to Daniel's comments from 11:05 pm. To compare the lockdown of a "local grammar school" to locking down and canceling classes at a 26,000 student university is inappropriate. I am glad that his "small town in New York" handled the situation with the gunmen who robbed a local convenience store to his satisfaction. However, to suggest that the decisions of university officials or local police were negligent and to imply that they didn't have the students' and staff's welfare in mind is unfair. It is also offhand to associate Virginia Tech and local police response as inadequate before all the facts are known. It seems that mostly level heads are prevailing and people are largely recognizing that the media's need to point a finger of blame isn't necessarily constructive. It also isn't constructive to link the university's, or law enforcement's, response--positively or negatively--to 9/11. That date comes with its own emotional burden. Until all of the facts are knows and full information is released, we should focus on the families who lost loved ones, and students who lost friends or have been otherwise traumatized by today's events. As a VT alum, my heart goes out to the campus community--students, administrators, families, staff, and Blacksburg locals--as well as to those across the nation and the world who love Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, Virginia, and cherish the time they spent there. We are all one family in orange and maroon today.

jb | April 17, 2007 1:05 AM

I feel saddened by the tragic events of today and my heart goes out to all the victims and everyone at VT. But this is not the time for finger pointing. It is the time for healing the finger pointing can come later once all the facts are in. To those that say the campus should have been locked down after the first incident what would you have said if they would have and then that idiot did nothing more and you were locked down for many hours. You would have criticized the administration for over reacting.

Bob | April 17, 2007 1:17 AM

Here's what chaps my rear: yes, it would've been very tough to do anything about the people on campus except notify them of the situation. But what about the poor souls who LEFT for class between 7:15AM and the second shooting at 9:15AM? Whether the gunman left the dorm, campus, and/or state, he's still ON THE LOOSE!! If I went to Virginia Tech and wasn't told about the shooting and went to class in between the two shootings, I'd be choking President Steger right now.

Zach Good | April 17, 2007 1:43 AM

I am an alumnus of Wright State University here in Dayton, Ohio. Please know that you are in my thoughts tonight. If there is ANYTHING AT ALL I can do to help in the aftermath of this horrible tragedy, I will do it. I'll keep an eye out for opportunities to lend a hand.

Be strong. We are all with you tonight.

Patrick Craig | April 17, 2007 1:57 AM

Daniel--

How old are you? 13? VT is like a small city not a single building grammar school how do you propose they lock down a small city? What good would blocking the entrances do, the shooter was ALREADY on campus? We live in an open society and, sadly, if an idiot or whacko wants you dead odds are in his/her favor.

This is a horrible tragedy and all the nation grieves for and with VT!

Teo | April 17, 2007 2:01 AM

God Bless you all...PLEASE stop the finger pointing and recriminations NOW! The University President and campus police did not kill and wound your friends...they are as horrified and devastated as you are; on that I'd bet my bottom dollar!

Come together over this...blaming other innocents for the actions of a madman makes no sense.

You are ALL in my thoughts and prayer.

Teo

Teo | April 17, 2007 2:12 AM

jb and Teo how long did it take to lock down the entire campus after 32 people were dead? I bet it was less than two hours. Hmm,how did they ever manage such an impossible task. Like it or not, the moment of truth for those in charge is gone forever. They failed,and kids died, lots of them. This is not a little booboo. It's not like school shootings are a new concept. Real leadership would just man up and say we failed to do everything possible.

just logic | April 17, 2007 2:22 AM

I agree with "just logic" that VT leadership doesn't seem to have done "everything possible" to keep people safe.
However, isn't that what we discover after EVERY major tragedy?
Katrina + New Orleans? Note that AFTER that happened, in the next hurricane govt resources were used to help those who lacked means of transit or money to evacuate?
That wasn't just a little booboo either.

I go to UMD. We had a domestic incident in a garage where one student shot his ex girlfriend and then killed himself. Campus did not shut down. Granted, it was fairly clear that the shooter was dead, but I don't recall the University notifying those of us on campus. We learned about it on the radio (after our families heard about "a shooting at UMD" with few details and began frantically calling us).
Or, when a tornado hit our campus, there was no warning siren or system at all. Despite commuters coming and going, evening classes about to start, students walking toward the dining hall, etc, the "warning" students got was looking up at the sky and going, "wow, that cloud doesn't look good. Is it...spinning?"
In the aftermath, 2 students were dead, and the campus was so "locked down" that they wouldn't let transit (including UMD buses) in to take the commuters home...

