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U.S. Shocked After Shootings

Posted April. 18, 2007 09:38,   


“With no reason, no one could resist.”

“A civilized nation has no response to a fanatic’s hatred.”

The deadliest school attack in U.S. history at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, clearly shows how vulnerable the world’s superpower is to an indiscriminate attack.

The shooting took place on April 16 (local time) in two separate locations, killed 33 people, including the gunman, and injured 29 people. Park Chang-min, a graduate student in the school’s civil engineering program (28), was among the injured and remains at a nearby hospital.”

“In the middle of an applied mathematics class at 9:45 a.m., a man broke into the classroom and started to shoot, changing revolvers as he did so.”

Even though, Park got down on the floor at the back of the classroom, a bullet hit his chest and right arm. Seeing no movement in the room, the gunman went to the next classroom, a German class.

Ryan Fisher, a graduate student of the school, told this newspaper the testimony of a student who was seriously shot in the German classroom.

“Horrified by a gunshot in the next room, I was about to lock the classroom door. At the moment, a man wearing a black leather jacket, a baseball cap and a mask, stormed into the room. After entering about 1.5 meters, he shot our professor and then began shooting students. He had been continuously shooting for 1 to 2 minutes, he went out of the room and I heard another gunshot from the next room. Then he came back and started to fire again.”

According to witnesses and a police announcement, the gunman locked building doors from the inside and shackled them with chains. He then repeatedly opened fire in the two classrooms, going back and forth, killing some of his victims execution-style.

Earlier at 7:15 a.m. in a dormitory, the man was looking for his girlfriend, searching door to door, and found her. He shot his girlfriend and two seniors who tried to separate the arguing couple, according to The New York Times and other U.S. media outlets.

The man killed himself at the shooting scene. Nothing has been confirmed except that he was an Asian young male and recently came to the U.S. It was unclear if the shooting in the dorm and in the classrooms was committed by the same person.

The tragedy, which is another indiscriminate attack on innocent people following the September 11 attacks, plunged the whole nation into shock.

A professor at Georgetown University and a famous constitutional scholar said, “Despite horrific gun shootings in the U.S., no possibility is in sight to revise U.S. constitutional law allowing gun possession.”

srkim@donga.com sechepa@donga.com