Sorry he made the world weep, say killer's family

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 April, 2007, 12:00am

The family of the gunman who shot dead 32 people at a US university on Monday has apologised for the 'excruciating grief' he inflicted, and said he had made 'the world weep'.

'Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act,' said the family of South Korean-born Cho Seung-hui in a statement.

'We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost,' they said in the statement, which named the 32 people Cho killed at Virginia Tech.

The statement, issued on Friday by 23-year-old Cho's sister, Cho Sun-kyung, said her brother was 'quiet and reserved' and had 'struggled to fit in'.

'We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence. No words can express our sadness that 32 innocent people lost their lives this week in such a terrible, senseless tragedy.'

Earlier, bells tolled around the US for the 27 students and five teachers killed on Cho's rampage through a dormitory block and classrooms.

Questions remain about whether Cho, who had received hospital treatment for mental health problems, should have been able to buy two guns and ammunition. US President George W. Bush has ordered a review of the issues raised by the shooting.

Top officials from the education, justice and health departments are to tour the country for discussions before making recommendations.

A memorial day at Virginia Tech on Friday fell on the eighth anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

In a tape he sent to a US television network, Cho, who killed himself at the end of the massacre, had referred to the two students of the school in Littleton, Colorado - who killed 12 classmates and a teacher, then shot themselves - as martyrs.

Fellow students and professors have said Cho was a sullen loner, and some had raised the alarm over his gory, violent writings and intimidating manner long before the attacks.