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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
At Least 33 Killed in Massacre at Virginia Tech
Aired April 16, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone.
We are tonight on the campus, of course, of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Anderson is on his way back from Afghanistan.
They're holding vigils tonight on campus and in towns nearby here in rural Virginia. This is largely a commuter school. So, a lot of people have gone home to deal with what happened.
Police, on the other hand, are still working tonight -- this campus now a crime scene, scene of the single worst mass shooting in American history: at least 33 dead, including the gunman, at least 20 wounded.
Earlier tonight, reporters peppered the campus police chief with questions. He had very, very few answers about who did it, one shooter, perhaps more -- the motive, anything.
But he did say they do have another person they're looking at, a so-called person of interest in the investigation tonight. That's how it looks at the end of the day.
Here's how it looked this morning, outside Norris Hall, as 30 people inside were shot and killed, massacred two hours after and across the campus from where two others were murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Police say the horrible massacre ended when the gunman shot himself. They have yet to identify the gunman -- his identity being just one of many unanswered questioned, including why, more than two hours after a double murder, with a killer still at large, why weren't the other students warned? We will investigate.
First, though, how all of this played minute by deadly minute.
KING (voice-over): Captured on a student's cell phone were among the first pictures from today's deadly attacks. JAMAL ALBARGHOUTI, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: When I saw a policeman drawing -- taking off his gun and started to looking at -- started looking for a target to shoot, it was then when I decided to use my camera.
KING (voice-over): The first of two attacks on Virginia Tech's campus today began early this morning at this coed dormitory.
CHARLES STEGER, PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA TECH: At about 7:15 this morning, a 911 call came to the university police department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims.
KING: Police say they began sweeping the building where two people were kill made dorm room, but the shooter was still at large. And, yet, that news was not made public. Students and others were not made aware of that incident. To them, it was business as usual.
WENDELL FLINCHUM, VIRGINIA TECH POLICE CHIEF: The information we had on the first incident led us to make the decision that it was an isolated event to that building. And the decision was made not to cancel classes at that time.
KING: Then, suddenly, two hours later and nearly a half-mile across the sprawling campus, more gunshots, this time coming from the Norris Hall engineering building.
JOSH WARGO, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: It was at least 30 to 40...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?
WARGO: We -- I -- I jumped outside, and I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know what to do. And, then, I think I heard one come through a window pane. And I heard glass. And we ran into a neighboring building. But they didn't stop for almost two or three minutes.
KING: 9:26 a.m.: A campus-wide e-mail goes out to students notifying them of the first shooting that had occurred more than two hours earlier.
MADISON VAN DUYNE, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Right after we got that e-mail, we heard five shots from campus. And we could hear the emergency speaker system. So, we all got down underneath the desk, and moved way from the windows.
KING: 9:50 a.m.: Twenty-four minutes after its first campus- wide e-mail and more than two hours after the original and still unsolved shooting incident, the university sent a second e-mail to students warning of a gunman on the loose.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Students there are being updated through the Web site right now. And, right on that front page of their Web site, it does have the update, which is telling students right now to stay in their building, stay where they are, until further notice and stay away from all windows.
KING: In Norris Hall, for many, the warning was too late. Students describe the scene as mayhem.
MATT WALDON, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: People came pouring out the door with their hands up. And they were screaming and stuff like that. And I guess two kids had jumped out -- jumped out of the windows.
KING: 10:17 a.m.: A third e-mail goes out, ordering a campus lockdown.
VAN DUYNE: I am in a classroom which is across the campus from where the shooting had occurred. And we are all in lockdown. Most of the students are sitting on the floor, away from all of the windows. And we're just trying to be as safe as possible.
KING: Eventually, police storm Norris Hall.
STEGER: Upon arrival to Norris, the officers found the front doors barricaded. Within a minute, the officers breached the doors, which had been chained shut from the inside. Once inside the building, the officers heard gunshots. They followed the succession of gunshots to the second floor.
Just as officers reached the second floor, the gunshots stopped. The officers discovered the gunman, who had taken his own life.
KING: Witnesses describe the Norris Hall gunman as a young Asian man.
12:22 p.m.: University officials announce the campus has been secured, but the magnitude of the tragedy was just becoming clear.
FLINCHUM: We have a ballpark figure on fatalities. It's at least 20 fatalities.
KING: And, yet, as the day wore on, the death toll would only grow.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not only the deadliest shooting on a school campus. It is indeed the deadliest shooting incident in the history of the United States.
