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New Details in Virginia Tech Shooting

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

April 25, 2007

Investigators still don't know why Seung-Hui Cho launched his attack on Virginia Tech last week, but they released new details Wednesday about the shootings that left 33 dead.

Investigators said with the doors chained shut, the massacre inside Norris Hall lasted nine minutes. Cho fired 170 rounds, killing 30 people before shooting himself in the head. But there is still no answer to the biggest question: why?

"We talk about possible motives and theories and whatnot, but we don't have any evidence to suggest anything," said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of Virginia State Police.

Police said Cho purchased his .22-caliber handgun through a Blacksburg gun dealer. The other weapon, a 9-millimeter handgun, came from a Roanoke gun dealer. That 9-millimeter was used in both shootings.

They also said he returned to his room between the two shooting incidents, but that it's still not clear why.

"We don't know precisely what took place in between. We know the package was mailed during that time, but we don't know for sure he was the individual that mailed it," said Flaherty.

Authorities said at this point in time, there is no evidence to suggest Cho got help from anyone else. In fact, they said it appears he knew very few people on campus, including his first victim Emily Hilscher.

"We don't have any information to connect the two, but we're following a number of leads," said Flaherty.

Investigators are sorting through lots of evidence, searching computer files, cell phone records and emails. So far, they have compiled 500 pieces of evidence from Norris Hall alone.

They said Cho was familiar with Norris Hall, and he used that to his advantage.

"He took steps at Norris Hall from inside. He chained shut each of the building's public entrances," said Flaherty.

In addition to the 170 rounds Cho fired inside Norris Hall, investigators found even more ammunition that he did not use.

Investigators said they know where that ammunition was purchased, but they will not reveal that information to protect those businesses.

Investigators also said they have not found any connections between Cho and the bomb threats at Virginia Tech the week before the shootings.


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