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Virginia Tech Community Responds to Media Flurry

Virginia Tech continued to reel in the aftermath of Monday's rampage. On Thursday, many criticized NBC's decision to air excerpts of gunman Seung-Hui Cho's tirade while university officials defended the decision to allow Cho back after being hospitalized in 2005.

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  • TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour Correspondent:

    This morning, after NBC News released chilling video messages from the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, students on the campus of Virginia Tech grappled with their emotions.

  • SHONTE SOWARDS, Virginia Tech Student:

    We're angered by it. I mean, it's obvious that he was disturbed, and I don't think it's something that we need to hear over and over and over again. Yes, the video made it more real; yes, it made it easier for us to understand what kind of person we were dealing with. But he's not what's important about what happened. He's not even close to what's important about what happened.

  • GINNY KOONTZ, Virginia Tech Student:

    Yes, it has been mostly about the shooter up to now, but, you know, I think as soon as stories start to come out about the victims, it will overshadow the shooter.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    The material aired on NBC's "Nightly News" last night. Included were several photos of Cho brandishing weapons. Cho mailed this package to NBC in New York on Monday. It was postmarked at 9:01 a.m., in between the two shootings.

    In it were a rambling, 23-page manifesto, 28 video clips, and 43 photos. The return address was similar to words reportedly found in red ink on Cho's body, "Ismail Ax."

    In one video clip, which the NewsHour has chosen not to air, Cho spouted hatred, saying, "You had 100 billion chances and ways to have avoided today, but you decided to spill my blood. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

    Today we spoke to students Shonte Sowards, Alyssa Tetkoski, Jessica Palazzolo and Ginny Koontz about those pictures and video. They lost their friend and sorority sister, 22-year-old Maxine Turner, from Vienna, Virginia. Her friends called her Max.

  • JESSICA PALAZZOLO, Virginia Tech Student:

    Max was the most wonderful person that I know. It's tragic that she had to pass away, but her memory will live on forever.

  • ALYSSA TETKOSKI, Virginia Tech Student:

    The victims are what mean the most to us, in that we cared so much about and were friends with and had our classes with. I mean, they're what I want to remember.

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Are you worried, all of you, that if, ultimately, Virginia Tech will be known always as the place where the worst shooting in American history took place?

  • SHONTE SOWARDS:

    Yes, but I'm more concerned — and I just really feel that we're going to be known as the school that overcame. We're going to be known as the school that came together. We're going to be known as the school that got together in the convocation and said, "We are Hokies."

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