STEGER: It is now confirmed that we have 31 deaths from the Norris Hall, including the gunman. Fifteen other victims are being treated at local hospitals in the Roanoke and New River valleys. There are two confirmed deaths from the shooting in Ambler Johnston dormitory, in addition to the 31 at Norris Hall.
KING: A staggering loss of life that left the university community wondering, why?
MICHAEL NELSON, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: It seems really senseless. And I Just -- it's really hard to just think about it, why, you know, all of these people had to die for no reason. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KING: A numb sadness on campus tonight, also a great deal of outrage, and so many questions for the investigation, including this one: Could there have been more than one shooter?
It's confusing, because campus police have yet to publicly connect one shooting, the first one at 7:15 a.m., to the other, the massacre at Norris Hall, and because they have also been talking to a so-called person of interest in that first killing, early this morning, at breakfast time.
To help us try to clear up some of the this, CNN's Brianna Keilar is here.
Brianna, you have been on campus all night long -- that news conference, the second briefing of today, this evening, maybe more questions after it than before it.
But help us clear up what you can.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly a lot more questions than answers at this point.
The understanding, for most of today, has been that these two crime scenes were linked. But this last news conference drew some doubt in that, and that is because that person of interest that you were talking about, the first shooting, 7:15 at a dorm. Police say they spoke with a person of interest, and that that person is still a person of interest, but they're not in police custody.
Meanwhile, they have preliminarily identified the gunman, who killed himself after, it appears, killing 31 other people in Norris Hall, across campus.
So, that brings the question, was there -- are these crimes linked? Are they not linked? At this point, Virginia Tech Police really are not committing to this answer one way or another, whereas, earlier, they said, no, we don't believe that there was someone else who was involved.
Also, at this point, it appears they just don't have a definitive link through evidence or eyewitness testimony. They say the two identifications of people in these crime scenes do not match. And they're also trying to sort through ballistic evidence from one crime scene to another.
But, certainly, John, students here do think the two are very linked.
KING: And, as the students talk about this, you say that police tonight say they have preliminarily identified the shoot, at least in the Norris Hall incident. But have they said anything publicly who that shooter is?
KEILAR: No, they're not releasing that information. We asked, and they would not give that to us.
KING: One of the questions on campus tonight, I know something you have been discussing all day, I have been discussing with students since I got here, is, why? Why did the police allow people to come on to this campus, allow classes to be held all across this sprawling campus, when they knew two people were dead and the shooter was still at large?
KEILAR: That's certainly enraging many students.
I spoke with one student who said, if you look at it, reports from the first crime scene came at 7:15. An e-mail didn't go out about that first shooting until 9:26 a.m. It was less than 20 minutes later, at 9:45, when the first reports came of that second shooting. The student I spoke with said, why wasn't the campus shut down? Why weren't we alerted earlier? We could have been more vigilant. We could have stayed indoors. And perhaps this whole second shooting, of course, the worst part, could have been averted.
KING: And you hear all these rumors, as you would in a situation like this. Are the police talking at all about these various theories you hear from the students, that perhaps the shooter, at least in the early incident, was someone who was looking for a former girlfriend, who was angry about some relationship gone bad, all sorts of rumors sweeping the campus? The police, though, not giving you much, are they?
KEILAR: Well, at the very -- police said initially they did believe that shooting was domestic in nature.
But, then, later, they were asked, was this perhaps the gunman's girlfriend? And they said, no, they did not believe that it was.
KING: And, earlier this morning -- earlier this afternoon -- excuse me -- the police stood by that decision. They said they believed it was a domestic -- some sort of domestic episode, and that they assumed that the shooter had left campus.
In the later briefing, any information on why they made that assumption, what evidence they had to believe the shooter was not on campus to defend their decision, of course, not to lock this place down earlier on?
KEILAR: We don't know the evidence or the reason backing up that. But they did say they thought it was domestic in nature. They thought it was isolated. And they also, for some reason -- unbeknownst to us, what it is -- they were under the impression that the shooter had left campus. And, so, they made the decision that they made.
KING: Brianna Keilar for us, helping with the investigation, been here all day, we will check back in later.
KEILAR: All right.
KING: Thank you very much. Thank you. And police have not released any of the victims' identities. That is one of the questions tonight. The police say they will not do that until all the families are identified.
But CNN has learned that one of the deceased is Ryan Clark. He's a student here at Virginia Tech. He reportedly was one of two people shot and killed in the dormitory early this morning.
If police have been less than clear who this dead gunman is, sources are talking. So are the people -- so are the people who encountered the gunman today.
