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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:51 pm 
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I hope no one here has friends there. This looks very bad.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/16/vtech. ... index.html

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Last edited by axordil on Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:05 pm 
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Oh man. The bomb threats started last week? There must have been some kind of serious problem going on.

I hope this doesn't spark an epidemic of college shootings.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:19 pm 
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:cry:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Both CNN and ABC interviewed the authorities in charge on the scene, and stated that it was as far as they know, one gunman, who is dead.

A student on the campus had chilling video shot on his cell phone outside the engineering hall - there were at least 27 audible gunshots in just that few minute clip. It was awful...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:49 pm 
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Everyone I knew at Tech graduated a few years ago.

How devastating and utterly senseless. With respect to Columbine, the killers could at least point to a history of harassment for which they were retaliating. On a college campus, it seems unlikely that a killer wouuld be able to provide even that (wholly inadequate) justification for his actions. And of course, the killer seems not to have stuck around to explain anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:53 pm 
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A student or ex-student seems most likely, but there are other possibilities...staff, faculty, bf/gf...I suppose we will find out. :(

It's strange that there was a 2-hour gap between the 911 call from the dorm and the classroom shooting.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:18 pm 
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Yes, as near as I can figure there were three separate and possibly unrelated events that converged. The first was this ecaped convict, who had caused the campus to go into lockdown on the first day of fall term when he shot two police and then hid out on campus. He was facing a capital sentence for that when he escaped from prison and hid out again on campus this morning. His escape is what caused the campus to be crawling with SWAT officers and why the campus went into lockdown.

Then there was one shooting in the dorm. They had just come out of lockdown and had to return to their rooms. That was the shooting that we heard about at first, and I guess there was some confusion at first whether Morva (the convict) was responsible for that. But the dorm gunman was killed, and meanwhile they recaptured Morva and he was unarmed and half-naked when they got him.

Then there was the shooting spree in the Engineering building that killed another 21 people, and the person who did that is still at large.

All of this followed two campus lockdowns on Friday and Saturday because of bomb threats.

It's macabre ... as if something evil hatched out of the ground on that campus.

On a different note, there's only been one murder on my campus in the ~20 years that I've been there, plus a couple on other campuses in the Philly area. There are more than 100 colleges in our area, and it's kind of amazing that we haven't been troubled by more violence, being an urban center with a very high crime rate. But I guess you never think it's going to happen on your block until it actually happens.

Jn

eta: correction, it seems the gunman in the engineering building was killed and is not at large, but they don't know yet who he is. Does anyone know whether they are sure that he is the one who killed the girl in the dorm as well?

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Last edited by Jnyusa on Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:37 pm 
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While I was in school we had a despondent student blow himself up, destroying his former girlfriend's entire dorm floor. Everyone was out and the student was the only one who died, but a police officer trying to talk him out of it was seriously hurt. He recovered.

It's unbelievable how much pressure there can be on people at that stage of life, and not everyone handles it. Maybe today one instance of violence pushed the next person over the edge.

I do think that when it comes to school shootings, each incident makes the next one more likely.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:39 pm 
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Jny -

Everything I have read so far indicates that the dorm shooting IS indeed by the same now dead shooter who then went on to Norris Hall, the engineering building. AP News and the Washington Post now report the death toll at 32. It has been confirmed that (some) students were shot in (a) classroom, but it does not indicate if offices were also targeted, or multiple classrooms, or if the classrooms were lecture halls, or anything else at this point.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:52 pm 
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The Watcher wrote:
AP News and the Washington Post now report the death toll at 32.


oh god ... thanks for that update, Watcher. I've been following on the web because we don't get cable here and the information is still scant.

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to be teaching a class and have someone walk in and start shooting the students ... it's just incomprehensible.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:27 pm 
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Just imagine it happening in a class of 5 and 6 year olds. That incident in Scotland proved the turning point for the British and we banned the ownership of handguns after that.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:57 pm 
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I simply cannot get my mind around this event. The evil that permeates our world is beyond comprehension.


My best friend's dad is a professor at Tech, she texted me to let me know that he is safe at home. I am so thankful that he is okay--but all of my thoughts right now will be with the university's students, alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as their families and friends.


I keep thinking of Kurtz's last words in Heart of Darkness..."The horror, the horror."

:(

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:48 pm 
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It really is incomprehensible, isn't it Elsha? :( But I'm glad that your friend's Dad is okay.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:03 pm 
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It's utterly horrifying! :( :pray: :(

And I don't know what can be said beyond that.

