32 students and faculty killed

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Before the Fatal Rage

?On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech experienced one of the most horrific events in American university history?a double homicide followed by a mass shooting that left 32 students and faculty killed, with many others injured, and many more scarred psychologically. Families of the slain and injured as well as the university community have suffered terribly.

Like so many thousands of Virginia Tech parents, Sung Tae and Hyang Im Cho spent the day of April 16 calling their son,?Seung-Hui Cho’s cellphone and sending him e-mails, hoping he hadn’t fallen prey to the man who was shooting students and professors at Virginia Tech.

The Chos’ fears were confirmed when police officers, FBI agents and a chaplain showed up that night at their Centreville townhouse.

But the news was worse than they had imagined.

Their shy, quiet 23-year-old son was the student gunman who fatally shot 32 people before killing himself.

Cho?s imaginary life included calling himself ?Question Mark?; a ?supermodel? girlfriend called ?Jelly? who ?travelled by spaceship?; and reporting to his room mate that he was ?vacationing with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin? having ?grown up with him in Moscow?. But a Senior in Cho?s class who read his one-act play told a friend: ?This is the kind of guy who is going to walk into a classroom and start shooting people?.

?He has made the world weep,? the statement by Cho?s family said. ?We are living a nightmare.?

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