VT gunman fired 170 rounds in nine minutes: Cops


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News Shooter
April 25, 2007, 02:30 PM
By KRISTEN GELINEAU

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The gunman who carried out the massacre at Virginia Tech fired more than 170 rounds in nine minutes and died with a bullet to his head in a classroom surrounded by his victims, authorities said Wednesday.

Police provided new details about the case at a news conference on the campus of Virginia Tech, but they said investigators still don't know what set the gunman off.

Seung-Hui Cho, 23, chained shut three public entrances to Norris Hall, the classroom building where he killed 30 students and teachers, police said. Two hours earlier, he had gunned down his first victims in a dormitory across campus.

State Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty said Wednesday that investigators had compiled 500 pieces of evidence from Norris Hall but still had no answers about what motivated Cho to carry out such a bloody killing spree.

"We talk about possible motives and theories and whatnot, but we don't have any evidence to suggest anything," Flaherty said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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plexreticle
April 25, 2007, 02:34 PM
Motive? What set him off?

The guy was insane.

dhoomonyou
April 25, 2007, 02:39 PM
MOTIVE?

the guy was a LUNATIC.

Geronimo45
April 25, 2007, 02:46 PM
Motive? What set him off?

The guy was insane.
True. But why did he decide to go on his spree at that particular time? Why not wait another week? Why shoot up that particular building? Did he buy the P22 (purchased a few months ago) in preparation for killing everybody? Did his plans go back that far?

If they knew what set him off, they might be able to figure out where his plans all started.

Despite being crazy, folks generally have a method in their madness.

whited
April 25, 2007, 03:17 PM
I wasn't aware that there was any real conclusive evidence that Seung
committed the first two murders. Also, exactly how were the police able to
definitively say that all the shots occurred in "nine minutes" ? Did they have
a stopwatch on the killer; did someone say "ok....Go!" ?? Everything else
I've read up to this point suggests that the rampage went on for at the
very least 20 minutes, and was likely closer to a half-hour.

Another interesting bit of information is the claim of "more than" 170 shots.
Well no kidding. Sixty people shot at least twice each, many shot more times,
is obviously going to equal at least that number. The real count, if ever
determined, will be much, much higher. Much higher.

Bazooka Joe71
April 25, 2007, 03:33 PM
VA police had a field day shootin him i bet.


:scrutiny:

SamTuckerMTNMAN
April 25, 2007, 03:35 PM
I still want to know why everyone ignored the red marker writing on his arm. . . that doesn't lead to a motive, or rationalize insanity, but it does have a meaning. And yet, you wouldn't even know he wrote in large letters "ISMAEL AX" if a few discerning people didnt keep it in the alternative news.

ST

hotpig
April 25, 2007, 03:35 PM
Nine minutes is way more than enough time to do what he did. He had to do it fast before enough Police arrived to stop him.

jcoiii
April 25, 2007, 03:36 PM
Why is what this guy was thinking (or what he said) more important than what he did?

Will his motive makes his crime more or less heinous? Is it more "understandable" if he was picked on, or not hugged enough? Does it lessen the impact or the horrendous nature of it? Just curious.

whited
April 25, 2007, 03:42 PM
Nine minutes is way more than enough time to do what he did.

Perhaps. But everything I've read suggests that it was over 20 minutes.

That's a pretty big inconsistency.

He had to do it fast

Witness accounts describe no hurry or panic on Seung's part. There was no
running described. He was calm and methodical according to survivors,
moving from room to room and back again.

enough Police arrived to stop him

I wonder how many police outside the building in riot gear pointing their
guns at windows it would take to get Seung to stop ?

No, its obvious that a major part of his plan (not to be altered) was
going out on his own terms.

RNB65
April 25, 2007, 03:47 PM
Do you really think he killed himself?

Yes, I do. In fact, I recently read an interview with one of the students who was lying on the floor playing dead (he had been shot but was alive) less than 5 feet from Cho when he killed himself. He said Cho stood there for a few seconds without making a sound, then there was a single gunshot and Cho's body crashed to the floor right beside him.



Everything else I've read up to this point suggests that the rampage went on for at the very least 20 minutes, and was likely closer to a half-hour.

