If you haven’t heard, the worst shooting rampage in American history occurred early on Monday on a Virginia campus. At least 32 people have died in addition to the killer, who took his own life as police closed in.
What an unbelievable tragedy. May God rest their souls.
And what an inscrutable mystery, as well. The accounts of his calmness and businesslike manner make for chilling reading. What makes people snap like this, silently hunting down complete strangers?
And why does a disproportionately large number of such violent crimes happen in the USA?
Finally, it appears that two hours elapsed between the first shootings (at 7:15 in the morning) and the school’s first warning (sent via email) to students. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter the killer returned to his grisly task.
It’s rare enough to have a shooting on a campus, much for the perpetrator come back for more, so perhaps it’s somewhat understandable that the school might’ve been reluctant to sound the alarm, but I don’t see how you can justify waiting so long to inform students of what had happened that morning.
There are reports that the shooter may have been a Chinese man here on a student visa, which flies in the face of all sorts of preconceptions about crime. You can expect this to be the most widely psychoanalyzed individual since John Walker Lindh.
Thank God, he wasn’t (apparently) a Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent.
An outburst of gunfire at a Virginia Tech dormitory, followed two hours later by a ruthless string of attacks at a classroom building, killed 32 students, faculty and staff and left about 30 others injured yesterday in the deadliest shooting rampage in the nation’s history.
The shooter, whose name was not released last night, wore bluejeans, a blue jacket and a vest holding ammunition, witnesses said. He carried a 9mm semiautomatic and a .22-caliber handgun, both with the serial numbers obliterated, federal law enforcement officials said. Witnesses described the shooter as a young man of Asian descent — a silent killer who was calm and showed no expression as he pursued and shot his victims. He killed himself as police closed in.
Update: It turns out he’s of Korean
as opposed to Chinese descent. He appears to have had a cryptic tattoo on his arm that read
"Ismail Ax" and which has spawned all sorts of asinine theories
linking him to Islam (because he chose the Arabic spelling) despite his
presumably Christian background as a Korean American.
It looks like the tattoo was a reference to
an obscure play with a character named Ismail.
There are also reports that he wrote
disturbingly dark and violent plays. Bad enough so he was recommended for