More now on both of these from CNN's David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A witness described the killer as a young Asian man who was wearing a short- sleeved tan shirt and a black ammunition vest that made him look, according to one witness, almost like a Boy Scout. He moved quietly from room to room, taking lives, everywhere he went.
ERIN SHEEHAN, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: He just stepped within five feet of the door and just started firing. He seemed very thorough about it, getting almost everyone down, or I -- I pretended to be dead, just on the ground.
MATTINGLY: Apparently familiar with the building where he inflicted so much pain, the killer chained at least two doors, effectively blocking key exits from the building. After his spree, the killer took his own life. Authorities are unwilling yet to say he was a student.
FLINCHUM: We have a preliminary I.D. that I'm not prepared released to release yet. But the investigation is ongoing.
MATTINGLY: A law enforcement source close to the investigation tells CNN two weapons were recovered, two handguns, one .22-caliber, one .9-millimeter, two weapons in the wrong hands that sent a campus of 26,000 into a panic.
JOSEPH NORMAN, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: It was like seeing Columbine all over again, when I was in eighth grade, but just on a larger scale. It was so surreal, being in the class and hearing what sounded like a gunshot outside, and just not knowing what was going on.
KARINA PORUSHKEVICH, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: It was very, very saddening. I was crying. I couldn't reach my family, because they turned -- like, the phones were off. Everything was off.
MATTINGLY: According to people who saw him and lived through his rampage, the killer seemed to lack focus, leaving bodies in multiple locations throughout a busy academic building.
But his purpose was clear: to kill as many people as he could. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KING: And David Mattingly joining us here live now on the campus.
David, why is it that the police took so long, in your view, according to your sources, to even say that they knew who the shooter was?
MATTINGLY: Well, when the shooter finally turned the gun on himself, when the police were able to get up to, him and check his body, they were not able to find any kind of I.D. He didn't have anything on him. So, they didn't have anything to go on right away. And, really, that cost them hours.
It took them most of the day to finally come out here and say, we finally know his name.
KING: And hours later, do we know -- now that they know his name, do we know much about what they know, if anything, about him, who he is, why he might have done this?
MATTINGLY: We have -- it's been suggested that's probably why they're only saying that they know his name and not sharing anything else beyond that.
It's possible they don't know much more about him. And, because this is such a big case, they want to be careful what kind of information they put out there, make sure they have exactly what they are supposed to have, and correct information before they do go public.
KING: David Mattingly for us here tonight, trying to solve the mystery of who the shooter was -- David, thank you so much. We will check back in.
It was a traumatic day, of course, for everyone here at Virginia Tech, those who go to school on campus. Those who work at the campus newspaper got a grim taste of reporting from an incredibly dangerous zone.
Amie Steele is the editor in chief of the paper. She joins me now.
Amie, thank you for joining us tonight on 360.
AMIE STEELE, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "THE COLLEGIATE TIMES": Hi. Thank you.
KING: Take us through your day. This morning, I assume you're -- where were you when you first learned there had been a shooting on campus?
STEELE: I was still at home when I first found out about it. I received a call from one of our reporters a little after 9:00 this morning, telling me that he had heard from someone in the athletic department, actually, that there was a shooting on campus, and we should probably look into that.
So, from there, I contacted our news editors and some reporters and got them out on campus. And we got it verified that there had, in fact, been a shooting on the campus.
KING: At that point, when you say you had it verified, was that the first shooting, at 7:15 a.m., over in the A.J. dorm?
STEELE: Yes, sir. It was the first one. So, we had reporters on the scene at A.J. dorm, and then later found out about the second shooting.
KING: And, when you find out about the second shooting, is that from the -- the campus alerts, or had your reporters found out about it before the school administration let people know?
STEELE: Our reporters had first heard about it. They called me to let me know, to ask who I thought should go over there to cover that. So, we sent a reporter over there. And I would say, a half-an- hour later, we got another e-mail from the school, confirming the second shooting.
KING: And take us through what your sources are telling you.
You live and work and report on this campus. As you know, one of the big questions tonight, why did they not lock down the campus, when you had the first shooting, two people dead, the shooter still at large? Still questions tonight as to whether the two shootings are connected -- the police won't go as far to say they are.
But what are your sources telling you about why the police department and the school administration did not decide to lock down the campus?
STEELE: What we have been hearing all day is basically that what the school administrators are saying is that they didn't, at the time, think that the shootings were necessarily linked.
They thought that the first shooting this morning in the dorm was maybe an instance of domestic violence. They thought that it was a domestic dispute between a girlfriend and a boyfriend. And, so, they thought that they had it contained. They thought they had it under control. They thought they had the gunman within the building, and he wasn't escaping.