No, I don't think it was that long. I've been trying to put together a timeline based on interviews with cops and surviving students. We may never know exactly, but I think around 10 minutes is close.

hso
April 25, 2007, 03:48 PM
Time it with a stop watch and you'll find 9 minutes is an awfully long time for the shooting to begin and go to it's horrible end.

hotpig
April 25, 2007, 03:49 PM
The number of Police that I was on tv had to come from miles away. Some were even in the slow moving armored SWAT vehicles.

He could have crawled around in that building shooting fish in a barrel for nine minutes and got a high body count.

Geronimo45
April 25, 2007, 04:00 PM
One round every three seconds, if you ignore the time required to switch mags.

RNB65
April 25, 2007, 04:00 PM
The number of Police that I was on tv had to come from miles away. Some were even in the slow moving armored SWAT vehicles.

I'm pretty certain that most of the heavy firepower you saw on TV (in particular, the State Police SWAT units) didn't arrive until well AFTER the Norris Hall shooting was over. Remember, they were treating it as a routine domestic shooting prior to the Norris Hall shooting. It was the local police and deputies (and maybe some members of the Montgomery County Sheriff's office SWAT team) that scrambled across the campus when the report came in of shots fired in Norris Hall. The fight was long over by the time the heavy artillery arrived.

LaEscopeta
April 25, 2007, 04:06 PM
I wasn't aware that there was any real conclusive evidence that Seung committed the first two murders.Thatís my understanding; everything I read through last Sunday had the police only saying the first 2 murders were committed with the same Glock 9mm found by Choís dead body, not saying Cho shot the first 2. Maybe they now have evidence placing Cho at the scene of the first 2 murders (fingerprints on door knobs?) and/or maybe the news writer is leaping to conclusions.

...exactly how were the police able to definitively say that all the shots occurred in "nine minutes"Well, a survivor is quoted in the paper as saying he called 911 just after the shooting started, and left the phone on (other people have posted here saying they heard the 911 tape on the news and they could hear the shots.) 911 tapes have the time encoded. Also police radio tapes keep track of the time, and the NY Times is reporting the first cops who got the class room building immediately broke the chain on the doors with a shotgun, and they heard only one shot after that (presumly Choís sucude shot.) Most police departments have a policy of radioing in anytime an officer fires, as soon as possible. The same NYT story says the cops radioed in when they found Choís body. So Iím guessing they are getting the 9 minutes from the 911 and/or police radio tapes.

The NYT stories are here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/us/22norris.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/us...G_GRAPHIC.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/us...er&oref=slogin

(May need to register for some of these.)

Another interesting bit of information is the claim of "more than" 170 shots.Iím guessing the cops recovered more than 170 shell casings so far.

Why is what this guy was thinking (or what he said) more important than what he did?
Will his motive makes his crime more or less heinous? Is it more "understandable" if he was picked on, or not hugged enough? Does it lessen the impact or the horrendous nature of it? Just curious.Figuring out why is part of fitting all the pieces together to be reasonably sure Cho was the one and only murderer in this case. If something does not fit, it may mean there is one or more other people involved (maybe egging Cho on?) who need to be found (for both justice and preventive purposes.)

hotpig
April 25, 2007, 04:06 PM
Thats what I mean. All of those cops that were shown on tv were not chicken ****s that were afraid to enter the building. They got there too late to do anything.

Geronimo45
April 25, 2007, 04:13 PM
They've probably tallied up the shell casings... but also the mags. Apparently, he had 17 mags on him. He had a Walther P22 and a Glock. Minimum magazine size for both is 10 rounds. Chances are that he may've had high-cap magazines. They find 17 empty mags, it's logical to assume that he both loaded all mags to full capacity and fired off at least 170 rounds.

nwilliams
April 25, 2007, 08:20 PM
I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that the police couldn't track down and stop this guy in under 10 minutes:scrutiny: They were on campus they knew right where the guy was. They say it took them 5 minutes to get through the chained doors, maybe its just me but that seems like more time than it should take. They also claim it took 3 minutes to get the building where this guy was, I know its a big campus but didn't any of them have cars?