So now we have a warning siren.

It's safe to say that the leaders at VT could have done more...what we do know is that they had some kind of plan, probably better than most universities (I base this on the fact that they had mass phone calls to campus phones fairly quickly, as well as phone banks to notify RAs to knock on student's doors,as well as the fact that they sent an email out about the original shooting in a couple hours, where many schools dealing with what they felt was an "isolated instance" probably wouldn't have got the crime alert out until the next day).
The plan just wasn't enough.

A better plan would send out both email and text message alerts as close to a major incident as possible (ie, don't wait until you figure it out).
And update them.
It would allow the top campus police officer on duty, perhaps w/concurrance of the university President, order campus lock down (not necessarily cancel classes) and to lift the lock down.
It should be the President, VP, Provost, etc. who decide to close or open late for weather, but in a security situation the campus police should have the final call.
Since there's always a commander, 24/7, the campus could begin "lock down" procedures quickly no matter what time of day it was.
Obviously, you need an instant email and text message alert system to put the lock down in effect.
Most people, whether residents or commuters, have cell phones and in this case many commuters could have stayed away from campus. May not have stopped the killer, but at least the police would have had less people to deal with (always important because they have to secure the scene and ensure that there is not another gunman as at Columbine).
They also need a plan about what people who are outside should do in case of lockdown to protect themselves.
Oh, and it goes without saying that after they have a better plan, EVERYONE needs to know the plan.
That's why it is much harder to "lock down" a college than a primary school: in primary school you practice fire/tornado drills, etc--everyone knows the plan. Some may practice lockdown too. Plus, there are a few relatively large groups--primary kids aren't allowed to chose whether or not to go to class and they aren't allowed to wander about "doing their own thing."

Jenny | April 17, 2007 3:23 AM

I am extremely grieved to hear of this fateful event to mow down youth in the beginning of their lives or to have a schools without knowledgeable teachers due to such calamities.
What's worse, though, is that at the same time this incident happened at VTU, Izmir, Turkey was burying 29 second-grade students killed in a bus crash along with several teachers. Why a crash? No respect for humanity! Yes, this is who we have become and only collectively can we initiate changes needed in the world to circumvent these senseless acts.
I am so sorry for these losses and pray for healing. What could these students have meant to our world?
You can read my tribute to these incidents at www.remarkablesolutionsblog.com.

Bea | April 17, 2007 7:17 AM

They sent an e-mail for christ sakes. Who reads their e-mail while they are in class? I think that they could have done a lot better job than this, making everyone aware of the situation that was unfolding. Like someone commented above that another university was shut down due to a convict being on the loose. Why could they not have down something simular?
Comments from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Misty | April 17, 2007 8:38 AM

Our thoughts are with you and you are in our prayers up here in Canada.You must come together and heal as the great University community that you are racial discrimination as in the post of SMFL will only further the pain and misery

Doc John | April 17, 2007 9:13 AM

My deepest sympathy to the victims of this horrible tragedy, both deceased and still fighting for their lives. I am appalled that the news networks have seized on the unnecessary twist that the school authorities should have notified the students sooner and they may have liability. When involved in a shocking incident that is just unfolding, it is impossible to think of all the things that "might" happen. I believe the authorities responded timely and accurately based on the information they had the time. It is easy to point the finger after the fact and I wonder how all these reporters, or anyone, would react in similar circumstances. After something like this, the reporters (and even politicians) rush in and in a feeding frenzy give false information and speculation. And the world watches like rubberneckers looking at a car accident. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and my prayers are with you.

Max | April 17, 2007 9:47 AM

The university and police have my support. Who could have known that this is what would transpire? Instead of pointing fingers and blaming the staff, can we please focus our energy on supporting the community first, and then understanding the psychosis that affects the disenfranchised so that we can prevent this from happening again?

My heart bleeds for the families. Each one of those young men and women were probably amazing people/future leaders.

kelly in canada | April 17, 2007 9:48 AM

think about it. they didn't know that this kind of massacre would occur. they acted on instinct and thats what they were taught to do.

