Virginia Tech Shooter sends chilling media package to NBC

Zoya KhokarVirginia Tech Shooter sends chilling media package to NBC
Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui lashes out at “rich kids” in a disturbing package sent to NBC; officials say package sent between the shootings
Max Hall, Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

Blacksburg, VA (rushprnews) April 19, 2007 -“I did it, I had to.” The man identified as the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung Hui, uttered these words in a video released yesterday by NBC News. The video was part of a package sent by Cho to NBC’s New York headquarters that included a 23-page manifesto of text and pictures.

“You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option; the decision was yours,” Cho said in the video. “There is blood on your hands and you will never get it off.”

NBC News officials said the package was postmarked 9:01 a.m. Monday, indicating that Cho mailed it between the first and second shootings.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said in a televised interview with Chris Matthews that Cho referred to Columbine gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as “martyrs.”

NBC News President Steve Capus said in a televised interview that the package was opened yesterday and he first viewed the video shortly thereafter.

“It gives chills to look at these photographs,” Capus said, adding that in some photos Cho is pointing a pistol at his head.

Bill Gavin, a former assistant FBI investigator, discussed the troubling, often incoherent contents of the video and what insights it may offer into Cho’s mentality.

“Bizarre is a bad word for it, but I have never seen anything quite like this,” Gavin said in a televised interview. “It’s what he really believes inside his heart, and he does it on tape because he doesn’t want anybody to have the right to probe inside his soul … It is just absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

In addition to the video and documents released by NBC News, police released more information about the shooter’s past yesterday.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said his department received complaints from two women in 2005 claiming that Cho had been harassing them electronically and in person.

Flinchum added that the shooter was sent to a psychiatric evaluation in December 2005 amid concerns that he may be suicidal. The evaluation found Cho to be an imminent danger to himself but not to others. Cho was ordered to undergo outpatient treatment.

In light of Monday’s tragic events, Gov. Tim Kaine has declared Friday a statewide day of mourning for the 32 victims.

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