Maybe I'm completely wrong it just seems like this could have been handled more swiftly. I could understand if the police weren't already on campus, but the fact that they were just makes it seem a little strange. Even if one or two officers could have made it through a window or something they could have at the very least kept the guy pinned down, or better yet dropped the lunatic. Granted I'm not cop or anything and wasn't there so I can ony speculate.

JohnBT
April 25, 2007, 08:49 PM
"They also claim it took 3 minutes to get the building where this guy was, I know its a big campus but didn't any of them have cars? "

Maybe they weren't in their cars. Maybe they had to leave the building they were in and run to their cars. Then after the drive (a half mile if they went cross country across the Drillfield) they had to run from their cars to Norris. It's not like it's a straight shot with parking right at the front door. I dunno, why don't we wait and see the final report. Things like how many shots it took to break through the chained doors. I don't know yet what kind of chains he used. Or locks.

"this could have been handled more swiftly."

We have the luxury of knowing which floor he was on and which rooms he'd been in and how many shooters there were - one. I don't know how much info the officers on the scene had. Maybe nothing more than "shots fired."

I remember when Williams Hall was occupied by students during the Vietnam protests. The State Police had a Mayflower semi backed up to the rear door and had to literally pull the doors off the building before they could herd the students into the trailer. Then somebody opened the side door on the trailer (the side door was outside the perimeter they'd established) and let a bunch of them escape. So much for swarms of State Troopers being able to lock down a campus.

John

kfranz
April 25, 2007, 09:24 PM
Granted I'm not cop or anything and wasn't there so I can ony speculate.

nwilliams, perhaps you should make some attempt to re-create the police efforts before you speculate. What "seems" like a long time to you isn't really relevant unless you've got at least some factual basis to back it up.

rbernie
April 25, 2007, 09:42 PM
If they knew what set him off, they might be able to figure out where his plans all started. Why do we care? Of what value is any speculation (and EVERYTHING stated as fact will, in fact, be pure speculation).

coylh
April 25, 2007, 11:07 PM
Why do we care?

3000 reporters need something to print, and if there's no backstory, the story becomes the police response.

plexreticle
April 25, 2007, 11:55 PM
The guy was crazy. It doesn't matter what set him off unless you're into morbid curiosity. Any reason he had was not based on rational thinking.

I would not expect the police to charge in feet first with the possibility of multiple shooters. They do need time to asses the situation. By the time they figured out what was going on it was probably over.

buck00
April 26, 2007, 12:08 AM
Thats what I mean. All of those cops that were shown on tv were not chicken ****s that were afraid to enter the building. They got there too late to do anything.

I wouldn't say this. The police were already on campus and responded pretty fast to Norris Hall, in fact much faster than if they hadn't been around due to the first shooting. It didn't help that the killer chained the doors.

However, what it definitely reflects is even if you have a full SWAT team two minutes away.... a whacko with a pistol is still going to do damage. The only hope for these students that day (or at the next college shooting) would be a fellow student with CCW...

grampster
April 26, 2007, 12:12 AM
Early on in this thread, motive was brought forth as a question. Why did this creature do this?

He's mentally ill. His brain is misfiring. There is no logic to be discovered. There was no reasoning. He was mentally ill. Reason and mental illness are at opposite poles.

Geister
April 26, 2007, 12:16 AM
I don't think it lasted over 15 minutes, whited. The police could realistically respond in under 20 minutes. But the reality is that Cho was already dead by the time they pulled up.

hotpig
April 26, 2007, 12:17 AM
I'm just using the times that I read on this post. Lets assume a 911 call was turned in within seconds of the rampage. Lets assume the 911 call went to the right 911 center and the police were dispatched.

If all of that happened in less than one minute I would be surprised. Heck, it would darn near be a miracle.

The first Officer arrived on the scene in three minutes of dispatch. That is a very good response time by car or foot.(I worked campus security for two years.)

If everything was perfect a minimum of four minutes had passed by now. This is just the first arriving Officer outside of the locked down building.

The time line looks like the nut did himself in either when he heard sirens or when he heard the chains on the door being taken out. This is a speculation and if you add .95 with it you can get a cup of coffee at the quick shop.