And, then, hours later, the second shooting happened. So, they felt like it wasn't necessary to let the school know. That's what we're hearing at this time.
KING: Give us some perspective about the security climate on this campus. There was an incident at the beginning of the year. There's talk of bomb threats in recent weeks as well.
Has there been security issues in past? And have you -- in terms of reporting on the police department and assessment of how the police department works on campus? STEELE: I would feel that it is very safe here.
The instance in the beginning of the year was a -- a prisoner from the local jail escaped and was out just around town. He shot two security guard and a police officer. Both instances were off campus. There were sightings of him on campus, but none of -- neither of the shootings occurred on campus.
And then the two bomb threats in the past two weeks happened. But I believe we found that the last bomb threat was some time in the late '90s. I want to say '96. I'm not sure that that's absolutely correct. But there hadn't been any instances of any shootings at all on campus, at least in the past 50 years.
So, I do feel like it is safe. And it's just crazy to think about such a small town, and all of this happens within eight months of each other. It's -- it's just -- it's definitely not typical of Blacksburg.
KING: You have both national and worldwide media attention. It's quite a farm of satellite trucks here on campus tonight, people coming in who are not as familiar with this place as you are.
As a reporter and an editor on campus, what are the one or two biggest unanswered questioners, in your mind, tonight?
STEELE: We are definitely wondering why there was such a delay, and why the school felt like it wasn't necessary to let students know what had happened in West A.J.
Even if it was an instance of domestic violence, I still feel like it's something that is necessary to inform the students that there had been gunshots fired on campus and that people were killed. I feel like that's something necessary they should have informed the students of.
And we're also wondering if these are at all tied to the bomb threats that have happened in the past two weeks. Since the beginning of April, there have been two bomb threats, and now this. And it -- it's just sort of eerie to think if they could be related or if they weren't. And that's something that we're trying to figure out right now.
KING: And more than 30 people massacred on this campus today...
KING: ... many of them students, from source accounts, at least one professor, apparently, although the school has not said that publicly just yet.
What's your sense of how the community will react in the short term, and the long-term impact of all of this?
STEELE: It's -- it's going to last, a big -- it's going to be a big scar on the community. After everything that happened with William Morva at the beginning of the school year, the prisoner that escaped, people are still talking about it to this day, months later. I'm sorry.
So, it left a huge impact now. And I feel like this is an even bigger tragedy, an even bigger instance that happened. So, I'm sure this will be something that lasts here for years to come.
Last time, the community definitely did a very good job of coming together, raising money for the families that were affected, doing things to sort of correct what happened and how things -- something like that could be prevented in the future. And I feel like that's probably what will happen again.
KING: Amie Steele, thank you so much for your time tonight...
STEELE: Thank you for having me.
KING: ... on a difficult day on campus.
No, thank you for joining us.
KING: And we will keep in touch.
STEELE: OK. Thank you.
KING: Thank you very much. Thank you, Amie Steele.
Brendan Porter was in the dorm where the two people were killed this morning. He joins us now live on 360.
Brendan, you're in the A.J. dorm, which is across campus this way -- it's too dark at night to point it out -- this morning.
BRENDAN PORTER, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Yes, sir. I do live there -- over there in West Ambler Johnston, on the fourth floor.
KING: On the fourth floor?
KING: And talk -- take me through the morning.
PORTER: All right.
Well, at about 8:30 or so, my R.A. came and started knocking on all the doors on the floor, and did on opposite side. It's split in half. One side is guys. The other side is girls. And, from then, he got everybody out of their rooms. We had -- we had reports of there being an incident by the fourth floor elevators.
And, so, we all got the floor evacuated. We went down to the third-floor crossover, which is a crossover between West and East A.J., and there -- congregated there was the whole floor, whole fourth floor. And we were there for about an hour. And we didn't -- we were all groggy from waking up. We didn't really know what was going on.
KING: What time was this?
PORTER: About 8:30.
PORTER: No, no, not 8:00 -- yes, yes, 8:30; 8:30 is when we got woken up. And, so, we were there until about 9:30.
The R.A.s did everything they could. They did everything well. Like, I give every -- like, the university did everything well, I would have to say, this morning, in doing what they had to do.
And then we were notified about an hour later that an incident did happen involving two people in West Ambler Johnston on the fourth floor.
KING: But you're in the dormitory. Forgive me for interrupting you. But you're in the dormitory, where this happened. You keep saying an incident.
At what point did they tell you there was a shooting, and there was somebody with a gun, and there were two at least people seriously wounded -- they turned out, of course, to be killed -- and the shooter was still at large? None of that was passed on to you?
