LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The gunman responsible for the April massacre at Virginia Tech was a sickly child – shy, frail and leery of physical contact by the time he was 3, the Washington Post reports. His teachers said he began showing suicidal and homicidal tendencies by the eighth grade.
A new report that provides the most comprehensive look yet at Seung-Hui Cho also shows his parents, teachers and mental health counselors wove a safety net that held him together through most of high school.
Then, in his junior year, Cho declared “there is nothing wrong with me” and turned away from treatment, the report says. Because he was about to turn 18, his parents decided they could do little to stop him. His teachers made accommodations for his painful shyness, and he graduated with the grades and test scores that got him into Virginia Tech.
But there his support system fell apart, and unbeknownst to his family, he grew increasingly anti-social.
“What the admissions staff at Virginia Tech did not see were the special accommodations that propped up Cho and his grades,” including private sessions with teachers that spared him public speaking, said the report issued late Wednesday by a panel that investigated the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Despite “the system failures and errors in judgment that contributed to Cho’s worsening depression, Cho himself was the biggest impediment to stabilizing his mental health,” the report said.
“While Cho’s emotional and psychological disabilities undoubtedly clouded his ability to evaluate his own situation, he, ultimately, is the primary person responsible for April 16, 2007,” the report said. “To imply otherwise would be wrong.”