ArfinGreebly
April 26, 2007, 01:53 AM
Is that nine minutes EXCLUDING reloads?

From witness descriptions, he left a room, was gone a while, then came back. Don't know if he was reloading or shooting fish in a different barrel.

Motive?

It doesn't really matter.

Because, by the time he made up his mind to do the deed, he had already decided that
they are all out to get me;
they are all Martians and I have to get them first;
glory is everything, and killing/dying is how you get it;
there's no point to life, so it doesn't matter who else I kill before I check out;
they are all out to get me;
I hate everyone, and I'll make them sorry;
I am Shiva; fear me;
they're never going to let me win; I'll never break even; they won't let me out of the game;
this is really the most effective way to verify my thesis in Sociology, so this will guarantee me an 'A' in the class;
they are all out to get me.
A guy who's seeing Martians doesn't need a motive as we would understand it.

JohnBT
April 26, 2007, 07:52 AM
Earlier I said it was a half-mile from AJ to Norris if they went cross country across the Drillfield. That was an obscure joke. It's a long way if you have to drive it and dodge pedestrians. AJ is in the upper left; Norris is circled.

At least now they have sidewalks across the Drillfield. It was more the Mudfield many days way back when.

https://secure.hosting.vt.edu/www.eng.vt.edu/images/content/norris_map.jpg

SamTuckerMTNMAN
April 26, 2007, 08:07 AM
He's mentally ill. His brain is misfiring. There is no logic to be discovered. There was no reasoning. He was mentally ill. Reason and mental illness are at opposite poles.

While on one hand I agree, its also important to realize that even crazy people have reasons and motivation. It's easy to explain away anyones actions by reason of insanity, but more often than not, this resolution robs us an understanding which can help us deal with an enemy in the future. Terrorists are insane to everyone, except terrorists, and a huge segment of people known as 'sympathizers'. Heck, Republicans are insane to Democrats and vice versa. Rosie O'Donnel in insane to me, Hitler was insane to most people, except neo Nazi's and misinformed white supremacists. So what I am getting at is that a discussion of possibilities, or influences at least, is better than a simple declaration - "He was insane, that's all."

In my opinion of course.

ST

ps - still wanting to know why ISMAEL AX was on his arm anyway.

#shooter
April 26, 2007, 08:39 AM
Maybe I'm completely wrong it just seems like this could have been handled more swiftly.
This business that the police got there too late is not accurate. There is at least one video that shows the police taking cover at or near Norris and you can hear gunfire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSbZmd-l8n8 In the video you see the police taking cover and not advancing. To say “it was over by the time the police got there” is not entirely accurate. I don’t blame the police for taking cover, but to make it seem like they were rushing the building as fast as they could is not true at least in this video.

RNB65
April 26, 2007, 08:51 AM
I donít blame the police for taking cover, but to make it seem like they were rushing the building as fast as they could is not true at least in this video.

I think you're only seeing a very small piece of a very large incident. Not every cop on scene made a head long rush towards the doors of Norris Hall. Some went into the building to go after the shooter and the rest setup a perimeter around the building in case the shooter (or shooters) tried to escape. The incident is going to be analyzed with a find toothed comb and at some point in the near future we'll know exactly what everyone did that morning.

Lucky
April 26, 2007, 09:00 AM
I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that the police couldn't track down and stop this guy in under 10 minutes They were on campus they knew right where the guy was. They say it took them 5 minutes to get through the chained doors, maybe its just me but that seems like more time than it should take. They also claim it took 3 minutes to get the building where this guy was, I know its a big campus but didn't any of them have cars?


Time to learn the facts. If you pay attention you'll see police officers tell you the truth, flat out. Dispels the mystique: I want to do my job, and go home safely

Period. Read what you want out of that, but it's just the plain truth. Everyone has priorities. Their job is not to protect you, that's just something that the politicos say when they send them to disarm you. Main job is to obey what politicos say to do, investigate crimes that have happened, apprehend suspects, accommodate the judicial system, and when time permits uphold the law ie 'serve and protect'.