PORTER: Not there.
But we were notified there a few moments after we were told what happened, that there was e-mail sent out that explained that there was a shooting in West Ambler Johnston. And then we proceeded -- we proceeded up to our friends' rooms. We couldn't go on to our floor. Like, our floor was blocked off by police tape.
So, we -- I went up to my friend's room on the sixth floor, and I got online. And I checked everything. And I saw the -- on my Web mail, I saw the notices from school saying...
KING: Do you know the victims?
PORTER: I do. I do.
Well, not -- I don't know the girl. I think the other one was a girl, but I do know Ryan. And I -- he -- he's an R.A. that governs half of the guys, half the girls. He's a great guy.
KING: Tell us a little bit more about him.
PORTER: I have heard that he was going to graduate with three degrees. He was,I think -- I think he played an instrument or something for the band or something here. Like, he -- I don't know. He was just an all-around friendly guy. Just -- it's just really a big tragedy.
KING: And, let me ask you, as a student on this campus, in your view, there's a shooting in your dorm this morning. You don't find out the specifics for quite some time, but the shooter is on the loose. And the campus us decides to allow classes to go on for some time to come. And then there is another, a massacre on a much larger scale, in a classroom building on campus.
Not clear as yet -- the police won't say. They won't connect the two (INAUDIBLE) But, in your view, as a precaution, given that there had been a shooting, and the shooter was at large, should this campus have been shut down?
PORTER: I mean, that's just -- that's just something that I don't really know if I have all of the information to make a judgment on. Like, I mean, I have watched the TV. I have watched the news all day. I have watched the news reports from the president of the school, addressing, like, all the questions he had, that he got concerning, like, that same exact question.
And, I mean, there were so many variables to consider. And, I mean, if -- even if they did issue something where it closed campus, like, you never know. Like -- like, if classes were canceled, then kids could have gotten up. They could have went out to eat, like, at West End, eat food anywhere, and that -- they could have just been a more susceptible target than even in the classroom, just walking around.
I mean, I don't know. It could have gone either way. You just -- you just can't -- you can't tell with something like this.
KING: All right.
Thank you so much for your time tonight.
PORTER: No problem. Thank you.
KING: Thank you. No, thank you very much.
At least 20 people were shot and survived. Coming up, we will get the latest on their conditions.
Plus: an emotional night, as students mourn the loss of their classmates at a candlelight vigil.
This is a special edition of 360: "Massacre at Virginia Tech."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEEHAN: A shooter came in and shot almost the whole class, dressed sort of strangely.
He came in, eventually later. And he just stepped within five feet of the door and just started firing. I pretended to be dead, just on the ground. And then he -- he left for about 30 seconds, came back in, did almost exactly the same thing, because I guess he heard us still talking. At least when we left, only four of us left. Everyone else was unconscious, either dead or wounded seriously -- was very silent as he fired. I have seen some of the most morbid things I would had ever seen in there, definitely covered in blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A Virginia Tech student outraged there, one of many students on this campaign -- campus -- excuse me -- outraged tonight, that interview recorded just moments ago at a vigil for victims of today's massacre.
CNN's Jeanne Meserve is here. She's just back from that vigil. And she joins us now -- Jeanne.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
First, John, I wanted to talk a little bit about going across campus to Norris Hall, where, of course, most of the shootings took place this afternoon. It is still very much a crime scene. We could see in the windows and see the police in there, apparently still collecting evidence from the scene.
One of the reasons we were able to see is that some of the windows in that building are broken out. Our presumption is that is where some of the students jumped to safety when they heard the shots ring out earlier today.
We moved on from that scene to this vigil. Students have created a large V.T., the logo for Virginia Tech. It would be a candlelight vigil but the wind here is so tremendously strong the candles keep blowing out. Students are putting their names and thoughts on that big symbol of this school, also into a memory book.
We spoke to one of the students who knew one of the few victims that's been identified here, Ryan Clark. He was the resident adviser who was shot this morning in one of the dormitories.
She knew him from his work as a resident adviser. She described him as an energetic and exciting guy, a natural leader. She said, not only was he an R.A., but he also was active in the service organization here on campus, also on the marching band here.
We asked this student, whose name was Mia Ortega, what she had written about Ryan on that memorial.
Here is what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIA ORTEGA, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I wrote -- I'm sorry.
I wrote, "Love never dies." And I circled a heart around it, and I signed my name.
