On Tuesday, the American flag hung at half-mast.
On Monday, 32 innocent Virginia Tech students and professors found their doom at the hands of a deranged man named Cho Seung-Hui. As authorities closed in on him, Seung-Hui took one final life: His own.
“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker told the Associated Press. He wasn’t the only one.
Nothing was known about Seung-Hui when he wrote plays so violent they disturbed both other students and faculty members.Nothing was known about Seung-Hui when his fellow students “joked we were just waiting for him to do something, waiting to hear about something he did,” according to Stephanie Derry, a former classmate of Seung-Hui’s. “But when I got the call it was Cho who had done this, I started crying, bawling.” She was joined in her sorrow by the rest of the United States.
Nothing was known about Seung-Hui when he decided to kill 32 innocent people, although it’s unlikely he was counting. Seung-Hui began his rampage in a dormitory, according to the Associated Press, where 2 people were killed. More than 2 hours later, Seung-Hui entered a classroom building with a 9 mm and a .22-caliber. 31 people died in that classroom building, including Seung-Hui.
Nothing was known about Virginia Tech’s response to the gunfire until some time after the life-threatening danger was over. It is now known that Virginia Tech’s president Charles Steger and campus police chief W. R. Flinchum released no public safety announcements or warnings before the second shooting at Norris Hall that killed more than 30. It’s known that Steger and Flinchum did not lock down their campus even after learning that gunshots had been fired.
John and Jennifer Shourds, parents of a Virginia Tech student are calling for the firing of both Flinchum and Steger, according to Fox News. On Tuesday, however, thousands of people gathered in the campus basketball arena to mourn. When Steger took the stage, he received a 30-second standing ovation.
Nothing is known about how long the mourning process will take for the nation to heal. Many a young life was prematurely snuffed out on Monday, in an act as random as it was brutal. The only thing that is known about Seung-Hui is that he could have been stopped sooner if Steger and Flinchum had made better decisions. And they didn’t.