If there's a maniac trying to break your door down and kill you, you'd better not be expecting help to rush in on a white stallion, because that's not going to happen. Your well-being is important, it's just not most important. No-one is going to care about you like you.

Checkman
April 26, 2007, 09:24 AM
Cop Bashers don't care about facts or why we (the stupid cops) do things the way we do. You can talk facts and have them attend training until you die of old age and it won't matter.

They're like the anti's. They live in their little bubble and will absolutely not consider anything that could break that bubble. :banghead:

And the wheels on the bus go round and round......:rolleyes:

LaEscopeta
April 26, 2007, 09:34 AM
Some went into the building to go after the shooter and the rest setup a perimeter around the building in case the shooter (or shooters) tried to escape.This is certainly the proper procedure and what the police should have done. Right now I’m not seeing evidence that this is not what the police did, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and am assuming they did everything right. Of course it is a free country, and in the absence of evidence you can make the opposite assumption and choose to bash the cops.

(Also of course, all we know now is what the news media is saying the police and witnesses told them, plus a few video and 911 call clips. In previous cases like this much of what got reported early turned out to be false.)

JohnBT
April 26, 2007, 09:37 AM
I would like to answer the question about why it took so long for the police to break through the chained doors. Take a look at those doors.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2007/04/16/2003669141.jpg

JohnBT
April 26, 2007, 09:46 AM
And the windows, being narrow and sturdy, would have slowed them down as well. I believe they also have an insulating pane mounted on the inside, but I'm not certain. A first-floor Norris classroom.

http://www.esm.vt.edu/matlslab/MVC-002S.JPG

And a different room, 110, containing a biomechanics lab.

www.biomechanics.esm.vt.edu/msbiolab/Facilities/Equipment/Low_Back.jpg

Oops, way too big to post here, but a good view of the windows.

Checkman
April 26, 2007, 09:59 AM
Oh ouch. Good logical points.

All Cop Bashers you just ignore those. Why I have it on good authority that the Brady Campaign, VPC, and the Democratic Party will pay $1,000,000.00 to police daprtments who respond tragically late to an Active Shooter.:rolleyes:

IT'S A CONSPIRACY.

:cuss: :cuss: :fire: :fire: :banghead: :banghead:

Okay I feel better. Sorry - well not really.:o :o :D

whited
April 26, 2007, 10:51 AM
If you pay attention you'll see police officers tell you the truth, flat out.

coffee -> screen

tmg19103
April 26, 2007, 11:06 AM
As to why he chose that building or that time, we will never know.

This guy was psychotic. He rambled on in his recordings that he didn't want to do this, but he had to. For all we know, he had a class in that building and thought all the students were out to get him. Perhaps he thought aliens told him to commit the murders in that building. I don't think you will be able to pick up any patterns as I'm sure one person's insanity is vastly different than that of another. No doubt his insane mind felt wronged and the only answer in his deluded state was to shoot up this one buidling for what ever reason. Perhaps it is as simple as it was a building in the middle of campus that was furthest from police. Perhaps it had the fewest doors that were the easiest to chain shut. Perhaps he just knew the building because he took classes there. Perhaps is was random. Whatever reason - this was one sick dude. He didn't even know the first poor girl he killed in her dorm. No doubt with her he imagined some rebuff or took a liking to her and realized she would never like him.

Sadly, the motive is lost in his psychotic mind. He had no real reason to kill all the people, and as for why he chose that one building, it was either random, or the only positive that can come out of it is that the building made for an easy target and you then learn how to make buildings like that safer, BUT even then any lunatic with a gun won't be stopped. That then leads into the whole arm the faculty/students argument that the public is pretty much against.

hotpig
April 26, 2007, 11:08 AM
This thread will be locked by the moderators at any time. The other cop bashing thread like this was. It went from just a good old fashion bashing to down right idiocy by the bashers.

Kind of like debating guns with Ultra Liberal Dems. No rational thought can be found in their side of the debate.

JohnBT
April 26, 2007, 11:35 AM
I just watched the cell phone video - again - and it certainly does show police officers moving to the building. Whether they were the first to approach that door isn't clear, but they weren't hiding behind anything after they grabbed their gear.

