Monday, April 16, 2007

The Virginia Tech massacre (Updates)

In case you don't already know, a gunman has killed at least 29 students at Virginia Tech university. (Update: The most recent number is 32.) Right now, the details are hazy. Early reports held that a gunman was in custody, but more recent accounts indicate that he is dead. Stranger still, there are reports that the shootings took place in two separate locations. There have also been bomb threats against the campus, perhaps unrelated.

According to ABC News,
Law enforcement sources tell ABC News the shooting may have been set off by an off-campus incident.
Obviously, the conflicting details will be resolved as the day progresses. Nearly every blogger will be looking into this one. Right now, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.

UPDATE: The student newspaper at Virginia Tech offers a unique perspective, including this odd detail:
Three people were escorted out of Norris Hall by police. The three were handcuffed, separated, questioned, unhandcuffed and then canine teams were sent into Norris Hall said junior computer engineer Nick Saunders who watched the events unfold from the the second floor of Randolph Hall.
The cops were probably simply acting out of caution. Still, worth keeping in mind. That incident may have given rise to this earlier report:
At this time, University Relations is reporting one individual in custody and is searching for a second shooter. The Collegiate Times will publish information as it is made available.
We know a little more about the "two locations" scenario -- and what we know leaves me a bit flummoxed. This is from the statement by Virginia Tech President Charles Steger:
Now here are some of the facts as we know them. At about 7:15 this morning, a 911 call came to the university police department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later, the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded.
Two hours later? This is from the student newspaper:
The first shooting occurred at 7:15 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston. Twenty of the fatalities occurred in Norris Hall, which happened approximately two hours later.
Police are still investigating whether the two shootings are related.
Seems possible to me that the initial CNN report of one fatality stems from the West Ambler Johnson incident. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this mean that CNN was reporting on the shooting before the cops had caught the shooter, and before they locked down Norris Hall? How can there have been a two hour gap?

Cudos to student reporters Kevin Anderson and Saira Haider, who are doing a great job.

Update 2: These mobile phone camera images (and sounds) will no doubt become famous.

This Sky News (UK) report has the most details so far. It identifies the gunman as an Asian "looking for his girlfriend." It also reports that the lockdown had been lifted on West Ambler Johnson Hall after the initial shootings and before the Norris Hall massacre. That seems rather odd. Why sound the "all clear" before the bad guy has been caught?
I am sorry for what I am about to write. This in no way is to belittle the tragedy that is the deaths of these victims.

The timing is tooooo freekin perfect on this. What is in the news today. Sadr has pulled his block from the Iraq gov. The demonstrations he just commanded where a show of unity Shia and Sunni. This is by most accounts the beginning of the end for US presence.

Tomorrow we will see Alberto give testimony, by which will most likely bring about his departure from the justice department.

There are fresh accounts of the CIA being warned about 9/11 by the French in the news today.

Bush on Friday had to admit he was completely clueless about the 15 month deployments.

And along comes a school shooting. Over the last 6 years we have seen that timing is everything. Something about this just seems to 'perfect' to me. Call me cynical and call me callous.

My thoughts go out to all of the victims, families and friends.
From Fox News

Police also said there is no evidence that the two shootings at opposite ends of campus were related.
Are there people walking *toward* the building being filmed while gunfire is being heard?

Miss P.
sofla said...

I agree with anon above. Perhaps the same DIA or other contract killers who were shooting up the Beltway (not the guys they blamed it on).
So 30 students get massacred and Bush's spokesman says the president believes there's a right to bear arms. Doesn't that say it all about Amerikkka? It reminds me of when a freemasonic scout leader murdered more than 20 five-year-olds in Scotland, and the 'Duke' of Edinburgh said it was silly to ban handguns, because it was easy to kill people with a cricket bat, and no-one was suggesting banning cricket. It's called DISSOCIATION. Imagine meeting someone whose family had just been killed by a hit-and-run driver on the pavement and saying 'well I do believe people have the right to drive cars on roads'. How foul and vile can you get?

On the issue of the timing being 'too freaking perfect', well you may be right, I don't know. I thought the same about the capture of the BBC guy in Palestine. The words 'by a previously unknown group' should ALWAYS raise the suspicion that it was a false-flag job.

My thoughts go out to the relatives and friends of the victims of this massacre too.

Unfortunately, I must agree with posters above. This presents yet another opportunity to deceive and distract.

I was watching the news early this morning on the East coast, and MSNBC did issue a vague report about a single shooting at Va. Tech. There were no further details provided, nor was there any particular or alarming coverage. It was a "more later" kind of thing.

I really don't believe the national media was notified until well into the second series of shootings two hours later. Hell, neither were the students on the campus who were sill at risk. All they got was a lousy email.

The oddest thing to me is that now, more than 10 hours later, the police continue to state that the shooter's identity is unknown. Yes, we know that he basically shot his face off and had no ID on him. But TEN hours? I think they're holding something back, possibly something critical about his identity.

There really are conflicting accounts about whether a second shooter and/or accomplice is still at large. First there was, then suddenly there wasn't.

It feels like the waters are deliberately being muddied. Too much information is being withheld. I thinking this may all be cleared up around 10am tomorrow so that faux news has something to serve up to its sheeple besides Gonzalez testimony.
Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of
what if i turn out this shooter is a returning soldier from the war?
Dear family members, faculty, fellow students and friends of Virginia Tech victims:

Your devastating loss weighs heavy on our hearts and today we're crying:

Virginia's Tears
words and music by Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT
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