As far as the thread split - if the intention is to devote this thread to the expression of grief and horror, and support for those affected, perhaps Tol Eressëa is the appropriate place? Lasto is a place for discussion, after all, and I do agree with nerdanel that it is impossible to discuss gun control without thinking about this and other tragedies, or indeed to talk about today's horror and not wonder whether stricter gun control might have prevented it from happening.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:14 pm 
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What is wrong with some people???

Last count on our news was 33 dead including the gunman. I hadn't heard any updates on how many wounded...

:cry:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:09 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
if the intention is to devote this thread to the expression of grief and horror, and support for those affected, perhaps Tol Eressëa is the appropriate place?


As the extent of the tragedy became more clear, I was thinking the same thing, Frelga.

Let me see if one of the marshalls talented with moving and splitting and repasting things in their proper position can fix this up so the gun control comments won't be widowed and we can use this thread in TE for expressions of the grief that everyone likely is feeling, especially with so many teachers on the board.

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:22 am 
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Latest update:

There is no suspect in custody, and only one person of interest, who (from lack of the very vague information) is not in custody at this time, and who SEEMS to be someone else entirely from the dead gunman. Possibly the rival/third party/otherwise known to be involved in the so-called "domestic incident" portion of this?

Staff are also among the deceased. No names are being released, not all victims have been identified/families notified.

The latest eyewitness account that I read was chilling - only four students in one classroom being able to get out of the room after the gunman had left. The one person interviewed described him wearing something like a strange boyscout uniform outfit. The chief of VT campus police said the entire building of Norris Hall was being treated as a crime scene, that it was the worst thing he had ever witnessed in his life, and that indeed, fatalities had occured in multiple places.

Two weapons were involved, but they have been turned over to the ATF, along with ballistics info to both the ATF and FBI. They (the weapons) were not identified. Two major entrances/exits to Norris Hall had been chained from the inside. Apparantly, NO gunfire was exchanged with the gunman, after officers were able to break into Norris Hall and track the gunshots to the second floor, they had already stopped.

What scares me as a parent, more than anything else, is that they knowingly HAD at least ONE murder having taken place on this campus that very morning, and that no suspect was in custody. I know from reading that VT is a large campus - over 2300 acres, 26,000 staff and faculty and students, but still. By the time that the e-mails were sent out, at 9:30 EDT, classes would have been well under way, why the delay, even if lockdown itself would have been unachievable? (The only lockdown that had taken place prior to that point had been in the dorm itself.) I am all too familiar with really large campuses, I attended one, and they are not that strange of an entity any longer. Shouldn't an actual murder taking place have at least been cause for an immediate alert, if nothing else? They obviously had noone in custody at that point.

I do not know, it seems that hindsight is indeed too easy a place to sit back and wonder why, but I think VT sort of missed the boat here at least partly. :(:( I understand about all of the bomb threats and such, which who knows if they will ever be connected, and that you cannot go around closing down a campus of that size with over 100 buildings on just any basis, but a gunshot murder at 7:15 a.m. taking place within an on campus dorm with the suspect at large is not the same as an anonymous written bomb threat.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:29 am 
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Thanks for the update, Watcher. I share your suspicions, but I am going to withhold judgment at this time.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:37 am 
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The news is just awful. I've just got back from my classes where both my teachers talked about this horrid incident. This comes days after one of the students here seems to have taken his own life (http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/4/16/studentFoundDeadInEv). The student by the way actually lived in my dorm but I have only seen him once before. My heart goes out to all those parents and siblings afraid that there loved one might be one of the dead :(


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:24 am 
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I just wanted to offer my condolences for the many folks who lost loved ones, friends and family.

In my junior year, a friend committed suicide by hanging. I had seen him two days before (a Friday). He was heading home for the weekend, and seemed a little down, but I thought nothing of it at the time.

The following Sunday was my Birthday when I turned 21, and my family came down to celebrate.

I found out later that he had hanged himself that day at his parent's home.

Everyone on the dorm floor (and many more) were devastated.

I cannot imagine what the people at Virginia Tech are feeling.

I have often asked myself if I could have done something. Could I have picked up on his mood better the Friday before? Could I have been a better friend?

One never knows what will set someone off.

Again, my condolences to the many who died, who were wounded, who lost loved ones, and for us all.

Brian

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