John

whited
April 26, 2007, 01:05 PM
The cop-bashing is dumb, but its equally dumb to assert that cops are above
scrutiny or criticism, and that they always tell the truth. That needs to be
pointed out, apparently. Neither point of view is accurate or constructive.

Lucky
April 26, 2007, 06:29 PM
Why the cop bashing? The only way that could happen is if people somehow get the wrong impression of what the police response will be? The average officers on this site are very straight-forward, they explain straight-up that their #1 priority is their own safety. That's perfectly rational for any human being, no shame in that.

And that's why average citizens should adopt the same outlook - because in real life there is no Bruce Willis or Keanu Reeves who's going to swing through a window and rescue you. They're going to wait for the shooting to stop, and then do their job of investigating, apprehending, and bringing to court of justice the suspect(s).

The officers on this site don't say, "Police will always protect you." That's what politicians and police Chiefs say, and they only say it because they want to disarm you.

I think that 'mixed message' may be why you see some behaviour that could be interpreted as 'bashing'. It's because people don't have an outlet to communicate with the Chiefs of police (who actively work against citizens), and mistakenly direct their comments onto regular officers (who hopefully support citizens).

Tob
April 26, 2007, 11:40 PM
What type(s) of clips did he use in the Glock? Has that been covered on this/another thread yet?
-Tob

Flyboy
April 26, 2007, 11:49 PM
According to other threads, at least one (and probably more) of his mags was a 33rd mag originally intended for a Glock 18, but compatible with the Glock 19 Cho used. I don't know what he used in the P22 (though I'd guess the standard 10rd mags), and I don't know what, if any, other mags he used in the Glock.

MJZZZ
April 27, 2007, 08:48 AM
No cop bashing here, but I'm always going to carry because no one can ever predict when a nutjob like this will snap. The police station is over 12 miles from my house, and the action would likely be over before they arrive.
Has anyone determined what exact ammo the shooter used? Mike

Sistema1927
April 27, 2007, 09:00 AM
There sure seems to be a lot of "Monday morning quarterbacking" here (and other places on the net).

Here is what happened: A crazed killer chained doors shut, and then spent nine minutes shooting unarmed victims before killing himself. Police officers never had a chance to respond prior to this event coming to its quick and grisly end.

As a result: You are crazy if you think that it is the responsibility of anyone other than yourself to protect you or your loved ones.

ilbob
April 27, 2007, 09:11 AM
There sure seems to be a lot of "Monday morning quarterbacking" here (and other places on the net).
It is the favorite sport of Internet denizens.

Here is what happened: A crazed killer chained doors shut, and then spent nine minutes shooting unarmed victims before killing himself. Police officers never had a chance to respond prior to this event coming to its quick and grisly end.
I find it very hard to blame anyone other than the guy that pulled the trigger for what happened. It is difficult for me to understand the mindset of a guy whose mental processes are so twisted that he would do such a thing, but these people exist. In fact, a whole religion is based on them, and you can bet they are studying this incident and will improve upon what happened when they strike a school. They do not care if they survive the attack either. Lack of interest in personal survival is what makes these kind of attacks so deadly and impossible to stop.

As a result: You are crazy if you think that it is the responsibility of anyone other than yourself to protect you or your loved ones.
While it is true, it seems those we have given the sacred duty to help us in this quest are actively working against us in our endeavor to stay safe.

possum
April 27, 2007, 11:20 AM
1 round could have stop 170........ Do you really think he killed himself? VA police had a field day shootin him i bet.

what?:banghead:

MD_Willington
April 27, 2007, 11:23 AM
What is that, ~ 1/3 of a round every second...

:rolleyes: What a load of POOP...Oh no the sky is falling...

LaEscopeta
April 27, 2007, 11:43 AM
Has anyone determined what exact ammo the shooter used?Link in this thread claims it has been determined:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=271032

F4GIB
April 27, 2007, 11:57 AM
So, even a FAST - nine minute - police response wasn't enough to stop the murders. Proving that only the potential victim can "get there" fast enough to provide effective defense. YOU are your ONLY line of defense.

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