MESERVE: Why did you write that? ORTEGA: Because I believe it. I believe that, even though Ryan may not be with us anymore, that his love for this campus and his friends, everybody here, it's still going to be with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Raw emotion at the vigil.
Your sense there of -- is it outrage, more questions the students have, more sadness than outrage?
MESERVE: Not outrage at this gathering at all.
Several students I talked to said that they were, in fact, very proud of the school, very upset that this had happened here, and that this was what the Hokies would be remembered for.
This handful of students who I spoke to over there -- and I must say the crowd is not that large, because it's so bitterly cold here tonight -- this crowd of students very supportive of the administration.
One little bit of irony I should mention, John, is that this memorial has been set up in the shadow of the war memorial here on the campus of Virginia Tech where, of course, they honor those who have fallen in battle, students of Virginia Tech who have fallen in battle. Here, today, of course honoring those who have fallen under very different circumstances.
KING: Jeanne Meserve, remarkable reporting on campus all day, Jeanne. Thank you very much.
KING: We want to update you now on the survivors of the shooting spree here at the Virginia Tech campus. At least 20 people were wounded, some of them still being treated tonight in hospitals, including Montgomery Regional Hospital.
CNN's Gary Tuchman is there. Here's his report this evening.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mayhem on the Virginia Tech campus. But down the street at the hospital, where most of the injured were brought, administrators say they were prepared.
SCOTT HILL, MONTGOMERY REGIONAL HOSPITAL: I wouldn't say that it was (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We were working with the EMS community and the other local health care providers to make sure that all those patients' needs were met.
TUCHMAN: Seventeen patients rushed to Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg. One was pronounced dead on arrival, three are in critical condition, six stable, and five were discharged.
Student Derek O'Dell (ph) was shot in the upper arm but has been released from the hospital. He got a good look at the gunman.
DEREK O'DELL, SHOT BY GUNMAN: He was about six feet tall, Asian, with a black hood on. He just started shooting, didn't say anything. Just irrational acts.
TUCHMAN: Inside the hospital, many family members and friends of the victims. Bob Allison is a Virginia Tech senior who visited his wounded friend, Kevin.
BOB ALLISON, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: He had to his femoral artery repaired, but that was the surgery. He came out of it and is recovering from that.
TUCHMAN: Allison says his friend was in German class when he was shot twice.
ALLISON: The guy came in and had started shooting. And he said -- the first shot had hit him and it wasn't -- he was still able -- conscious and everything. But once the second shot hit him he had fell to the ground and he doesn't really remember much more.
TUCHMAN: The hospital says it had to call in one extra surgeon, but other than that, had enough personnel to handle this emergency.
HILL: As you all can imagine, our primary concern right now is for these patients and their families. And I can assure you that all the health care providers involved in this incident, are making sure their needs are met.
TUCHMAN: Bob Allison says his friend is in intensive care but his prognosis is good.
ALLISON: He was happy. You couldn't put anything past him. He was in a good mood.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Does he know just how bad this turned out to be for so many other students?
ALLISON: We haven't really talked to him about how big it got.
TUCHMAN: Did anyone tell you not to mention that to him?
ALLISON: No, I just -- I felt that it might not be a good thing to tell him just how many other people were affected and just how big this thing got until at least he'd gotten a little sleep and at least he'd recovered a bit.
KING: And Gary Tuchman joins us live now, continuing his vigil at the hospital.
Gary, how specific is the hospital being tonight about the nature of the injuries it's dealing with?
TUCHMAN: Obviously, John, with three critically injured patients we're concerned that the death toll could possibly climb. We asked that question to the CEO of the hospital, and he said he just doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to characterize the nature of the injuries, to protect the confidentiality of the patients.
He did tell us, however, that there were four major operations performed in the hospital today. Some other minor operations.
He also told us not all the injured who were brought here have suffered from gunshot wounds. He said there is at least one patient, maybe more, suffering from some other wounds which we think could possibly be from jumping out of the buildings when the gunman ran through.
But all in all, the CEO of this hospital stresses that everything went as planned for a major emergency like this one -- John.
KING: You mentioned, Gary, major emergency. We're in a rural area. This is a large campus but a very rural part of Virginia. Is the community and, specifically where you are inside the hospital, equipped to deal with something of this scope?
TUCHMAN: The CEO of the hospital says they were. But indeed, there are only 17 injured brought here. There were 32 people who were killed. They obviously wish that more injured were brought here, because that would have meant that fewer people died.
KING: Gary Tuchman for us tonight. An excellent point, Gary. Thank you so much.
We'll check back with Gary a bit later.
And still ahead on 360, what we now know about the weapons used in the rampage.
