By Saul Roth
The Virginia Tech shooting was a mass shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. The shootings began at 7:15 a.m. EST in West Ambler Johnston Hall, when Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old senior at Virginia Tech, killed two students in their dorm rooms. Cho then mailed a package containing a video and a series of photographs to NBC News, in which he expressed his hatred for humanity and his desire to kill people.
At 9:40 a.m. EST, Cho entered Norris Hall, a classroom building, and began shooting. He killed 30 people and wounded 17 others before killing himself. The shootings lasted for approximately 20 minutes.
The shootings also led to a national debate about gun control and mental health.
Cho was born in South Korea in 1984. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 8 years old. Cho had a history of mental illness, and he had been diagnosed with selective mutism, a social anxiety disorder that causes people to be unable to speak in certain situations. Cho also had a history of depression and suicidal thoughts.
In the years leading up to the shootings, Cho had been in contact with mental health professionals, but he had never been hospitalized. He had also been prescribed medication for his depression, but he had stopped taking it.
On the day of the shootings, Cho carried two handguns, a 9mm Glock 19 and a 22-caliber Walther P22. He also carried hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Cho was dressed in black clothing and a long black coat. He wore a backpack that contained the video and photographs that he had mailed to NBC News.
Cho’s first attack took place in West Ambler Johnston Hall. He entered the dorm room of Emily Hilscher and Ryan Clark and shot them both multiple times. Cho then went to the dorm room of G.V. Mike Norris and shot him once in the head. Norris survived the shooting, but he was paralyzed from the waist down.
After the first attack, Cho mailed the video and photographs to NBC News. The package was intercepted by the FBI, but the video and photographs were not released to the public until after the second attack.
At 9:40 a.m. EST, Cho entered Norris Hall, a classroom building. He chained and locked several of the main doors of the building, trapping students and faculty inside. Cho then began shooting. He killed 30 people and wounded 17 others before killing himself.
The Virginia Tech shooting was a horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of 32 people. The shootings also had a profound impact on the Virginia Tech community and the nation as a whole. The shootings led to a national debate about gun control and mental health, and they also raised questions about the response of law enforcement and university officials to the shootings.
In the years since the shootings, Virginia Tech has taken steps to improve campus safety. The university has installed new security cameras and emergency call boxes, and it has also implemented new training programs for students and faculty.
The Virginia Tech shooting was a dark day in American history, but it also served as a wake-up call about the need to address gun violence and mental health issues. The shootings have led to changes in campus safety and mental health care, and they have also raised awareness about the dangers of gun violence.