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Governor to review Virginia Tech shooting report

  • Story Highlights
  • Gov. Tim Kaine asks victims' families to suggest corrections to report
  • Families had asked him to reconvene Virginia Tech Review Panel
  • They say report on 2007 shootings contains "grave errors"
  • Gunman killed 32 people on Virginia campus
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(CNN) -- Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine agreed Tuesday to review the report examining the deadly 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech and to correct any errors based on what has been learned since its publication.

Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty members on April 16, 2007, then killed himself.

Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty members on April 16, 2007, then killed himself.

Relatives of some of the victims of the 2007 shootings issued a statement Tuesday asking Kaine to reinstate the panel that investigated the nation's deadliest shooting spree and prepared the report.

Gordon Hickey, Kaine's press secretary, said that "re-convening the panel" would be "problematic" because its members participated voluntarily and it seems unlikely they could gather again.

Hickey said Kaine has asked families to send his office corrections or changes that they feel need to be made.

And Kaine said on Washington-based WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program, "I have made a commitment to the families of those who were injured and killed at Virginia Tech that the report that was done under my direction ... that we are going to open the factual narrative of that report and look at any information that has come in since."

The family members contend that the August 2007 report compiled by the independent Virginia Tech Review Panel contains "grave errors, misinformation and glaring omissions," their statement says.

"We feel an incomplete and inaccurate report does not respect our loved ones, or us, and is potentially harmful to the public," they wrote.

Thirty-two people, nearly all of them students or professors, died when 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui went on a shooting spree on campus April 16, 2007. He then turned a gun on himself.

Kaine announced last week that mental health records belonging to Cho were recently found at the home of Dr. Robert Miller, former director of Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center. Miller has said that he mistakenly took the the files when he left his job there more than a year before the shootings.

Kaine said the absence of the records was a mystery and a concern during the investigation. The files were discovered in connection with a civil lawsuit, he said without elaborating.

The governor said his office is asking Cho's family for permission to make the records public.

Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was grazed by a bullet in a French class Cho attacked, said she and the other families are seeking answers to new issues.

"New information leads to new questions," Haas said.

Haas, whose daughter survived and who was among those who received compensation in the settlement, said the report has errors in its timeline for the day of the shootings.

Nearly all the families, including Haas, pursued wrongful-death and personal injury claims against the state after the panel's report was published.

The study concluded that more timely and more specific information from university officials might have saved lives.

College officials at the Blacksburg campus were criticized for not immediately warning students and staff after two students were found dead in a dormitory at 7 a.m. on the day of the killings.

Police said they initially believed that the two had been involved in a romantic dispute but later determined that they were Cho's first victims. It was almost 9:30 a.m. before authorities sent an e-mail to students and staff notifying them of the shootings and warning them to be cautious.

About 9:50 a.m., Cho began shooting people in Norris Hall, an engineering and classroom building.

While criticizing the university response, the panel -- which included former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge -- also said that quicker action by school officials may not have made a difference.

The report also noted that campus and state agencies might have taken a different approach to Cho had his middle- and high-school records followed him to Virginia Tech, officially Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Problems with Cho reportedly began to surface well before the shootings. The records detailed his mental health issues, including a tendency to react to depression with violence.

All About Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversitySeung-Hui Cho

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