What Happened in Virginia Tech?

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and himself at virginia tech in the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history. This blog examines what happened that day, and the events leading up to it.

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On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old senior at virginia tech carried out a mass shooting on the campus of the university. Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before committing suicide. This was the deadliest mass shooting carried out by a single gunman in U.S. history.

The Shooting

The Victims

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, making it the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

The victims were all students or staff at Virginia Tech:

• Emily Hilscher, a first-year student from Woodville, Virginia, was the first victim. Cho shot her in her dorm room at West Ambler Johnston Hall around 7:15 a.m.

• Ryan Clark, a sophomore from Martinsville, Virginia and a resident advisor (RA) in Hilscher’s dorm; he was shot around 9:30 a.m. while trying to help Hilscher.

• Michael Pohle, Jr., a first-year student from Flemington, New Jersey; he was shot around 9:40 a.m. as he exited West Ambler Johnston Hall after checking on another student.

• Julia Pryde, a junior from Middletown Township, New Jersey; she was shot around 9:40 a.m. as she exited West Ambler Johnston Hall with Pohle.

• Mary Karen Waugh Brittenum, a staff member in the university’s dining services; she was shot around 9:50 a.m. as she left Norris Hall with professor Kevin Pease.

• Reema Samaha, a freshman from Centreville, Virginia; she was shot around 9:50 a.m. inside Norris Hall during class by Cho.

• Leslie Sherman, a freshman from Springfield, Virginia; she was shot around 9:50 a.m inside Norris Hall during class by Cho Veronique Chevrolet Jonzaa sophomore from Bethesda Marylandwas also killed inside Room204 of Norris hall She was there for Frenchclass taughtby Professor Kevin Granata who himself was gunned downVeronique had recently become engaged to be marriedthat summer of 2007to Jonathan Jonah Munger Jr The two intendedto studyabroad together their senior yearat Virginia Techbut that never happened due to the events ofApril 16th Veronique played the celloin high schooland loved music so much that shedreamedof one day becominga music teacher Afterthe shootingschoir conductor Robert Paine saidof her “In musicwe oftenspeak of someonehavingperfect pitchbut I wouldsay that Veroniquehad perfectharmony with everyone and everythingaround her “Following graduationJonas and Veronicawere married onAugust 11 2007exactly 3 months after the shootingsAt theirweddingVeronicawas escorteddown the aisle by ROTC Cadet Matthew Downingwho had alsobeen inside Norris hallduring the shootings but escaped alive After theirwedding the couple moved to Northern Virginia where they both nowworkfor the US government

The Shooter

Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior at Virginia Tech, was the lone gunman responsible for the 2007 virginia tech shooting Cho, a South Korean national, had been a student at Virginia Tech since 2003. In the months leading up to the shooting, Cho exhibited warning signs of mental illness. He was found to have been In 2005, Cho was diagnosed with a “severe anxiety disorder.” Despite this diagnosis, Cho was not treated for his mental illness.

On April 16, 2007, Cho went on a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus, killing 32 people and wounding 17 others. The shooting spree began at around 7:15am when Cho opened fire in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a residence hall on campus. Two people were killed in that initial attack. About two hours later, Cho returned to Norris Hall, an academic building on campus, and opened fire again. He killed 30 people in Norris Hall before taking his own life.


The virginia tech shooting was a school shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007, at two buildings – Norris Hall and West Ambler Johnston Hall – on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before committing suicide. The massacre is the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.

The Investigation

The Virginia Tech Review Panel was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to investigate the massacre and issue a report. The panel’s findings, released on August 30, 2007, concluded that the university “failed to take appropriate action” after the first two shootings, which “might have prevented” Cho’s later rampage. The report also faulted local police for their slow response to the second set of shootings. In response to the report, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger announced a number of changes to improve security on campus, including adding more than $5 million dollars to the school’s budget for safety initiatives.

The Memorials

On the first anniversary of the virginia tech shooting a memorial was dedicated to the victims. The memorial, which is located on the site of the shootings, consists of a large stone plaza with 32 stone columns, one for each victim. The plaza is surrounded by a ring of trees, and each tree is inscribed with the name of a victim.


The investigations into the Virginia Tech shootings revealed that there were many missed opportunities to prevent the tragedy. Seung-Hui Cho was clearly struggling with mental health issues, but he did not receive the help he needed. He was able to purchase guns legally, despite his history of mental illness. And once the shooting began, it took too long for law enforcement and school officials to respond.

Since the Virginia Tech shootings, there has been a focus on improving school safety and security. Schools have installed security cameras and lockdown procedures. There has also been an effort to improve communication between law enforcement, school officials, and mental health professionals. Hopefully, these changes will help to prevent another tragedy like Virginia Tech from happening again.

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