Apr 17, 2007

The Face of a Killer: Cho Seung-Hui

Picture of Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior studying English, who has been identified as the shooter in a rampage that left 33 people dead on the campus of Virginia Tech(Blacksburg, VA) Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior studying English, has been identified as the shooter in a rampage that left 33 people dead on the campus of Virginia Tech.

The body of Cho Seung-Hui was found among the 31 dead found in an engineering hall.

Police identified Cho, a South Korean native and a resident alien who lived in Centerville, Va., as the shooter by linking the fingerprints at the scene to those on his immigration documents. Cho entered the country through Detroit with his family in 1992, at the age of eight.

The Washington Post reports that the parents of Cho Seung-Hui live in Fairfax County, VA, just outside of Alexandria, Va, and that he was a graduate of Westfield High School in Fairfax.

Cho Seung-Hui bought his first gun - a 9mm semiautomatic pistol - on March 13. He purchased his second weapon, a 22 mm pistol, within the last week, according to law enforcement officials.

Under Virginia law, legal permanent resident aliens may purchase firearms in the state. Resident aliens, however, are required to provide additional identification to prove they are residents of the state of Virginia.

The Associated Press reports that the creative writing of Cho Seung-Hui was "so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service." Cho may also have been taking medication for depression, and acquaintances observed that he was becoming increasingly violent and erratic.

The note that Cho Seung-Hui left in his dorm contained angry rantings against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on the Virginia Tech campus.

Law enforcement sources told the Washington Post that Cho died with the words "Ismail Ax" scrawled in red ink on one of his arms, but that they did not know what the words meant.

Now we know the "who," but we are still struggling with the "why."


Anonymous said...

What a freak. May he burn in Hell.

Dariush said...

Some sample posts from Little Green Footballs:

Indonesians, Thai, Philipino look 'Asian' as well. My first guess is Indonesian. They hate us there, in spite of helping them out after the Tsunami...


Islamists plan long term. They would need to disarm the US citizenry – their greatest threat to taking over the United States internally. A senseless mass murder raises the volume of the anti-gun enthusiasts. the islamists would need this to appear unconnected to jihad. Enough events like this could very easily lead to disarmament of the public.

I propose that this may be a covert islamist terrorist attack for the eventual, long term purpose of disarming the public. Remember Lee Malvo and John Muhammad. Is there a pattern here?

A definite possibility in my book.


Most muslims are Asian, so it should come as no surprise if the shooter turns out to be a muslim. Personally, I don't know. No sense in closing our mind to possibilities so early, though.

That's right. There is a large muslim minority in China. It's possible that the shooter was the Chinese national but not an ethnic Chinese.




Don't they cry "Allahu Akbar" before they detonate the explosive belt? When this Chinese shot himself there were (presumably) no witnesses because he had shot them. We may never know what his last words were.

FWIW there are Muslims in China.


Most muslims are Asian, so it should come as no surprise if the shooter turns out to be a muslim. Personally, I don't know. No sense in closing our mind to possibilities so early, though.


yes i'm getting impatient for a name. are they seeking a ct. order to change his name or something? what is the murderer's name? why havn't we been to0ld? it's beyond "curious", the delay. also note: as per the utah sjs, the press continued for quite awhile to pronounce sulijman as SOLOMAN. bastards.


there is a large jihadi element in China. They just shoot them faster in China.

And so forth...

Anonymous said...


historymike said...

Anonymous #1:

He looks pretty normal to me, but I share your "burn in Hell" sentiments.

historymike said...


Yes, an incident like this brings out the knuckle-draggers. Anyone with a skin tone darker than "ivory" must, ergo, be guilty of something, right?

historymike said...

Anonymous #2:

You, sir, are 15 years too late. Cho legally entered the country with his parents in 1992.

And you are a blithering idiot.

david m. said...

He looks like a child.

Anonymous said...

