Report: Va. Tech delay cost lives

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A state inquiry said the Virginia Tech massacre in April would have been smaller if the school had acted more quickly in warning students.

A panel appointed by Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine said information was withheld from students for two hours on April 16 about the killing of two students, time that could have been used to issue warnings and cancel classes, the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch reported Thursday.


The 260-page report said the university police department "erred in not requesting ... a campus-wide notification that two persons had been killed and that all students and staff should be cautious and alert," the report said.

Virginia Tech senior Cho Seung-hui killed 27 students and five faculty members, injured 17 others and committed suicide.

The report reached back a year and noted Cho's unusual behavior recorded in his junior year, saying "numerous incidents occurred that were clear warning of mental instability ... (but) the university did not intervene effectively. No one knew all the information and no one connected all the dots."

Kaine, in a statement, pointed to seven areas where changes might be needed in state law or procedure. Four involved the lack of communication about Cho's mental health problems as he moved from high school to college and Virginia Tech officials' ignorance of privacy laws that may have kept information from being shared.


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