2 Investigations Launched Examining Va. Tech Shootings

Published: April 23, 2007

RICHMOND, Va. – Two separate investigations have been formed to delve into the events surrounding the Virginia Tech shootings in which 32 people and the gunman were killed.

Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine has called for “a minute by minute” accounting of Cho Seung-Hui’s killing spree on the Virginia Tech campus April 16, and his whereabouts throughout the day. Expected to take 60 to 90 days to complete, the investigation will also evaluate police procedures and response to the incident.

The governor’s office announced the state’s investigation team, which will consist of a panel of eight experts in different disciplines. Leading the panel will be retired Virginia State Police Superintendent Gerald Massengill. Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge will lend his experience consulting on national and international issues to the panel.

Virginia Tech is also appointing its own investigation team to examine campus police and university policymaker response. Virginia Tech President Charles Steger’s decision not to lock the campus down after the initial double-homicide at West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory is expected to be a key part of the investigation. Chief of Virginia Tech police Wendell Flinchum maintains his staff’s response to the shootings were appropriate, given initial indications that the dorm murders were domestic in nature. According to Flinchum, officers were questioning a “person of interest” at the same time Cho began his rampage at Norris Hall across campus.

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No definitive timeline has been given for the completion of the university’s investigation.

Other panelists in the state’s investigation include Gordon Davies, former director for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; Roger L. Depue, Ph. D., former administrator at the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime; Aradhana A. “Bela” Sood, M.D. FAACAP, chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and medical director of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children at VCU Medical Center; Dr. Marcus L. Martin, assistant dean for the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia; Diane M. Strickland, former judge of the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in Roanoke County; and Carroll Ann Ellis, director of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Victim Services Division.

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