Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

My Deepest Condolences

My deepest condolences to the 32 souls that perished in the Virginia Tech Massacre

*Note: Information regarding the Virginia Tech massacre are obtained from Wikipedia, its references (listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles), printed materials from The New Paper Singapore and online articles from BBC, CNN, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. For more details, refer to the Reference section at the bottom of the post.


1. The Shooting 

Aerial photo showing location of Norris and West Ambler Johnston Halls.The Virginia Tech massacre was a university shooting that unfolded as two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, on Monday, April 16, 2007 on the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. The first was in the West Ambler Johnston building, starting at 7:15 a.m., where two died, and the second at Norris Hall, where 30 were killed before the shooter's own suicide. A gunman killed thirty-two people and injured another twenty-nine before committing suicide, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The gunman, identified by authorities as Cho Seung-hui, was born in South Korea and grew up in Northern Virginia. He had permanent residence status and was a fourth-year English major at Virginia Tech.


2. Timeline

On the 16th of April, 

7.15am – Cho heads to West Ambler Johnston Hall, confronts Emily Hilcher and shoots her. Student Ryan Clark, her mentor, intervenes and is killed. A 911 call goes to Virginia Tech police. By the time police arrived, Cho has returned to his dorm. Back in his room, Cho writes a 1800-word manifesto , ranting against "rich kids" and "deceitful charlatans on the campus". He writes: "You caused me to do this." He posts a deadly warning on the college's online forum: "im going to kill epeople at vtech today."

9.01am – Cho mails a package to NBC headquarters in New York, containing a manifesto, pictures of him holding weapons and a video clip in which he alludes to the coming massacre.

9.05am – Cho seen in Norris Hall, an Engineering building. Cho chains the doors shut from the inside.

9.15am – Armed wtih a .22 Walther pistol and a 9mm Clock handgun, Cho heads for Norris Hall and chains the door from the inside. He heads for the second floor, where most of the classes are located.

9.26am – E-mails go out to campus staff, faculty, and students saying there has been a shooting on campus (in reference to the Dorm shooting). 

9.45am – Students in the engineering building Norris Hall call police to report more shots have been fired. Cho kills thirty more people before turning the gun on himself. Police breach the barricaded doors, but Cho is dead before they arrive.

Read the Virginia Tech Massacre Timeline. It shows that few grueling hours students of Norris Hall has experienced as gunman Cho was on the loose. 


3. Inside Norris Hall – What Happened?

*Note: The events that happened in Norris Hall are not arranged according to the flow of time. They are arranged according to the classroom numbers due to the lack of information. 

Room 204 (2 fatalities) – Professor Liviu Librescu , who is teaching solid mechanics, hears the sound of gunfire. He tells his students to escape through the window. Some jump you, others hide behind desks. Cho shoots him through the door, killing him.

Room 205 – Computer engineering student Zhang Ruqi hears gunshots. He and his teacher push a table against the door while a few students hold the door down. Cho tries to push his way in and when he can't, he fires two shots through the door. In another room, student Zach Pefkewicz and his classmates throw a couple of tables in front of the door and hold on to it. Cho tries to get it but when he can't, he shoots through the door and leaves.

Room 206 (9 fatalities) – Professor G. V. Loganathan is conducting a class in advanced hydrology when Cho makes his entry. He kills the professor and two other students. 

Room 207 (5 fatalities) – A German class is in progress. Cho enters room and shoots Professor Christopher James Bishop in the head. He shooter many others. According to Trey Perkins, 20, Cho fired 30 rounds of gunshots with a "very serious but very calm look on his face". "Everyone hit the floor at that moment… and the shots seemed like they lasted forever."

Room 211 (11 fatalities) – Cho kills four in this classroom, including Professor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak , where a French lesson is on.


