Tech Gunman Spotted Inside Norris Hall Before Rampage

By: Whitney Holmes Email
By: Whitney Holmes Email
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August 10, 2007

Officials investigating the Virginia Tech shooting released chilling new information about the events leading up to the massacre on April 16th. Still, they are unable to figure out a motive or connection between the gunman and his victims.

Friday, investigators revealed Seung Hui Cho may have been spotted inside Norris Hall two days before he killed thirty people inside the building. Authorities also found the building's doors had been chained shut that day, just as they were the day of his rampage.

Still, investigators were hesitant to say this was a practice run for Cho.

"It would be speculation to suggest that he was practicing locking the doors," State Police Superintendent Col. Steve Flaherty said.

Police also revealed, Cho may have waited outside West Ambler Johnston Dormitory, the site of the first shooting, Monday morning to follow an unsuspecting person in through the locked doors.

Still, why he chose the two buildings and his victims, is not known.

"At this stage, we still have no evidence that answers the persistent questions of, 'Why West Ambler Johnston? Why room 4040? And why Emily Hilshire?'" said Flaherty.

After the first shooting, evidence shows that Cho went to his dorm room, changed his clothes, deleted information from his computer and then was spotted near a duck pond on campus.

"That is why investigators searched in and around this duck pond looking for any evidence in this case including Cho's missing hard drive," explained Flaherty.

Investigators are still looking for the hard drive, along with Cho's cell phone.

They have discovered, however, that the bomb threat notes found prior to the shooting were not linked to Cho and a bomb threat note found on day of the massacre was.

"Cho did leave a handwritten bomb threat note inside Norris Hall on the morning of April 16th. He posted it on an interior door and it was found by a custodian later that afternoon," Flaherty said.

In addition to the packages Cho sent to NBC, Cho also sent notes to the Virginia Tech English Department, but officials describe the writings as senseless ramblings.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum also cited witnesses seeing Cho minutes before the shootings.

"Cho also opened several of the classroom doors and peered in, going back to some of them more than once, without saying a word, he then returned to those rooms and began firing at students, faculty and staff."

Flinchum said it is impossible to put a deadline on an investigation of this magnitude.

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