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Police officials released the name of the Virginia Tech shooter, 23-year old student Cho Seung-Hui, who shot and killed 32 students Monday before killing himself in the worst mass shooting in American history.
Twenty-four hours after the shootings, Virginia Tech's police chief revealed the identity of the gunman.
CHIEF W.R. FLINCHUM, Virginia Tech Police Department:
That person is Cho Seung-Hui. He was a 23-year-old South Korean here in the U.S. as a resident alien. Cho was enrolled as an undergraduate student in his senior year as an English major at Virginia Tech. Cho was in the U.S. with the residence established in Centerville, Virginia, and was living on campus in Harper Hall.
Harper Hall is adjacent to Ambler Johnston Hall, where the first shootings took place yesterday. Two people died there.
Authorities believe that Cho returned to his dorm room to reload following the first shootings, which occurred just after 7:00 a.m. He then proceed to Norris Hall, the engineering building, where most of the killing was done two hours later.
Cho, a South Korean immigrant, had permanent resident alien status. He was a green card holder. Cho's family lives west of Washington, D.C., in Centerville, Virginia. He had graduated from high school in nearby Chantilly in 2003. Both communities are about 225 miles from Blacksburg.
Police said two handguns, a 9-millimeter and a .22-caliber, were found with Cho's body. A receipt was found in his backpack for a Glock 9-millimeter pistol, like this one, purchased in March. Green card holders are permitted under federal law to purchase firearms if they have no felony convictions.
A crush of national and local news media descended on the gunman's neighborhood today, but there was little in way of definitive information on the young man or his family.
Can you describe the family as you saw them throughout the years? Friendly? Connected?
MARSHALL MAIN, Neighbor of Cho Seung-Hui: Well, they're very quiet. I didn't know them at all. I don't even know their name.
That seeming anonymity initially perplexed investigators and officials, as well.
VIRGINIA TECH OFFICIAL:
The guy was a loner, and we're having difficulty trying to find any information about him.
Two English professors were surprised they didn't know the gunman.
Did you know the student?
TONY COLAIANNE, Professor, English Department:
No, no, he wasn't known to me.
Does that surprise you that you wouldn't know a senior English student?
Yes, I find it surprising. Our department is a pretty tight-knit community, you know, so we know our students fairly well. So this person was on the periphery, as far as I know.
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