It’s sickly ironic that I started off the COM242: Effects of Mass Media class with the Columbine shooting incident, and now the semester ends with the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, a massacre in Virginia Tech.
In true citizen journalism style, this cellphone footage of the “Virginia Tech Massacre” was sent from a student to CNN’s I-Report, then re-captured on LiveLeak and Youtube. It’s too bad that CNN (and most news media) doesn’t see value in sharing embeddable videos or even convenient permalinks.
According to CNN, this was what happened:
- a lone gunman dressed in Boy Scout-type outfit
- he chained doors at Virginia Tech’s Norris Hall
- opened fire into a dorm and classroom
- 25 people killed on scene, another 29 wounded
- he committing suicide
- As of writing, 33 are now dead
- It is the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history
Want to know something weird?
7:15 a.m: Police in Blacksburg, Virginia, were alerted to the shootings via a 911 call.
After the shooting, Virginia Tech officials sent an email informing everyone of the incident, but there were no lockdowns nor class cancellations. Then this happened just two hours after…
9:15 a.m: In a second shooting, more than 30 shots were reported in nearby Norris Hall.
Want to know something weirder?
UPDATED: Thanks to MrBig, Nelson, Lucian for the latest reports
NPR has confirmed that Seung Hui Cho, 23, a registered alien of Korean nationality, was the gunman in Monday’s killing spree at a Virginia Tech classroom building. He killed at least 30 people before taking his own life. The death toll is the worst of any shooting rampage in U.S. history.
The shooter could be an International Chinese Student.
According to Chicago Sun-Times, authorities are investigating whether the gunman who killed 33 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa. The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said.
The Chinese population has typically been adverse to various forms of terrorism, until now. I have Asian friends who are now concerned of racial backlash in the States, while some are concerned about safety on campuses.
I am duly concerned that it wouldn’t be as easy returning to the States to continue my education, especially now that the climate of fear encompasses the Chinese as well. I just hope people understand that this shooting is an idiosyncratic case that should never be attributed to the rest of us enjoying the peace, and respecting it.
UPDATE 1: Su Yuen discovered how an actual account by a Malaysian student at Virginia Tech was exaggerated by a Malay newspaper. It’s quite funny since the student corrects all the mistakes in the paper.
UPDATE 2: Here are “disturbing” videos and photos apparently sent in to NBC by the Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui. It give a glimpse of his psyche.