April 19, 2007
CNN is reporting that Cho Seung-Hui, the gunman responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre, purchased ammunition here in Charlottesville.
Inside Dick's Sporting Goods, everyone seems to have heard reports that the ammunition was bought at the Rio Road location, but no one is confirming it. Some customers are outraged while others say it could have happened anywhere.
"He could have bought his ammunition here or Fredericksburg or Lynchburg or anywhere what does it matter?" said Phil Altholz, a customer.
To other customers, it does matter.
"To be honest with you, I don't think he should have been able to purchase the ammunition anywhere," said Vicki Lemley, a customer.
CNN says authorities have surveillance video of Cho purchasing bullets at this location. The ammunition, they say, was for a Glock, one of two weapons confirmed used in the massacre at Virginia Tech.
We do not know how much ammunition was purchased or when, but there are no laws in the state of Virginia regulating ammunition. Anyone can buy as much as they want at any time with as much as showing an ID. Dick's Sporting Goods would not let us inside, but customers leaving the building were outraged.
"I hold a consumer permit myself, and it said on the form, if ever committed to a mental institute, and they should have turned him away," said Jeffrey Lemley, a customer.
And when Cho purchased two handguns this year, he apparently also followed the letter of the law. Virginia law only prohibits the sale of guns to anyone unwillingly sent to a mental institution. Cho was voluntarily committed.
"I work in a school, and it is frightening because anyone could walk in anywhere," said Lemley.
The manager at Dick's said she couldn't comment. She referred us to their corporate offices in Pittsburgh, but they are not confirming or denying the ammo was bought here. They say they won't comment on an ongoing investigation.