The horror at Virginia Tech can not be put into words.
The number of people murdered fluctuates between 30 and 33, depending on what you read; the media is still in confusion mode as they try to report before they have all the facts. The recent figures state 33:
CNN: Shootings at two Virginia Tech sites leave 33 dead
AP: The bloodbath ended with the gunman committing suicide, bringing the death toll to 33
However, another CNN story says: “The gunman killed 30 people in Norris Hall classrooms before taking his own life. Fifteen other people were wounded.”
One of the most reported on aspects is the issue of blame. Is the Virginia Tech University police Chief Wendell Flinchum to blame for not shutting down the school after a shooting on the campus two hours earlier?
“The day’s first shooting, at the dormitory, left two people dead. That shooting occurred about 7:15 a.m… Flinchum said police were still investigating whether the dorm and Norris Hall shooting incidents were related. At a news conference Monday afternoon, Flinchum did not rule out a separate shooter for the dormitory incident.At the time of the later shootings at Norris Hall, police were investigating a “person of interest” in the dormitory shootings, Flinchum said. But the man — a non-student who knew one of the victims — had not been arrested, and it is unclear if he has any link to the other gunman, he said.”
I think the focus on blame is an attempt to feel safe again: if you know who to blame, then you can “take care” of that problem, being free to imagine that it can’t happen the same way again. It is best not to rush to judgement on blaming the VT police. This situation is chaotic and no one has enough answers to make pronunciations. At this time, it’s even unknown who the killer was — or, at least, the VT police say that they won’t release their preliminary identification. For rumors, you can check out the DrudgeReport.