John on April 16, 2007 at 9:59 am
Tuesday 1:30AM: The hero I mentioned in my last update was a 75 year old holocaust survivor. He died blocking the doorway. All the students in his room got out alive.
8:45PM: From the Baltimore Sun, a story of heroism:
Mallalieu said his professor held the door shut while students darted to the windows… But then the sound of gunfire filled their classroom, sending all who had escaped toward nearby Patton Hall, he said. Mallalieu said he never saw Librescu escape. “I don’t think my teacher got out.”
7:35PM: Okay, looks like I got punked. The guy whose site I got the gun pics from was
- A VT student
- A gun collector and self-described “arms dealer”
- Had a girlfriend who he broke up with last month
But according to Rusty at Jawa, he’s not the guy. I’ve removed the links, but I’ll leave the rest as a reminder to myself not to jump to conclusions based on random thoughts on someone’s website.
Here’s Wayne himself:
Coming out. I am not the shooter. Through this experience, I have received numerous death threats, slanderous accusations, and my phone is out of charge from the barrage of calls. Local police have been notified of the situation.
My original intention was to wait until I got AdSense on my site and donating all the proceeds to Charity. However, this situation has now spiraled out of control. I am now confirming that I am not the shooter. I will be available for interview by a news agency to clear my name, talk about the experience, and give my opinion on how the situation could have turned out better if other students were allowed to be armed.
I didn’t post his picture. I had my doubts.
Chilling…from a review of Sin City: [Doh!]
i hate movies where guns are portrayed as giant black evil killing machines for the sole purpose of mindless violence
From another movie review…
i can say that one of my greatest fears is psychosis. mental deterioration to the point where you can’t tell reality from fantasy. imagine waking up one day and reality as you know it is something totally different from what you would expect. just as Cypher couldn’t handle the reality of what the matrix really is, i think i would end up in such denial, if presented with something i couldn’t comprehend or cope with.
4:50PM: Is this the guy? Is this one of the guns? [No, it's not.]
He calls it “Goldie.” His website also says “you know those creepy/crazy old men who own enough firearms to facilitate an army? i’m slowly turning into one of them….”
I still don’t know if this is him, but from this site, which also seems to be his, you can begin to piece together the story that fits with what we know from police. It looks like last month his relationship with someone named Janice fell apart. On March 20, there’s a simple post “Me & Janice broke up…”
There are also pictures of him and his guns at Quantico and something about him enlisting. Not sure if that’s accurate. He had been accepted to grad school. Was he going to school or the marines? Had he proposed?
He also quotes some lines by Ann Coulter. The left is going to go berserk when this comes out.
2:25PM: I’m not alone in thinking the University bears some responsibility for this. Here’s a recent note on a VT forum:
I’m a faculty member here and the University’s negligence on this cost many lives. TWO HOURS without a warning is unconscionable!
Heads are likely to roll. Lawsuits will follow.
1:45PM: Listening to the radio now. President Steger says 31 dead at Norris hall including the shooter. Another two dead at West AJ. Still saying they don’t know if the incidents are related.
First question: “Why not shut down campus after the first shooting?”
Steger immediately refers the question to the police chief who says they believed it was a “domestic” situation and that the shooter had left campus. He refuses to say why they believed this.
There was a bomb threat on Friday…no word if this is connected.
Now backtracking…”I didn’t say it was domestic in nature.” Um…yes you did.
Steger is asked about the closing “So you thought the situation was under control?” and he answers “As best we could.”
Police chief again: “We knew we had two people shot…We had information that led us to believe the building was secure and that the person had left the campus.”
The police chief really sounds beat up about this.
Steger: “Are they safer being kept in the dorms or kept in the classrooms. This morning we chose the latter.” So it was a choice. A very bad one it seems to me.
Steger: “The question is where do you lock them down…people are already in transit…We concluded it was best, once they got in the classroom, that was where to lock them down.”
One of the reporters notes that there are numerous other dorms around West AJ and yet no students were notified until after 9 o’clock.
This sounds more and more like a screw up to me. Steger made the decision not to notify students using the numerous systems at his disposal. I don’t see how that can possibly be justified. The campus should have been — if not locked down — at least notified immediately.
Steger repeatedly argued that because people were in transit from off-campus notification wouldn’t have helped. Well, back behind Norris hall is a giant parking lot — gravel in my day — where off campus students park. Why couldn’t security have been sent to this lot asking students to return home? On campus students could have been notified before leaving their dorms.
Finally, the reluctance of the police chief to connect the two incidents, despite the fact that they aren’t looking for any other suspects strikes me as a pathetic ass-covering maneuver. I simply can’t believe there is any serious doubt about the connection of the two events.
Forget what I said earlier about not blaming anyone. Maybe more information will come out to change my mind, but at this moment let me be the first to say Steger should lose his job over this. He made the decision that left thousands of students on campus without any information about a murder that had taken place or that the killer was still on the loose.
12:45PM: Interview with one of the victims is here. Unfortunately I can’t embed it.
Another first person account from the BBC is here.