HG | April 17, 2007 10:01 AM

why do we have to blame ppl now. we should mourn the loss we have suffered.

hallie, Richmond,VA | April 17, 2007 10:03 AM

Everyone wants to point the blame, now is not the time. The officials had someone in custody at the dorm shootings which is who they obviously thought was the shooter,Now what if the officials would have locked the school down not knowing that the gunman was lose and possibly already inside the school. Well then you would have a gunman in the school with the doors locked and what a perfect opportunity for him to get more victims because now no one can get in the help or get out to get help. At a time like this everyone panics officials and all, we are only human it's not like the officers just sat around doing nothing they were investigating the 1st incident. There's nothing we can do now except grieve, morn the lost and help anyway possible, no matter what the situation is people always try to say the officials didn't do enough, they're doing the best they can do.....MY GOD!! PEOPLE PANIC EVERYONE DOES. STOP JUDGING AND BEGIN PRAYING.

Mrs. Jones | April 17, 2007 10:30 AM

As I heard from an eloquent prosecutor on the Today show, Virginia Tech authorities and law enforcement failed to follow exising laws. It is their fantasy, not ours, that they invoke armed guards at the front of every classroom. That is clearly not what is called for. Immediate notification, however, is, and according to the Jeanne Clery Act. You can see the effect of that legislation here at home by opening the Rice Thresher or Daily Cougar here in Houston these days, by their diligent reporting every week of campus crime statistics. A press conference without taking questions and answers is not a press conference, but instead a PR statement on behalf of campus officials and by them.

There are several people, of whom I can think, perhaps need to enter their offices by Monday morning, lets say, and find pink slips on their desks.

Chief of Police Wendell Flinchum
President of VT Charles Steeger
Sec of Public Safety John W Marshall

Otherwise, if it was my son or daughter, and they were on campus at VT or another campus in the state, I would work with them to have one of them moved to another campus.

Having President Bush on campus this afternoon is also a disgrace. He and Kaine, as I see it and regardless which party each of them belong to, are birds of the same feather. If something is too embarrassing or overwhelming to handle, cover your ass. Start a coverup. That is what we see here.

Any crass politicization of this tragedy is the height of all crassness, and yet we are getting it today, and
in days ahead, on the campaign trail of
Hillary Clinton. These people do not give a rat's ass about academic and campus freedom, or for that matter, campus security. They care about political power and protecting their own derrieres.

The initial reporting of the gunman being a Chinese student, someone who apparently had boarded a plane for here the first week of August last year, is also disgraceful. We have seen from this tragedy already the evidence of xenophobia and effects of it. The sooner a stop is put to this, the better, but do not expect any convincing support of doing so to come from either Richmond or Washington DC.
South Korea, a strong and very convincing ally of the United States, also deserves better than the response
VA Tech admin and security provided the campus in the aftermath of the first shootings yesterday.

David S from Houston | April 17, 2007 10:50 AM

we were interviewing at v-tech within the last 7 days for software grads to join us this year. horrified to hear what happened. our thoughts are with you.

workfresh | April 17, 2007 11:03 AM

I agree that the police handled this situation properly.Isolated disturbances happen every day in every city in america.Domestic or lovers quarrels often end in violence.The police had no reason to think this was anything other than a lovers quarrel.In these kind of cases how many people go on to mass murder innocent people. If this dorm room incident happened in your neighborhood & the suspect left the area a man hunt would occour but they wouldn't lock down your whole town, or neighborhood. This is a sad thing but there is only one person responsible.Remember all of us feel terrible & sad.Blaming anyone other than the shooter is just adding to the grief these people already feel.

Ron | April 17, 2007 11:56 AM

Zach Good - What a great point. I totally agree with you! THERE WAS A GUNMEN ON THE LOOSE-WITH A GUN..WHO JUST KILLED 2 PPL! Who cares if it could have or should have been locked down. They just didnt want bad publicity after August. I think the 30 ppl died could have been prevented or at least as many may not of been there. What ever happened to rather "be safe than sorry" At least get the word out..let ppl make there own decisions ..ppl wuld have stayed where they are. When this guy peaking into the classroom..ppl whould have been more aware. It makes me so angry that ppl for the sake of bad publicity vs. others lives..defend their incompetent decisions ..now that we know he was involved with both shootings!!! This is sad..and there were things the school could have done to help. And they clearly didnt..thats that no matter how you look at the logistics of school lockdown. And to the person questioning how long would they stay locked down?? well..you know maybe for the rest of the day! There should specific measures taken when lives are taken..just for the safety of others. At least TELL PPL! Let them make their own choices if the school couldnt or wouldnt.

