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Campus Attempts to Deal with Shooting Aftermath

A day after mass shootings left 33 people dead at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., the students and faculty were working on dealing with the aftermath, even as more information about the shooter was becoming available.

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    Flags on Virginia Tech's campus flew at half-staff this morning, as students set up memorials to the dead. About a mile from campus, there was encouraging news at the Montgomery Regional Hospital. Many of the more than 25 injured were taken there. The hospital CEO gave an update on how the victims were doing.

  • SCOTT HILL, CEO, Montgomery Regional Hospital:

    Twelve of the patients from yesterday's shooting remain at two area hospitals, including Montgomery Regional Hospital and Lewis-Gale Medical Center. All are in stable condition.

    We have nine patients here at Montgomery Regional Hospital; three of those were critical last night. They've been upgraded to stable as of this morning.

    And at Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem, they have three patients remaining. All are in stable condition. One's expected to be discharged today.


    On campus, students who witnessed and survived yesterday's attacks told reporters their stories.

  • ALEC CALHOUN, Virginia Tech Student:

    We heard it in the classroom next to us. It sounded kind of like an enormous hammer just over and over again, every one or two seconds. And then we heard the screams and realized what was happening.


    Josh, what were you doing, trying to get behind desks, under desks or anything?

  • JOSH WARGO, Virginia Tech Student:

    At first, everyone just got up in order to get out of there. Someone went for the door. It sounded like shots were coming down the hallway.


    And you were on the second story, so you went to kick out the windows to jump to safety. And your professor, he was trying to bar the door, is that correct?

  • RICHARD MALLALIEU, Virginia Tech Student:

    He was at least standing guard by the door, the whole time I remember. That's the last place I saw him.


    And then, when you started jumping out of the window, Alec, what was happening?


    Well, I think I was actually the last to jump. The two people behind me actually got shot, so it's really lucky that I got out to start with. Someone on the other side of the room had ripped the screens off and kicked the windows open. They're pretty old.

    And so I could see the people jump in front of me, and a couple of people broke ankles, legs. So I aimed for a bush, and I hit the bush first and then the ground, so I ended up OK.


    Meanwhile, law enforcement officials detailed yesterday's scene at a press conference.

  • COL. STEVE FLAHERTY, Superintendent, Virginia State Police:

    We've had dozens and dozens of investigators, special agents, from various agencies, detectives from various agencies that have been working around the clock on a horrific crime scene.

    You all have reported that this is the most horrific incident that's occurred on a college campus in our country, and the scene certainly bore that out.

    What went on during that incident certainly caused tremendous chaos and panic in Norris Hall. As a result, it's greatly complicated our being able to process the scene, if you can imagine. At the crime scene, personal effects were strewn about the entire second floor at Norris Hall, so it made it much more difficult for us to identify students and faculty members that were victims.

    Victims were found in at least four classrooms, as well as the stairwell. We know that there were a number of heroic events that took place, students and faculty alike.

    Within minutes of this tragedy unfolding, the gunman was discovered among several of the victims in one of the classrooms. He had taken his own life.

    Now, I want to further explore just a bit this idea of additional shooters or accomplices or whatnot. What has just been reported to you is that the ballistics test says that one of the weapons used in Norris Hall was also used in the AJW shooting.

    We have not — the evidence has not led us to where we can say with all certainty that the same shooter was involved at both instances, so we are now exploring that evidence and trying to make that trail. It's certainly reasonable for us to assume that Cho was the shooter in both places, but we don't have the evidence to take us there at this particular point in time.


    Despite the fact that many names of victims have been reported in the press, an official list of those who died won't come until later.


    The names of the 32 deceased students and faculty will be released once all victims are positively identified and next of kin are notified.


    The medical examiner said that could take several days. The university's president, who has faced some criticism for the handling of the shootings, also spoke at this morning's press conference.