Tragedy at Virginia Tech- The School Reacts
Classes canceled for remainder of week
Virginia Tech continues to mourn the loss of 33 members of our community. As we move forward, we share the following information
Virginia Tech,(rushprnews) April 17, 2007- Virginia Tech will cancel all classes for the remainder of the week to allow students the time they need to grieve and seek assistance as needed. The university will re-open administrative operations beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18, understanding that some faculty and staff may wish to take additional time off this week to grieve the loss of fellow colleagues and friends. We ask individual employees to communicate with their supervisors of their schedules for the balance of the week.
- We will close Norris Hall for the remainder of the semester. Staff are currently working to arrange alternative location for classrooms and faculty offices.
- Counseling and other resources are available for students, faculty, and staff. Students may receive counseling at McComas Hall and counselors will be available for extended hours. Counselors will also be available in West Amber Johnston for residents.
- Employees may receive needed support by going to the Brush Mountain Room in Squires Student Center throughout the day.
- The university will be holding a convocation ceremony at 2 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. This will be the first time the Virginia Tech community will come together since the tragedy to share our collective sorrow. At that time, President George Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Gov. Timothy Kaine, Mrs. Kaine members of our Board of Visitors, members of the clergy, our students, and poet Nikki Giovanni will share messages of condolence to the family and friends of the victims and words of hope to all of us as we move forward past this tragedy.
Again we encourage all members of the Virginia Tech community to attend. Should the coliseum be full, the event will be broadcast on campus cable stations.
The Virginia Tech community, and the world at large, continues to struggle with these horrible events. We hope these steps will help in that healing process.
Norris Hall gunman identified; ballistics match at both crime scenes
Posted 9:15 a.m., April 17, 2007
The Virginia Tech Police Department has confirmed the identification of the gunman responsible for the multiple fatalities at Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus Monday, April 16, 2007.
The individual has been identified as Cho Seung-Hui, 23. Cho was enrolled as an undergraduate student in his senior year as an English major at Virginia Tech. Cho, a South Korean native, was in the U.S. as a resident alien with a residence established in Centerville, Va. Cho was living on campus in Harper Residence Hall.
A 9-milimeter handgun and 22-caliber handgun were recovered from Norris Hall. Ballistic tests on the evidence seized from the Norris Hall and the West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall scenes were conducted at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) lab in Maryland. Lab results confirmed that one of the two weapons seized in Norris Hall was used in both shootings.
â€œAt this time, the evidence does not conclusively identify Cho Seung-Hui as the gunman at both locations,â€ said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. â€œWith this newfound ballistics evidence, we are now able to proceed to the next level of this complex investigation.â€
State, local and federal investigators spent the night collecting, processing and analyzing evidence from within Norris Hall. The deceased were recovered from at least four classrooms on the second floor and a stairwell of Norris Hall. The gunman, who took his life, was discovered by police in a classroom among the victims.
All of the deceased have been transported to the Medical Examinerâ€™s Office in Roanoke for examination and identification.
The names of the 32 deceased students and faculty will be released once all victims are positively identified and next of kin notified.
The Virginia Tech Police Department, Blacksburg Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriffâ€™s Office, Virginia State Police, FBI, ATF and multiple other state and local agencies are all involved in the ongoing investigation at both Norris Hall and West Ambler Johnston Hall.
Important phone numbers
A toll-free information line has been established for parents and family: 1-800-533-1144.
* Anyone who has information related to the incidents is encouraged to go to the Blacksburg Police Department to make a statement, or call 540/231-6411.
RUSH PR NEWS press release and newswire services