Maryia | April 17, 2007 12:12 PM

Why should Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff have to pay for extra hours of law enforcement when Bush and Kaine visit the campus this afternoon?
Under situation of duress, such as a lone gunman on the loose, law enforcement waited two hours to sufficiently notify everybody. Why not wait two hours until after Bush and Kaine arrive on campus for V Tech law enforcement to take precautions. No one is above the law anymore in the Virginia Tech community, and in such a situation as happened yesterday, no one is more deserving of the protections that existing laws provide.

In closing, evidence was obviously, we know by now, insufficient that Va Tech police had latched onto the right 'person of interest' in the early morning hours yesterday. Even if they were more sure than they were really, there is still no excuse for full notification, according to the Clery Act, not being followed. Diplomats visiting soon from S Korea deserve a little satisfaction, as to why this did not happen, as well, or with all the xenophobia that has been churned up the past day or so, are they really safe on the campus?

David S from Houston | April 17, 2007 12:46 PM

With two people killed and no killer in custody SOMETHING should have been locked down and / or contained.

Email is not a satisfactory way of warning people.

Our PRIMARY job is protecting our kids.

More could have been done, and wasn't.

My heart goes out to the people effected and I will pray for them.

Susan From Calgary | April 17, 2007 3:43 PM

I read some reports that the first e-mail concerning the first shooting was sent at 9;26 am and that the second shooting had already started. I don't understand why there were not swat officers on the campus after the first shooting since there was no clear indication who had done the shooting. I think a madman with a gun does have an advantage but it seems clear from reports of him peeking into classrooms before shooting that if there had been law enforcement personnel in buildings on the campus someone would have stopped him before he had killed so many people. I wonder how many people could have been saved? If any of my family was killed under the circumstances I would be furious as well as grief-stricken.

a special teacher | April 17, 2007 3:53 PM

First - my sympathies to all who lost loved ones. Words are never enough.

To how it happened:

Funny...the police always seem to fail when you need them - the same way our military completely failed on 911; just as the Secret Service failed to do their job in Florida that morning.

It just seems to be the way. It's like watching those cops hang around the building, while gunshots are going off -funny, you can't hear any sirens or helicopters...nothing. Heck, except for the gunshots, you'd think it was just a nice morning.

And the cops with all their training, particularly since 911, didn't seem to have a plane...well, not one that they could initiate in under 2 hours, and one that involved actually storming the building - like men.

To me, I saw a bunch of gutless cowards standing around in their vests, with their big guns and they were afraid to go in and get the guy.

With the time between the first and second shootings you'd almost think the police were told to back off to let the guy finish whatever he was supposed to do...that's how incompetent it looks.

And of course another curious thing...isn't that CIA/Military psyops base - DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)- isn't that based at Blacksburg (underground in the side of a local Blacksburg mountain)-ABOVE TOP SECRET laboratory for developing/applying such weapons such as human robotic mind control programming.

It’s probably just a coincidence.

And Oswald shot Kennedy - right.

My sympathies to the families and all involved, but I'm sorry, I know longer trust this government, Bush Cheney in particular, and the media in general - I'm sorry, but I've caught them lying and manipulating the truth so much and so often, that they are a joke to me, now.

I mean heck, I'm here reading this post and not watching CNN (constant neurological numbing).

I question everything that I see now and always doubt what I'm being told - that's what the lies from our government and media have done to me. I find I even have to question this.

I find it interesting when this stuff happens, how the other stuff, the other important stuff, the war funding, the time table to get out of Iraq, and the Gonzales (I'm a full-time liar) hearings have just gone away, and I'm under the impression that the latter, has been canceled, outright.

So, no testimony from the head liar at the JOD; how convenient.

Proverbs 18:13
He who answers a matter before he hears of it, it is shame and folly unto him.