12:35PM: Word from an EMS tech who was on scene is that the shooting started with a girlfriend caught cheating:
To the best of my understanding (from first-hand accounts) this all started with an ex-boyfriend finding his girlfriend in bed with another guy. He then shot them, killing the guy immediately and the girl died at RMH. The shooter then went to Norris hall and entered a classroom opening fire.
Just to be clear I’m not blaming anyone but the shooter for this incident, but I do think some questions about the delay between the first shooting — with the 911 call reportedly coming at 7:15 — and the campus shutdown approximately 90 minutes later need to be answered.
Correction: Not 90 minutes, more like 2 1/2 hours between the incident in West AJ and word getting to students in classrooms:
I was in class two buildings over. Someone got a text message saying something was going on. After that we were told to stay in the building, away from the windows.
Right at the end of class, 9:50 or 9:55.
It really wasn’t organized. Almost everyone else just left, and while the kids were running out, people said, “Come back, come back.”
“The only reason we knew was because someone got a text message No one was there saying, “This is what’s going on.”
Communication from college? I checked my e-mail about 8:30 I went to my class as I usually would. By 8:30 no one was notified that something had happened at 7. We went onto a dangerous campus not knowing
11:55AM: ABC News has the full cell phone video. The on-air reporter is speculating correctly. This is taken on the Norris Hall side of campus, possibly behind Burruss Hall.
11:45AM: The Telegraph has a video report including film of the incident as it was happening.
11:25AM: Who is this guy and why is he being handcuffed?
[Note: It appears this person was not involved, but may have been arrested because police were looking for an Asian shooter.]
Update 10:50 AM: Worse and worse:
At least 32 people are confirmed dead and at least another 21 are wounded after a shooting at Virginia Tech University Monday morning, federal law enforcement officials told FOX News.
Campus police said there was only one shooter and he is now dead. They are unsure if the shooter was a student and it was unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life.
It was the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history.
[What follows is my initial post at 9:59AM]
Dear God, 22 people killed and another 20 injured at my alma mater, Virginia Tech:
A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing 21 people and wounding another 21 before he was killed, police said.
“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions,” said university president Charles Steger. “The university is shocked and indeed horrified.”
The university reported shootings at opposite sides of the 2,600-acre campus, beginning at about 7:15 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, a co-ed residence hall that houses 895 people, and continuing about two hours later at Norris Hall, an engineering building.
One student was killed in a dorm and the others were killed in the classroom, Virginia Tech Police Chief W.R. Flinchum.
After the shootings, all entrances to the campus were closed and classes canceled through Tuesday.
“There’s just a lot of commotion. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on,” said Jason Anthony Smith, 19, who lives in the dorm where shooting took place.
Aimee Kanode, a freshman from Martinsville, said the shooting happened on the 4th floor of West Ambler Johnston dormitory, one floor above her room. Kanode’s resident assistant knocked on her door about 8 a.m. to notify students to stay put.
“They had us under lockdown,” Kanode said. “They temporarily lifted the lockdown, the gunman shot again.”
“We’re all locked in our dorms surfing the Internet trying to figure out what’s going on,” Kanode said.
Madison Van Duyne, a student who was interviewed by telephone on CNN, said, “We are all in lockdown. Most of the students are sitting on the floors away from the windows just trying to be as safe as possible.”
The shooter has apparently been killed but no one has released his name yet.
It’s obviously too early to say what happened, but I’m already wondering why — if there was a shooting in the dorms at 7:15 — the campus wasn’t locked down before the start of 8AM classes. All of the dorms are on one side of campus and classrooms are mostly on the other side, divided by a huge open area called the Drill field (where ROTC drills take place).
Students going to class have a 5-10 minute walk across campus. But according to this eye-witness report, no one new what had happened, even people living in West AJ:
I woke up and there were police outside in the hall, and I went to the bathroom and I asked the janitor what was going on, and she didn’t know — but she heard that two people were taken out on stretchers. Nothing had happened yet when I left to go to my first class, because I have an 8:00 — they hadn’t started locking us down or anything. And so I just walked to class, and my 8:00 is right across from Norris Hall. So there were gunshots outside the building, but my brother came and got me and I’m in his … apartment now. …
When I left the dorm this morning, no one really knew what was going on until I walked outside and there were [about] 20 police cars in the quad. So I knew something was up, but no e-mails had been sent out yet. And when I got to class, people were talking, they were like, “What happened?,” and no one knew. And then the e-mails started coming. The building that I was in overlooks the parking lot, and everyone was leaving. And that’s when we knew that something was seriously happening.
Why wasn’t the campus locked down before students left the relative safety of their dorm rooms? Dorm rooms have heavy fire doors which can be locked. But apparently the campus wasn’t locked down until sometime around 9AM, at which point many students were already in their classes, making this kind of multiple fatality rampage possible. The second attack, which claimed most of the lives, took place in Norris Hall.
On a personal note, the fourth floor of AJ where the first shooting took place is where my wife lived when we were dating.
Category: Crime & the Law |