An student armed with two guns has killed at least 30 people and wounded many more at an American university.
Student gunman massacres students and staff at American university
The gunman behind the "Virginia Tech massacre" was Seung-Hui Cho, who has lived in the USA since the age of 8, and whose family roots are in South Korea, a US proxy state.
The deaths of 30 or so westerners, wealthy young American kids, is a major event worthy of international shock and sadness; the main headline in almost every news outlet throughout the world. Meanwhile, millions of people are dying in the Sudan right now, a "genocide" according to the UN, and the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world" at this time according to Oxfam. We seem to have lost touch with reality.
In the USA guns kill over 11,000 people every year. That death-toll is the equivalent of 9/11 repeated every three months. Yet the people of America are told, and many of them sincerely believe it, that Muslims and foreign lands are the real danger that they need to be worried about. The reality is very different, and the real problems will never be solved until we face up to them. It is matter of indisputable fact that by far the greatest threat facing any American comes from other Americans and people living at home in America, our own families, friends and neighbours. This fact can be proved beyond doubt, the facts and figures are readily available for anybody who cares to check for themselves. But the danger runs much deeper than obvious problems like guns, crime, drugs, domestic violence, etc. There are more complex problems like culture, values, the media, ignorance, brainwashing, Israel, failure to see what is really happening in the outside world, American foreign policy, and the consequences thereof.
The danger each American posed by his or her own fellow Americans is considerable, but the danger posed by Americans to other countries and other peoples is so very much greater. Again, this is can easily be proved beyond doubt. America and Americans directly cause and contribute to many of the greatest problems facing human civilization. The majority of ordinary Americans are not to blame, they are following like sheep.
Not content to deal with their own problems back at home, and brainwashed into utter evangelical belief that their way is the right way, Americans tour the world trying to fix things in other countries, with predictable results. Look closely at the wreckage of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what happens when the Americans come to town.
America and Americans truly are among the greatest dangers facing humanity today. Most of us in the west are so brainwashed that this statement sounds extreme, but it is true. And the situation is getting worse. We must face the truth and use our minds to deal with it, before it is too late.
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Massacre on the campus
· 33 confirmed dead
· Killer evaded police to strike again
· New questions over gun law
Police and university authorities in Virginia were under pressure last night to explain how a gunman, believed to be acting alone, came to kill two students in a university dormitory then evade detection for more than two hours before massacring a further 30 people and killing himself in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The carnage at Virginia Tech, a university with 26,000 students in a quiet country town in the south-west of the state, instilled horror and shock across the country. In the gruesome calculus of these events, it surpassed the previous bloodiest shooting of 23 people in Killeen, Texas, in 1991 and the incident that has become synonymous with America's record of mass killings, Columbine, where 12 students and a teacher died exactly eight years ago this Friday.
Adding to the stunned reaction to the sheer scale of yesterday's carnage was the revelation last night that most of the victims had died in the second shooting spree, more than two hours after police were first called out.
The initial call to 911 was made at 7.15am from the largest dormitory in the university, West Ambler Johnston, a mixed-gender residence hall housing 895 students. Officers arriving at the scene found a man and a woman dead in a student room, it is thought on the second floor.
Charles Steger, president of Virginia Tech, said last night the authorities had had reason to believe the incident was domestic in motive, possibly involving a former boyfriend, and that the killer had left campus and was trying to leave the state.
In fact, he somehow managed to make his way to Norris hall, a building in the science and engineering block of the campus about a mile away, where at about 9.40am he embarked on a second, and far more deadly, shooting spree.
The gunman, whose identity was still unclear last night, went from room to room in the building killing individuals, and at times chaining rooms to prevent police gaining access to them. Finally, he killed himself inside the hall. Police said they recovered two weapons at the scene.
Mr Steger said the college authorities had shut down Ambler Johnston as soon as the first call was made. But he came under repeated questioning from reporters to explain why most of the student body had been told to take precautions in a round-robin email that was sent out only at 9.26am, more than two hours after the first shooting and shortly before the gunman entered Norris hall.
"There were 14,000 students in transit for lessons at 8am. The decision we had to make was where to lock them down," Mr Seger said. Virginia Tech's police chief, Wendell Flinchum, also came under intense questioning. "Based on the information we had at the time we made the assessment that the [Ambler Johnston] incident was isolated," he said.
Police refused to confirm speculation that the gunman may have been a boyfriend of one of those he killed.
They said they were also continuing to investigate whether or not the two shootings were connected, although the fact that they had made no arrests and were not looking for any other individual suggested a certainty that they were carried out by the same person. Access to dorms is restricted to those with swipe cards between 10pm and 10am.
