Washington (AsiaNews) – The man who went on a rampage killing 32 people at Virginia Tech before taking his own life, was 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui from South Korea, the local police chief announced. Asians are also reported among the dead in yesterday’s massacre: two faculty members, one from India, the other from Israel. Among students, one from Korea was wounded and a young woman from Mumbai is missing. Laws enforcement authorities are still unable to say whether the gunman acted alone or had any accomplices.
Prof Mallikarjun Kumar talked this morning about his colleague, G V Loganathan, who was one of the victims. “We didn't know exactly what was going on. His wife called [asking whether we heard] from her husband. So we tried the local hospitals [. . .]. Soon after that news broke that he was among the victims.” She was devastated.
Much more is known about the death of Liviu Librescu, an Israeli lecturer in mechanics and engineering. A student, Asael Arad, told Israel Army radio that the professor died like a hero by blocking the door to his class to keep the gunman out, but all the students “lived because of him.”
Park Chang-min, a South Korean student, had a close call with death. He shot in the arm but his injuries are not life threatening. He should be discharged from hospital very soon.
An Indian student, Meenal Panchal from Mumbai, has been reported missing and her fate is still unknown.
A Indian woman with a son studying in the United States told AsiaNews that “whilst shootouts on campuses have happened before in the United States now that her son is studying engineering in Indiana” like anyone else in similar circumstances she is now living with “a sense of terror and fear.”
Pope Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolences expressing his profound sense of sorrow at the tragedy.