Virginia Tech officials warned own families first: report
Some officials at Virginia Tech university warned their own families before a campus-wide alert was issued in the 2007 mass shooting that killed 32 people, according to a revised state report released Friday.
One student survived for several hours after being shot without anyone notifying her family until she had died, said the updated report
At least two officials with a crisis response team called their family members after the first shootings at a dorm and about 90 minutes before the all-campus alert was issued at 9:26 a.m.
The president's office was locked down at 8:52 a.m., and two academic buildings were also shut down before the general alert.
The revised report, made partly in response to requests from victims' families, also added details about troubling behaviour exhibited by the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, before the incident. It also includes information from his mental-health records.
Cho, a student from South Korea, killed 32 people and injured several others before killing himself on April 16, 2007, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said the findings that some school officials called their own family members about the initial shootings in a dorm before an all-campus warning was issued were "inexcusable."
"There is almost never a reason not to provide immediate notification," Kaine told the Associated Press Friday. "If university officials thought it was important enough to notify their own families, they should have let everyone know."
Original report's conclusions remain same
While new details were added to the August 2007 report and other portions were corrected or clarified, the original conclusions and recommendations weren't revised. The first document was critical of communications failures, privacy laws and other factors, and suggested improving campus emergency procedures and notification systems, mental health regulations and gun purchase reporting requirements.
Kaine agreed to have the report revised to correct factual errors and reflect new information that emerged after the panel he appointed to investigate the slayings completed its first document.
Victims' parents had pressed for corrections and wanted university officials and others to be held more accountable for their roles.
Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said in a statement Friday that "none of the new information merited changes to any of the recommendations in the original report."