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Supposedly, high school officials had worked with his parents and mental health counselors to support Cho throughout his sophomore and junior years. When he applied and was admitted to Virginia Tech, school officials did not report his speech and anxiety-related problems or special education status because of federal privacy laws that prohibit such disclosure unless a student requests special accommodation.The Massengill Report detailed numerous incidents of aberrant behavior beginning in Cho's junior year of college that illustrated his deteriorating mental condition.
Erin Sheehan, an eyewitness and survivor who had been in room 207, told reporters that the shooter "peeked in twice" earlier in the lesson and that "it was strange that someone at this point in the semester would be lost, looking for a class". Cho first shot and killed the professor, then continued firing, killing nine of the thirteen students in the room and injuring two others.Librescu was able to hold the door closed until most of his students escaped through the windows, but he died after being shot multiple times through the door. When Cho broke through the barricade and entered the room, Air Force ROTC Cadet Matthew La Porte charged the gunman and died after taking heavy fire in an attempt to save lives (he was later posthumously awarded the Airman's Medal for his actions).After Cho's first visit to room 207, several students had barricaded the door and had begun tending to the wounded.Cho's first attack after entering Norris occurred in an advanced hydrology engineering class taught by Professor G. Next, Cho went across the hall and into room 207, where instructor Jamie Bishop was teaching German.Cho shot at a student, then at Bishop, then at the rest of the students, killing Bishop and four students; six students were wounded.Although authorities suspected Cho had thrown his hard drive and mobile phone into the water, a search was unsuccessful.
Almost two hours after the first killings, Cho appeared at a nearby post office and mailed a package of writings and video recordings to NBC News; these proved to be of little investigative value to authorities. About two hours after the initial shootings, Cho entered Norris Hall, which housed the Engineering Science and Mechanics program among others, and chained the three main entrance doors shut.
He placed a note on one of the chained doors, claiming that attempting to open the door would cause a bomb to explode.
Shortly before the shooting began, a faculty member found the note and took it to the third floor to notify the school's administration.
The shooting prompted the state of Virginia to close legal loopholes that had previously allowed individuals adjudicated as mentally unsound to purchase handguns without detection by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The law strengthening the NICS was signed by President George W. The Virginia Tech Review Panel, a state-appointed body assigned to review the incident, criticized Virginia Tech administrators for failing to take action that might have reduced the number of casualties.
It also led to passage of the only major federal gun control measure in the U. The panel's report also reviewed gun laws and pointed out gaps in mental health care as well as privacy laws that left Cho's deteriorating condition in college untreated. The first incident was in West Ambler Johnston Hall, during which Seung-Hui Cho killed two students.
At the time, it was the deadliest shooting carried out by a single gunman in U. Television news organizations that aired portions of the killer's multimedia manifesto were criticized by victims' families, Virginia law enforcement officials, and the American Psychiatric Association.