He does look so young, but SO DID HIS VICTIMS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope that this event does not just re-ignite the fire-arms debate.

Clearly this person was mentally ill. His assignments in his creative writing class seemed to raise enough concern that he was referred to the school's counseling program, but clearly something went wrong.

1. Did he follow-through with the rec'ds?
2. If he didn't, what recourse if any could the university take?
3. If he did, what kind of evalution did the mental health professionals make re: his likelihood to harm others?
4. Was there a safety plan?
5. Was there a duty to warn?

There was a very noteworthy case in 1974 (called the Tarasoff case) in which a mental health professional (MHP)knew of a graduate student's intent to kill a girl who had rejected his romantic advances. The MHP warned the campus police and his supervisor, but did not warn the intended victim. She was brutally murdered. In the past 25 years, that ruling has shaped how MHPs act and to whom they disclose when a client indicates a desire to harm another.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm not saying that if he would have survived that he should have been able to use an insantity defense. I'm just saying that part of the debate that evolves from this tragedy ought to also be about mental illness.

JP625 said...

I can't even believe that some people are suggesting a terrorist motive or that we need to close the borders...I take that back. There are plenty of idiots with ridiculous opinions in this country. I just didn't know that so many of them could use computers.

Did any of you gun-loving, Muslim-fearing homogenists, ever consider that this might have something to do with this kid's sense of isolation. In case you didn't notice, he was an Asian kid living in Virginia. I haven't looked at the numbers but there can't be a very large Asian population in Virginia. And last I checked, southern states weren't exactly known for being the most progressive areas of our country when it comes to race relations.

Combine one lonely, pissed off kid that has no legitimate outlet and a poor sense of reality with a strongly negative feeling about his peers and ridiculously easy access to guns, and you might get a tragedy like this.

Sounds a lot like Columbine, doesn't it. Those kids weren't Asian. They were good ol' fashioned, home-grown Americans. This tragedy has nothing to do with terrorism or our nation's borders. It has to do with our own culture and our own society and why young people in this country continue to feel like there is no other way to express themselves then by going on a killing spree.

And while many of you NRA-types won't like this, it also has to do easy access to guns. Bottom line is that if it were illegal for private citizens to own guns, this tragedy would have likely been avoided.

When examining the "why", Historymike, we need to consider social conditions and implications, not foreign policy. Let's keep our eye on the ball here, and not let ignorant people's fear of brown people to enter the conversation.

Charlotte Howard said...

Maybe if we understand his motives, we are as sick as Cho was.

We're still going to speculate on his motives 5 years from now, and by then another disturbing school shooting will occur, and will undoubtedly top this particular body count.

These people want infamy, and they simply fail to understand all they'll get is a week or two of fame before some other more horrifying event happens.

How can one understand an act so cowardly and pointless?

Anonymous said...

brought shame to Asians and now everyone is going to hate them becuase of this ***hole.

Dariush said...

"brought shame to Asians and now everyone is going to hate them becuase of this ***hole."

He didn't "bring shame" to anyone but himself. And if a significant percentage of white people use this incident as a hammer with which to bash all Asians, that speaks volumes about them... not the Asian-American community.

I mean, did you see O'Reilly turn a drunk-driving death in Virginia into a battle over "the illegals."

Historychic said...

I don't think we will ever know why. My thoughts and prayers are with everying at Virginia Tech and those affected by this horrible tragedy.

Anonymous said...

How can the parents of this murderer be so selfish, clueless and stupid and allow this idiot to mingle with normal decent people.

Anonymous said...

Thee are some stupid people in this world.

1. why were the police busy running around but not going into the buildings?

2. 1st shooting 7:15am - 2nd shooting after 9am - what the hell happeened?

3. Unviresity officials should have started clearing the school by the lastest 8am? have the police run around the secure th freaking place.

4 They has SWAT teams on campus within 45 minutes of the first shooting. ( you can't tell me a swat team to take out 1 guy with 2 pistols?)