4. Brave Souls

Professor Liviu Librescu. The 76 year-old Holocaust survivor was teaching solid mechanics, heard the sound of gunfire. He held the door of his classroom shut while Cho was attempting to enter it; although he was shot through the door, he was able to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom until his students had escaped through the windows. A number of Librescu's students have called him a hero because of his actions, with one student, Asael Arad, saying that all the professor's students "lived because of him". Librescu's son, Joe, said he had received e-mails from several students who said he had saved their lives and regarded him as a hero whilst many newspapers also reported him as the hero of the massacre. His death came on Yom Hashoah (the Holocaust Remembrance Day) in Israel and Judaism.

Kevin Granata. He went down to second floor from his third floor office of Norris Hall, where the second round of shootings in the massacre took place. It was reported by witnesses to investigators that Dr. Granata, inside either an office or a classroom with other people, heard a commotion and went into the hallway to see if he could help. 

Partahi Lumbantoruan. he was conducting a class in advanced hydrology when Cho made his entry. He attempted to block the door from Cho's attack and gave way to the fellow students to save themselves, but was killed as a result.

Zach Petkewicz. He and two other classmates (fourth-year students) in another classroom – shoved a long table against the door and held it there – helping save 11 students from the massacre.


5. My Comments

I got the rude shock when I first read about the shooting at Virginia Tech. According to various news reports, gunman Cho Seung-hui was a loner, and what really left me shaken his is dark nature. He wrote plays that were explicit and violent, stalked girls, secretly took photos of the legs of his female classmates, stayed silent and preferred to be left alone. The stage has been set for something wrong to happen. It is just a matter of time when all hell broke lose in Norris Hall.

Survivors said that as gunman Cho shot people, he appeared to be calm and serious. What was going through his mind when he was shooting? He mentioned about his hatred towards rich and affluent people who won't help but keep flaunting their wealth. Is that what that made him start the massacre? Did he realise that the people he are shooting were innocent victims who were just happened to be attending lessons on the second floor of Norris Hall? 

I respect the teachers and students who defended their students and classmates during the time of crisis. It takes a lot of courage to put your own safety at the back of your mind as you gave people time to escape from grevious harm and danger while you put yourself at risk of being killed by gunshots. Especially Professor Liviu Librescu who held the classroom door as his students scrambled for safety and who got fatally shot through the door of the classroom.

The massacre lead to a heated debate regarding gun control . Should Virginia continue allowing people to purchase guns for self-defense as long as pass the background screening (if a person has a criminal background he will be prohibited from purchasing weapons)? Should Virginia Tech allow students to bring guns into the campus (in this case students were unarmed in the campus that's why they have little defence over themselves, leading to a high death toll)? These are a few out of the many issues concerning the right of every single American to have the liberty to purchase guns.

Again, I would like to extend my greatest sympathy to those who have lost their loves ones in the tragic Virginia Tech massacre. May the perished souls rest in peace. My prayers are up for you. 


6. What You Can Do

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. It's your turn now. What do you think about this massacre? What opinions do you have regarding the gun control in the United States? Do you think the administrative personnel of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University should be held responsible for the delay in telling students that a gunman had earlier killed 2 residents in West Ambler Johnston Hall?

Do leave a comment about how your heart goes out to those who have perished in this tragic disaster. Let them know that there is always a place in our hearts for them.


7. References 

  1. "Virginia Tech massacre", Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
  2. "A Killer's Trail", The New Paper. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  3. "Gunman Kills 32 at Virginia Tech In Deadlist Shooting in US History", The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  4. "Kevin Granata", Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  5. "Killer's manifesto: 'You forced me into a corner'", CNN. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  6. "Liviu Librescu", Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  7. "News Release: Nation Again Grieves Over A Tragedy Of Monumental Proportions ", CNN. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  8. "Portraits of a Killer", The New Paper. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  9. "Seoul expresses shock as gunman identified as Korean ", Channel News Asia. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  10. "Professor among victims of Virginia Tech Massacre ", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  11. "Gunman killed after deadly Virginia Tech rampage ", CNN. Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  12. "US university shooting kills 33 ", BBC. Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
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