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lunedì 17 aprile 2017

American Carnage: The Virginia Tech massacre

TEN years ago, Seun-Hui Cho armed himself with two guns and sprayed bullets at students in a bloodbath at Virginia Tech university.

On the morning of April 16, 2007, 32 people died at the hands of a mass shooter at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.

After killing 32 people and leaving 17 others injured in two separate attacks, the disturbed English major then turned the gun on himself.
The massacre sent shockwaves around the world and forced America to tighten its gun laws.
On April 16, 2007, at 6.47am local time, Seung-Hui Cho walked into West Hambler Johnston Hall, which housed 895 students, and opened fire.
Armed with a .22-caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic and a 9mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun, Cho entered the room of freshman Emily J Hilscher and blasted her.
After hearing the gunshots, heroic Ryan Clark, 22, attempted to help Emily as she lay dying on the floor but was killed by Cho.
Cho then returned to his room, changed out of bloodstained clothes, deleted his emails and removed the hard drive from his PC.
He dropped a package for NBC News off at the post office and then walked to Norris Hall carrying a backpack containing several chains, locks, a hammer, a knife, two handguns and nearly 400 rounds of ammunition.
Around two hours after the first shootings, Cho entered the building and chained the three main entrance doors shut – pinning a note to one saying a bomb would explode if the door was opened.
He walked into a class and killed Professor GV Loganathan then sprayed students with bullets killing nine out of 13.
Cho then went across the hall and shot dead German instructor Jamie Bishop and four students.
Israeli Holocaust survivor Professor Liviu Librescu blocked Cho from entering his classroom allowing most of his students to flee through the window. He and one student were killed.
Instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak and student Henry Lee were killed in room 211 as they attempted to barricade the door, and Cho massacred ten more in the room.
The killer reloaded and began returning to classrooms he had visited earlier.
As terrified students began tending to those injured, Cho opened fire again – killing Waleed Shaalan as he shot him for the second time.
Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan was gunned down and killed as he protected a fellow student, while substitute professor Haiyan Cheng managed to prevent Cho from entering – saving everyone in his classroom including himself.
Hearing the commotion below, brave Professor Kevin Granata took 20 students and locked them in his office.
He was shot dead as he went downstairs to investigate but none of his students were harmed.
Up to 12 minutes after the second attack had started, Cho then shot himself in the head with the Glock 19.

How many people were killed in the Virginia Tech massacre?

Cho killed 32 people in both attacks and injured dozens more.
In the first attack on West Hambler Johnston Hall, Emily and Ryan were the only victims.
In Norris Hall, Cho fired at least 174 rounds killing 30 and wounding 17.
A further six were injured when they jumped from windows in a bid to escape.
All of the victims were shot at least three times each, and 28 were shot in the head.

Who was shooter Seung-Hui Cho?

Troubled mass killer Cho, 23, was a South Korean citizen with a US permanent resident status.
Cho lived with his family in Seoul, South Korea, before moving to the US when he was eight years old.
Following a review into the massacre, it emerged that Cho had been diagnosed with severe depression, selective mutism and an anxiety disorder while aged around 12.
During the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, Cho wrote an essay about wanting to “repeat” the killings and was sent to a psychiatrist.
He was bullied throughout school for his speech and shyness, and his parents took him to church to address his problems even though Cho “hated” their Christian faith.
In a video that Cho sent to the NBC headquarters in New York he stated, “Thanks to you I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and defenceless people.”
When he was admitted to Virginia Tech, officials at his previous schools did not report his speech and anxiety-related problems because of federal privacy laws preventing disclosure unless a student requests special accommodation.

Was Seung-Hui Cho a student at Virginia Tech?

He was a senior and majored in English.
Several former professors reported that his writing and classroom behaviour were disturbing, and he was encouraged to seek counselling.
Cho had been removed from a poetry class in 2005 for “menacing” behaviour, and he would intimidate female students by photographing their legs under the desk.
He was also investigated by the university for stalking and harassing two female students.
Cho was declared mentally ill and ordered to seek outpatient treatment.
After the shooting, police found a suicide note in Cho’s dorm room that included comments about “rich kids”, “debauchery”, and “deceitful charlatans”.
On April 18, 2007, NBC received a time-stamped package from Cho containing a 1,800 word manifesto, photos and videos.
In one, he said: “You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. … You just loved to crucify me. You loved inducing cancer in my head, terror in my heart and ripping my soul all this time”.

What was the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre?

The university and America’s gun laws came under heavy criticism following the shooting.
The Virginia Tech Review Panel slammed administrators for failing to take action that might have reduced the number of victims.
They also pointed out gaps in mental health care and privacy laws that let Cho’s condition remain untreated.
After he was declared mentally ill, Cho wasn’t institutionalised – meaning he was allowed to purchase the guns still.
This prompted Virginia to close loopholes in the law that had allowed people deemed mentally unsound to purchase guns without detection.
It also led to the passing of the only major federal gun con
The New York Times has reported the killer was on a prescription medication, and authorities have said he was confined briefly several years ago for a mental episode. They also have confirmed that the “prescription drugs” found among his effects related to the treatment of psychological problems.
Dr. Peter Breggin, a prominent critic of psychiatric drugs and founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, said even if Cho wasn’t taking psychiatric drugs the day of the shooting, “he might have been tipped over into violent madness weeks or months earlier by a drug like Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft.”
While media reports have focused on guns and gun laws, Cho’s violent writings and autistic behavior at Virginia Tech and the delay in notifying students and faculty of the beginnings of the shootings, there are those who say the focus should be on his medical history.
“In my book ‘Reclaiming Our Children,’ I analyzed the clinical and scientific reasons for believing that Eric Harris’s violence was caused by prescribed Luvox and I’ve also testified to the same under oath in depositions in a case related to Columbine,” Breggin wrote, referring to the 1999 tragedy when Harris and classmate Dylan Klebold shot and bombed students at the Colorado school until a dozen were dead.
“In my book “The Antidepressant Fact Book,” I also warned that stopping antidepressants can be as dangerous as starting them, since they can cause very disturbing and painful withdrawal reactions,” he added.
The TeenScreenTruth website, dealing with the campaign to “screen” children for “problems” and then prescribe drugs, has documented an extended list of violent episodes believed connected to the use of psychiatric drugs.
They range as far back as 1985, when Atlanta postal worker Steven W. Brownlee, who had been getting psychotropic drugs, pulled a gun and shot and killed a supervisor and a clerk.



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