Suspicious Patriot | April 17, 2007 6:33 PM

My heart goes out for all of you.. I do believe regardless of what they thaught it was demostic or what the school still should have been on lock down ..Until they figured out for sure what had happen...

Salandanan | April 17, 2007 7:55 PM

RIP and God Bless to all those that died.

It is sad to see the finger-pointing going on. We all seem to think we know what is best / how situations should be handled. However, it only ever appears to be in hindsight.

Should this not be a time of mourning, support and reflection for all those touched by this tragic event?

~*There but for the grace of God go I*~

nikki | April 17, 2007 9:28 PM

may the Lord be with eeryone and their families that were affected by this tragedy.
to quote a great song by kid rock
"only God knows why"

suesan | April 17, 2007 10:43 PM

Please leave these people to their grief, the hateful comments posted by some are not appropriate at this time or in this forum.

My deepest sympathy to all the family and friends affected by this tradegy and to the campus as a whole.

Jenny | April 18, 2007 8:53 AM

I can not stand it any more!!! Stop BLAMING the school and the police for not doing more. Blame the b@stard that did this. The police were busy getting search warrants and interviewing people involed in the first shooting. Those things take time. What if the school had been shut down. Were all 26,000 student in their dorms and other places of living. A campus is full of activity all the time. People are coming and going you can not think that a "lock down" cna be completely done in seconds do you?
Finally if you are not down with this blog then I have two words for you "S*uck IT"

DX | April 18, 2007 9:30 AM

I am deeply saddened by the VT killings. My thoughts are with the friends and family of all those affected by this tragic event.

One thing I do not understand is why, at first, the campus officials said they thought the first 2 killings were a murder-suicide. If that was true, then they would have the weapon at the crime scene. There was no weapon there.
Then they said it was an isolated incident and that the killer was thought to have left the campus. What lead them to believe that? What assumptions went into that thought? The 'official' responses make no sense to me.

Last fall, there was a similar incident. Why didn't they react the same way?
There was a gunman on the loose, shut down everything.
The only thing I can see is that they did not want to do that AGAIN.

No one can say for sure whether different actions taken by the university would have changed the outcome. Cho was a madman and was determined to kill others.
We all know someone like Cho, some person - a bit weird and a loner.

Is our society going to entrain loners and make them become more social?
I doubt it. We will all go about our daily lives and keep our distance from the weirdos.

I've been on universities most of my adult life, first as a student, then as a graduate student, then as an instructor and employee. I enjoy the freedom to move about a campus, just as I enjoy the freedom to move about a city. I worked in a building across the street from the last Uni-bomber's attack at the time of the attack.

I'd rather take my chances of 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time' than live in a locked-down society that you have to 'show papers' at every turn.

Jim | April 18, 2007 11:58 AM

"The only person at fault today was the shooter himself." Posted by Joe April 16, 2007 10:21 PM. The teacher who stepped aside when Cho was being laughed at "Go back to China" by other kids in JHS should be criminally charged and condemned.

Kay | April 20, 2007 1:23 AM

Finger pointing? Is that what you call it when you realize leadership failed during crisis? I whould hope a bit of trouble shooting would prevent future mistakes. Yes, hind sight is 20/20.
Let me be clear the shooter alone is the one who is guilty of murder. The leadership of the school is gulity of gross neglect. This neglect multiplied the shooter's damage.
This has happened before and probably will again. What should we learn and change to be prepared?
We can't get rid of guns, we can't get rid of killers,can't get rid of lunatics, hmmm. I dunno maybe when this happens again we could plan take decisive action to minimize the damage,even at the earth shattering risk of 1 day off from school for a false alarm. Oh or what about this. Let's all be sad, praise the incompetance, attack the finger pointers, and sit around blaming the gun, or the lunatic'S parents, or the system, or his jr. high school teachers, or the gravitational pull of the moon on the earth, that would be logical.

just more logic | April 20, 2007 3:21 AM

...or we could also lose our composure and start overexaggerating.

Of course we should learn and change 'in an attempt' to be prepared. However, the dead deserve time to be respected and their lives celebrated before the 'who can we blame bandwagon' was jumped on, in my opinion.

nikki | April 21, 2007 8:45 AM