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Virginia Tech Shooter Identified as 23-year-old Student

BY Admin  April 17, 2007 at 11:30 AM EDT

Memorial at Virginia Tech

Officials confirmed Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old resident alien from South Korea, as the gunman in the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Cho was a senior English major who lived on the university’s campus in Blacksburg, Va. His residence in the United States was Centerville, Va.

“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” said Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker. On Tuesday morning, police said they had no indication of a motive.

Virginia State Police said that according to ballistics tests, one of the guns found in Norris Hall, an academic building, was also used in the shooting two hours earlier in West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall that claimed the lives of two people. Police identified the guns as a 9 millimeter and a 22-caliber handgun.

Thirty people died in Norris Hall before Cho took his own life. Police found bodies of the victims in four classrooms on the second floor and in the stairwell. Cho’s body was discovered among the victims, reported Col. W. Steven Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police.

Police said they found no evidence that there was an accomplice but are still investigating.

“At this time, the evidence does not conclusively identify Cho Seung-Hui as the gunman at both locations,” Flaherty said Tuesday. The Associated Press reported that Cho’s fingerprints were found on both guns, according to two law enforcement officials speaking anonymously.

Virginia Tech police have no information linking bomb threats made on April 13 and earlier in the month to the shootings.

Officials have declined to release the names of the victims until they have been unidentified and their families notified. Twelve students remain in stable condition in area hospitals.

A memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the university with President Bush, first lady Laura Bush and Virginia Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine planning to attend.

The university cancelled classes for the remainder of the week and announced Norris Hall would remain closed through at least the end of the semester.