To follow up on a comment posted by Nanheyangrouchuan, The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that authorities are investigating whether the Virginia Tech shooter was from China.
Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa.
The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said. Investigators have not linked him to any terrorist groups, the source said.
An eyewitness to the shooting, Erin Sheehan, described the man as:
“He was, I would say, about a little bit under six feet (183 cm) tall, young looking, Asian, dressed sort of strangely, almost like a boy scout, very short-sleeved light, tan shirt and some sort of ammo vest with black over it,” Sheehan said.”
Obviously details are still sketchy and while police admit that they have identified the shooter, they are not officially releasing his name or any other details at this time. It’s too early to say for sure who committed this heinous act or where he was from.
CCTV was–of course–all over this story (sickeningly giddy, really) during the morning newscast with plenty of images of the violence in the USA. I do wonder if CCTV will continue to be so excited if it turns out the shooter was actually from China…
UPDATE: Got a call while at The Roots concert in Beijing (They rocked, by the way) that the shooter has been identified as a 23-year old South Korean student. Yes the American media got it wrong. Of course CCTV was already broadcasting this morning that it was a “meiguoren” who was responsible for the shooting…not sure if they’re going to apologize for their “rush to judgment.”
As for those who think we are “disappointed” that it was not someone who was Chinese–that’s simply incorrect and vile. This was a major news story and China was dragged into it by reports in the US, European, Australian AND Chinese media. That put the story into the purview of this space. There was no “wish” on anyone’s part (except perhaps CCTV) that a particular country be implicated. Our thoughts, as everyone’s should be, are with the victims and families of this tragedy regardless of the national origin of the killer.