A killer, a hero, victims

The Virginia Tech killer left a rambling note saying “you caused me to do this” before killing 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech and then committing suicide. Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior English major, emigrated from South Korea at the age of eight. He was described as “a loner.” His creative writing instructor thought he was “troubled” and referred him to the counseling service.

Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against “rich kids,” “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” on campus.

Reportedly Cho wrote “Ismail Ax” in red ink on one of his arms. Nobody seems to know what that means. I tend to go with the simple explanation: Cho went crazy.

Amid the shock and horror, there’s at least one story of courage: Students credit an Israeli engineering professor, Liviu Librescu, with giving them time to escape by standing in the classroom doorway to keep out the gunman. The 76-year-old Librescu, who survived the Holocaust as a boy in Romania, was killed. As it happens, it was Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. His students jumped out the second-story window and lived.

Here are some photos of the victims.

Update: Smoking Gun has a copy of a play written by Cho that features an angry, arrogant 13-year-old who falsely accuses his stepfather of pedophilia, a doting mom and the stepfather. It reads like the work of an angry, arrogant 13-year-old.

Update II: Universities risk a lawsuit if they bar students from campus because of psychiatric problems, writes Margaret Soltan of University Diaries.

Here’s more on the victims.

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  1. I read the two papers the killer wrote for his creative writing class (on the web.) Not only are they angry and weird… but it’s almost as scary that a 4th year English major would turn in papers written so poorly.

    Anyway, that’s nothing compared to the lives lost Monday. I did enjoy reading about the heroic act of the Professor, and shared the story with my children.

  2. a clear name for the new building/memorial park on campus: Librescu Hall

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    As horrible as this was, the Europeans who are dishing the “Only in decadent America” need to look at their suicide bombers.