The tragedy at Virginia Tech shocked and saddened the community in the state and far beyond, and once again raised issues about America's relaxed gun laws. George Bush went on air to say that when the sanctity of schools was violated, "the impact is felt in every American classroom and community".
But earlier in the day his spokeswoman in Washington was forced to justify his opposition to tightening the rules on handgun ownership. She said the president believed in the right to bear arms, but equally that "all laws must be followed ... Walking into a school hall and shooting people is clearly against the law".
The sound of what appeared to be an execution-style massacre in Norris hall was captured by a student who filmed the outside of the building as it was being circled by Swat teams as the killing went on. The footage, broadcast by CNN, recorded the retort of 27 shots, made in chillingly regular order.
Jamal Albarghouti described how he came to take the footage: "The first thing I saw was policeman taking guns out then I knew that this was serious ... then I saw the guns I knew this wasn't another bomb threat. Then I started hearing guns from far away ...
"There was a person in the second floor trying to tell the cops that he was in there and probably trying to guide them.
"I heard from the window he was trying to reach outside the window to talk to the cops, this is what I saw. I did not hear what he said. A minute after I had reached the area where I took the video from, I saw police asking everyone to lay down or to leave really quickly."
Mihai Alexe sent the BBC website a description of how one friend had been teaching inside Norris hall when the shooting happened. "She sent me an instant message saying she met with the shooter by accident and was nearly shot. She succeeded in barricading herself along with other students in one of the classrooms and as far as I know she is now safe."
Gene Cole, a Virginia Tech services worker, described to the local paper, the Roanoke Times, how he had been on the second floor of Norris hall when he saw a person lying on a hallway floor. Then a man wearing a hat and holding a black gun stepped into the hallway.
"Someone stepped out of a classroom and started shooting at me," he said. He fled down the hallway. "All I saw was blood in the hallways," Mr Cole said.
Another staff member was described as having climbed out of the second floor window of the hall just as the gunman entered the room he was in and opened fire. He jumped at the moment the shooting started.
Professor Scott Hendricks, a professor of engineering, described how he was in his office in Norris hall immediately above where the shooting broke out. He said he counted 30 or 40 shots.
Courtney Dalton, 18, who works in a pizza parlour next to the dorm where the first killing took place said they were locked in soon after the shooting. "The police were looking everywhere for him," she said. "In the drains, everywhere." She said that two victims were removed from the dorm a short time later. Paramedics appeared to be carrying out CPR on one of the victims as they were brought from the dorm.
As panic began to set in among students, one recalled a message played repeatedly over the college loud speaker system: "There was a voice that just kept repeating, 'Gunman on campus, stay indoors, get away from windows,' over and over," said Justin Merrifield.
Jason Piatt, another student, complained about the slowness in circulating a warning email. "What happened today, this was ridiculous. I'm pretty outraged that someone died in a shooting in a dorm at 7 o'clock in the morning and the first email about it - no mention of locking down campus, no mention of cancelling classes - they just mention that they're investigating a shooting two hours later at 9:22. That's pretty ridiculous."
One line of active police investigation is whether bomb threats received at the university recently were connected to yesterday's events. Over the past two weeks there had been two threats - the latest last week, handwritten and sent to the university engineering department.
The involvement of the engineering faculty - which also runs Norris hall - and the timing of the bomb threats inevitably raised speculation that the threats and yesterday's shootings suggested a potential link. After the bomb threats an email was circulated to students offering a £2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Until yesterday, the deadliest mass shooting in US history was in Killeen, Texas, when George Hennard drove his pickup into a Luby's Cafeteria and shot 23 people to death, then himself. More recently a gunman shot 10 Amish girls at a one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania last October, killing five before turning the gun on himself.
Families worried about the welfare of relatives yesterday were being encouraged to come to the meeting hall at Virginia Tech, where counselling and information would be available. The names of the victims were expected to be released today after families had been notified. Police were still trying to identify the gunman as he had no identification on his body.
Nestling in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Blacksburg is a community of 39,000 people. It is dominated by its Virginia Tech campus, which accounts for 60% of its population. The town is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and violent crime is a rarity - a recent citizens' survey found 91% of residents felt safe in their homes.
But yesterday was the second time in a year that Virginia Tech's campus went into a "lockdown". In August, a robbery suspect, William Morva, was accused of shooting his way out of police custody while being treated for a sprained ankle at a nearby hospital. Morva, 24, is awaiting trial charged with shooting dead a security guard and a sheriff's deputy.
The Guardian, "Massacre on the campus", 17 April 2007.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 17 April 2007.
Tags: American, university, massacre, shot, killed, students, Virginia Tech, Cho Seung-Hui, South Korean, , conspiracy theories.