Virginia Tech Massacre Shooter Identified as South Korean Student

A 23-year-old Virginia Tech student from South Korea named Cho Seung-Hui committed Monday's school massacre, police said. What motivated him is unknown. Media reports said he left behind what police called a "disturbing note" but its contents have not been revealed.

The shooter who killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech University on Monday has been identified by police as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old South Korean-born undergraduate student at the university who studied English and lived in a dormitory on the campus, Virginia State Police said.

They said Cho committed suicide after the attacks, and there was no indication of a possible motive. "He was a loner, and we're having difficulty finding information about him," school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

Cho reportedly left behind what police described as a "disturbing note" but the contents of this have not been revealed. His face was reported to have been badly damaged after killing himself, but he was identified by fingerprints and immigration records.

One law enforcement official said Cho's backpack contained a receipt for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol. Cho was a permanent legal resident of the United States, according to an unidentified Homeland Security Department official who spoke to Associated Press.

Unconfirmed media reports said his first victim may have been his girlfriend. Law enforcement officials said Cho's fingerprints were found on the guns used in both shootings -- the one at a Virginia Tech dorm that left two people dead and the one in Norris Hall in which 30 people were killed two hours later. The serial numbers on the two weapons had been filed off, the officials said.

Police said the victims were found in at least four seminar rooms and on the stairs. US media said the weapons used were a 9 mm Glock and a .22 Walther.

Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said it was reasonable to assume that Cho was the shooter in both attacks but that the link was not yet definitive. "There's no evidence of any accomplice at either event, but we're exploring the possibility," he said.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun reiterated his condolences after the revelation that the shooter was of South Korean origin. The South Korean Foreign Ministry said Cho had been living in the US since 1992.

Roh's office said in a statement that he was "shocked beyond description again over the fact that the tragic incident was caused by a South Korean native who has permanent residency" in the US, the Associated Press reported.


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