Plus, the video that captured the massacre as it happened. We'll hear from the student who used his cell phone to bring the story to the world.
You're watching a special edition of 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today. The exact total has not yet been confirmed, but it appears that more than 30 people have been killed and many more were wounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: President Bush there earlier today at the White House. The president reacting, of course, to today's horrible shooting here at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.
The president called the president of the university, also spoke to the governor of Virginia, promising any federal assistance with the investigation. And tonight, we're getting word that the president may visit the campus tomorrow.
More now on that remarkable cell phone video, though, shot by a Virginia Tech student you saw at the top of the program.
Jamal Albarghouti took it. He was going to join us tonight, but just moments ago he found out a friend was killed today. He did talk, though, a bit earlier with CNN's Larry King.
JAMAL ALBARGHOUTI, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I was going to talk to my adviser on a -- who is in a building just next to Norris, where all this happened.
When I was approaching that building, a gentleman started shouting and -- it's the first time I'm going to say it, but he was using the "F" word and he was telling us to get off the ground. And when a professor starts to use this language, you would know that there is something really serious.
I thought there was another bomb threat in Patton Hall, because in the last week we've got -- we received two of these, which at the end we discovered that they were not serious.
But I just left the building and went back. While I was walking, I saw a cop running around and he saw other cops. And then he saw other cops. He drew his gun from his pocket or from the gun's pocket and just started running towards the other cops. And then they both started running towards Norris Hall.
I knew then that there is something really serious going on on the spot. It's not a bomb threat, because that's not what they did with the previous bomb threats.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": So, Jamal, did you immediately -- did you immediately get out a recorder and start shooting?
ALBARGHOUTI: That's -- that was the time I did that. I just took my camera and started -- I knew that it was really serious. I took my cell phone and started recording that.
And a matter of 10 to 15 seconds we started -- I started hearing the gunshots. At first I thought they were far, but then I realized that they were not far, they were just inside the building.
I saw a person from Norris Hall trying to talk to the people outside, to the police officers outside Norris Hall. He was talking to them through the window. I couldn't hear what he said, but I saw him pointing at something in Norris Hall.
I ran -- I took a few steps towards where the cops were to -- I saw them trying to get into Norris Hall. Now, some people are telling me that the door, Norris Hall's door, were -- was chained. Now, I didn't see that for a fact.
I saw cops either struggling to get in, in which it would be chained, or what I thought was that they opened the door, through a bang, like a gas bang or something like that. Closed the door, closed the door and then reopened it again.
KING: That's Jamal Albarghouti, a student here, a remarkable student who recorded some of the scene on his cell phone, speaking earlier tonight to CNN's Larry King.
And we'll have much more, of course, on the Virginia Tech massacre on the 360 daily podcast. Get the download at CNN.com/AC360podcast or go to iTunes and download it from there.
Still ahead, we've heard people compare this massacre to Columbine and other high school shootings. In fact, experts say college campus shootings are very, very different. We'll explore that angle.
Also, what we're learning tonight about the weapons involved, how a pair of handguns proved so deadly in the hands of a determined killer. That angle when this special edition of 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF WENDELL FLINCHUM, VIRGINIA TECH POLICE: This is a tragic, tragic event. I can't express how much sorrow I feel for the families and everyone involved in this incident. But we're doing everything we can to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion, find out all of the facts and go from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's the chief of the Virginia Tech Police Department, a department facing so many questions tonight, about whether these two shootings on campus, two horrific shootings today are linked and whether that department made a tragic mistake in not locking down and closing this campus after the first shooting at 7:15 this morning.
Now we want to get a closer look tonight, though, at the weapons that took the lives of the victims here on campus. With that, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rapid-fire shots captured by cell phones. Part of the chaotic scene involving a killer, a law enforcement source says, was firing two handguns, a .22 and a .9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol like this one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard shots fired, and I saw everyone running across the drill field. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard five shots on campus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone opened the door, and it sounded like the shots were being fired down the hallway.
FOREMAN: It is an easily used weapon. Each pull of the trigger fires a shot and chambers the next bullet.
LONNY WATSON, GUN STORE EMPLOYEE: It will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.
FOREMAN (on camera): So if you have this entire clip in here of 15 shots and you have one in the magazine, how quickly could you shoot all 16?
WATSON: In a second or less you could shoot all of these rounds.
FOREMAN: Per shot.
WATSON: Per shot.
FOREMAN: So what about reloading, then?
WATSON: Reloading, it just takes a couple seconds.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The .9 millimeter is a common military handgun and is used by many police and sport shooters. A quarter million are manufactured in the United States each year and generally sell for a few hundred dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give us the cash, the combo to the safe.
