Virginia Tech massacre

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2007, 12:00am


A gunman killed 32 people and injured 29 before turning the gun on himself. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.


When did the shooting take place? On April 16. There were two separate attacks, about two hours apart. The first one occurred at about 7.15am.


On the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.


The gunman was a 23-year-old student called Cho Seung-hui (below). He was born in South Korea and grew up in northern Virginia. He was a fourth year English major at Virginia Tech. He has been described as a 'loner'.


Why did he do it? Cho's motives remain unclear. A suicide note found in his dorm room included rants about 'rich kids' and 'deceitful charlatans' on campus. In 2005, a Virginia court declared him 'mentally ill' and potentially dangerous, but they let him go.


How have people reacted? Virginia Tech cancelled classes for the rest of the week and offered counselling to students. The gun control debate has been reignited, with proponents of gun control legislation claiming that guns are too easily accessible and citing that Cho, who was mentally unstable, was allowed to buy two handguns.