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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Virginia Tech report: Reaction
Virginia Tech memorial
A state report has concluded that lives could have been saved if Virginia Tech officials had acted sooner after student Cho Seung-hui's first killings in his shooting rampage.

Students at Virginia Tech and those whose lives were affected have sent us their reaction to the report's findings.

Kunal Namballa was on campus during the shooting

Kunal Namballa

I knew something was wrong when I heard police sirens racing past on campus.

It wasn't until I got back to my dormitory and saw the emails that had been sent out that I found out what had happened.

I think the report does make some important observations. I think that the communication system could have been better and alerted us quicker and more effectively.

However, I have to say that the police and medical crews did their job really well and got to the scene quickly.

There have already been changes in the security on campus since the incident.

It's now quite difficult to walk very far without seeing a police officer making a round. Our dormitories all have swipe card-only access - although I don't know how effective that really is as a security measure.

The university has also recently implemented a new "VT Alert" system, where we can sign up with our mobile numbers, email addresses and SMS details so that we can be contacted much more efficiently.

Brian E Powers' son David is in his senior year at Virginia Tech

Brian E Powers

I would like to address the Virginia Tech police issue. My son was on the 3rd floor of Norris Hall on the day of the shootings. He and his classmates were taking an exam and heard the shooting on the 2nd floor.

My son was one of many who called 911. Not all the classrooms had locks, and he and his professor and classmates were looking for a secure place to hide (all while the shooting continued and got louder as Cho switched from the .22 caliber to the 9mm).

Fortunately, a professor (later killed when he went to the 2nd floor to offer assistance), came out of his office which had a lock and told the students to hide inside.

They did and were able to lock the door and lay low. If you listen to the famous video that was taken by a student outside of Norris Hall, you hear an explosion at the end.

Students awarded posthumous degrees
The 27 students who died were awarded posthumous degrees
It was the police blowing the door that Cho had chained shut. The police entered the building, and at that time Cho shot himself.

My point is that if the police had done what the Columbine police had done, and waited hours to enter the building, Cho would have had the opportunity to kill even more victims.

In the end it was the police that rescued my son and his classmates on the third floor. A SWAT team came and got them. I owe a debt of gratitude to the police for taking action, ending the killing spree and giving my son a chance to continue living his life.

Sarah is also a student at Virginia Tech

Exactly how is the school to be blamed for what happened? Cho was the psycho who decided to go on the rampage. Cho was also the same person who walked into Norris Hall that morning.

The campus is now taking appropriate measures to protect students. Dorms are on 24/7 key card access, VA state police and VT police are everywhere, there are warning signs posted in every classroom on what to do in case of an emergency, and there is now a campus warning siren.

Crosses laid at a memorial
Crosses were laid at the memorial of those who died
Tech officials cannot be blamed for what happened. The whole event was out of control before it even started. All this media coverage is starting to get excessive and repetitive.

I know of no one here that feels unsafe. Virginia Tech is a strong community filled with hope, love and unity.

Thomas Belcher was a friend of one of the victims

Thomas Belcher with a friend
Thomas pictured with his friend Meg

I was in a campus ministry with Brian Bluhm, one of the victims.

About the report, I don't know if the authorities could have acted any sooner and if they had, if it would have made a difference.

By the time the medics arrived on the scene, students had already left their computers and were heading toward their 8 o'clock classes.

It was actually mentioned in the report that it would have taken hundreds more police officers to completely shut down the school, in a school this size.

But in the end, I fail to see where a report like this helps the friends and families of those who lost their lives.






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