FOREMAN: But it has also been lionized in movies and music as the criminal's weapon of choice. It is the most commonly used crime gun. And when young people commit gun crimes, more than a quarter of the time they rely on .9 millimeters.
MIKE BROOKS, SECURITY ANALYST: You can get just about any gun company, any company to that manufactures guns usually have some kind of .9 millimeter model. It's just -- it's fairly easy to come by, and the ammunition also is very easy to come by and relatively cheap.
WATSON: Forty-five caliber, .9 millimeter.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Smaller than a .45 caliber but it's not small.
WATSON: No, it's not that small. It's a little bit smaller than a .45.
FOREMAN: And it will pack a real punch?
FOREMAN (voice-over): The .22 is considerably smaller than the .9 millimeter, but it doesn't matter. BROOKS: You can be just as dead with a .22 as you can with a .9 millimeter, unfortunately.
FOREMAN: Now, both of the guns believed to be used in these shootings are in the hands of investigators, who are being asked how they got into the hands of this killer.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Atlanta.
KING: So many horrific details coming into our CNN team across this campus tonight, stories of students jumping out of windows to try to avoid the shooters, stories of a janitor who says the shooter aimed directly at him before he ran off.
So much more we could report and much more for you to see about this story online, updated around the clock at CNN.com or of course, check into our blog, CNN.com/360blog.
Up next, why? Why did he do it? We may never know exactly what provoked the Virginia Tech gunman's deadly massacre. But where it happened may be the biggest clue. What experts says it biggest difference between college and high school shootings, 360 next.
GRAPHIC: In a recent survey of high school students: About 6 percent of students said they had carried a weapon to school in the last month.
KING: If you find that number shocking, well, so do we. But high school students aren't college students, and as tempting as it might be to compare to today's massacre here at Virginia Tech with Columbine, there's a very real danger in doing that.
CNN's Randi Kaye explains.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As a rule, the motive of college and high school shooters is not the same. Criminologists say high school students often kill because they're angry at fellow students.
At Virginia Tech, one criminologist says, an overwhelming sense of failure and rejection by a girlfriend may be why the killer opened fire.
JAMES ALAN FOX, CRIMINOLOGIST: High school shootings like Columbine tend to be perpetrated by kids who feel ostracized. They're not part of the cool crowd. And they decide to get even with the bullies and the nasty teachers, with a gun.
The college shooters tend to see the school as denying them the great opportunity for success. KAYE: Criminologist James Alan Fox has been studying mass murderers for more than two decades. While the 2002 federal report examining 41 school shooters found no true profile, Fox says in most cases, college campus killers have had little parental support and simply have an inability to cope.
FOX: Successful people don't go on rampages. It's failure at school, it's failure in relationships; nothing is going right.
Life has been unfair. The school has been unfair. The girlfriend has been unfair. And they don't see themselves as criminals. They see themselves as victims who are trying to get even, to win one for the little guy.
KAYE: Like Gang Lu from the University of Iowa. More than a decade ago in what's now called the Gang Lu massacre, he shot and killed five people and wounded one before taking his own life.
The apparent reason? Lu denied a prestigious academic award.
DON JOHNSON, WORKED WITH SHOOTER: He probably saw that his options were very limited, that this award was going to make the difference of whether he was going to succeed in life or not.
KAYE: And in 1989 a male student at the University of Montreal, angry there were so many women in class, opened fire. The gunman ordered male engineering students to leave, then killed 14 women before shooting himself.
PHILIP VIDORI, WITNESSED SHOOTING: I saw him running down the hall, and he shot a girl in the stomach. I saw her fall down. And we were about 20 people, and we were hiding behind a concrete wall.
KAYE: A clear motive for the Virginia Tech massacre, still unknown. But James Alan Fox has no doubt the shooter was looking to make a statement.
FOX: These individuals feel out of control. They want to get even by -- by taking charge, taking control. And indeed, how much more control and power can you imagine than someone who goes on a rampage at a college campus, killing dozens and makes national news as someone who's perpetrated the largest mass shooting in American history?
KAYE (on camera): Fox says most college campus shooters are white males, acting alone, with at least one gun. Unlike high school shooters, he says college-age killers are not seeking notoriety. Most, as in this latest case, don't live to read the papers the next day.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
KING: We'll have much more on the horrific massacre here on the campus of Virginia tech in the next hour of 360, including new information about the victims, the gunman, and more incredible stories from some of the students who survived the rampage.
This is a special edition of AC 360.
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