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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Massacre At Virginia Tech University
Aired April 17, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the killer in the deadliest rampage in U.S. history is identified and disturbing details are now coming to light about this 23-year-old student from South Korea who slaughtered 32 people yesterday at Virginia Tech before turning his gun on himself.
Word there were warning signs from this tragically troubled loner.
Meanwhile, in a vigil tonight and a memorial today, the stunned Virginia Tech campus remembers the victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will eventually recover. But we will never ever forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now, stories of horror and heroism from families grieving lost loved ones and anxiously awaiting word on the wounded.
And Dr. Phil McGraw explains how the Virginia Tech community can start healing.
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is a day of sadness for our entire nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Good evening.
Dr. Phil will be interspersed throughout the program tonight, returning as he did last night.
At the vigil location on the Virginia Tech campus is CNN correspondent Carol Costello -- what was that like tonight?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was incredible. At one point there were literally thousands of students here. As you can see, the vigil is somewhat breaking up now. But at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, thousands showed up, lit their candles and while they talked solemnly and while they felt a certain amount of sadness, Larry, they also felt a certain amount of pride in their university.
At one point, just about, oh, 20 minutes or so ago, there was a huge chant that came from the crowd. They were going, "Hokies, Hokies!" because they want this university to be remembered for its school spirit, for the good things that happen here.
They still have school spirit. They're still proud of their university and they don't want to be remembered for this one tragic horrible incident.
KING: Do any appear concerned about safety now?
COSTELLO: Well, I talked to many students on campus earlier today. They say they don't want security guards at every building, they don't want metal detectors in their dorms and in their classes because then it wouldn't appear -- it wouldn't be like university life.
They want to go back to normal. They want to live like normal college students. They don't want to live in a police state.
KING: And that normalcy won't occur until next Monday, right?
The school is closed?
COSTELLO: School is closed for classes today. Many students going home to take advantage of this. But when classes resume next week, Larry, there will be a certain amount of sadness, but a certain amount of pride, too.
Students are going to come back strong and they're not going to stay away.
KING: Dr. Phil, does a vigil help?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, "DR. PHIL" HOST: Larry, it does help. There's no question about it. And as this community has to work to move on, let me tell you, probably the number one resource that they have are these students themselves.
They are both victim and solution in this situation. These are bright, vibrant, clear-eyed young men and women that have a tremendous pride in their university. They have bonded together and they will rise up.
They are one of the greatest resources we have in healing this community.
KING: And it works all the time for them? In other words, this is an ongoing process, isn't it?
MCGRAW: It is a process. And one of the most important things, Larry, is that everybody knows what to expect. Whenever you get into this kind of situation, if you know what's likely to be around the next corner, then you won't be surprised and put off by it.
There is going to be a tremendous amount of anger and confusion. And at some point, the adrenaline rush that comes from the survival instinct will begin to wane and a tremendous amount of sadness and loneliness will set in.
I'm very concerned that the school lets out in three weeks and so many of these students will be going off, away from their support system, back to their own communities. And that's when it's likely that you may see some signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and other type problems -- anxiety and depression, when they're kind of left alone and away from their friends.
KING: CNN's Jim Acosta is on the scene.
What did you uncover today -- Jim?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, we had a very interesting conversation earlier today with Lucinda Roy. She is the former head of the English Department here on Virginia -- at the Virginia Tech campus. And she says in the fall of 2005, one of this young student's professors, Cho Seung-Hui's professors, came to her saying he was very concerned about some of the writings from this young man, that the writings were disturbing and violent.
And they were so -- so worrisome to her, that she decided to go to the university officials in that fall of 2005 time frame and say to those officials, look, we've got a problem with this student. His writings, these plays he's writing in class are very disturbing, very violent and we need to do something about this young man.
To which the university officials said look, this is freedom of speech. He is expressing himself. I'm sorry, but there's nothing we can do about it. This is according to Lucinda Roy. And you have to do something. This is your student.
And so she decided -- because she thought that this young man was such a risk to her students, the faculty -- she decided to take it up on herself to give this young man a workshop. She taught this young man one-on-one for a semester in the fall of 2005, trying to work with this young man, trying to get him to talk about his problems.
And she said that he was very reclusive, very difficult to penetrate, and throughout that semester, really, could only get him to do his homework, not much else -- Larry.
KING: And here is Miss. Roy talking with you earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
LUCINDA ROY, PROFESSOR, VIRGINIA TECH: There were several of us in English who became concerned when we had him in class for various reasons. And so I contacted some people to try to get some help for him, because I was deeply concerned myself.
ACOSTA: And from what I understand, the writings were violent, disturbing?
ROY: The writings seemed very angry, as I recall. I -- when I actually taught him myself, I took him out of class and taught him myself, then I made it clear that that kind of writing wouldn't be acceptable and he needed to learn to write in another voice and empathize.
But for others, when those -- those rules hadn't been laid down, then, yes, I would think that would be a fair characterization.
ACOSTA: And if you don't mind me asking, did he write about killing people?
ROY: Not that I recall at all. In fact, that was the difficulty that I had. And by that I mean the threats seemed to be underneath the surface. They were not explicit. And that was the difficulty that the police had. So I would go to the police and to the counselors and to student affairs and everywhere else and they would say but there's nothing explicit here. He's not actually saying he's going to kill someone.
And my argument was he seems to disturbed anyway that we needed to do something about this.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
What a day. What an occurrence.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
Up next, the gunman's roommates speak in an exclusive and very disturbing interview.
And we'll also meet some relatives of someone who did not survive, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
KING: Joining us now on LARRY KING LIVE in Blacksburg is Joseph Samaha. He's the father of Reema Samaha. His daughter was killed yesterday in Morris Hall. There you see her.
Also with us is Omar Samaha, her brother, who is a graduate of Virginia Tech.
Joseph, we know how painful this is. We appreciate you coming on with us for a few moments.
How did you learn of your daughter's death?
JOSEPH SAMAHA, FATHER OF REEMA SAMAHA: I learned of my daughter's death yesterday evening when I came down to Blacksburg, Larry. I arrived about 6:15. And about an hour later, a friend of our daughter advised me that -- or informed me that he was in the area when they were removing her from the building.
And that was the first I heard of it. And he gave me his condolences, and I was surprised because I -- I didn't know the young man and I didn't know if he had his facts straight. But he seemed to tell me -- tell me the truth and the -- and the right thing.
An hour later, I did get confirmation from the police.
KING: Where do you live, Joseph?
J. SAMAHA: We live in Centreville, Virginia.
KING: So it wasn't too far to come to Blacksburg.
And you had sent your other son to Virginia Tech.
Omar, how did -- what does this do you to, as a graduate of this school and now you lose your sister?
OMAR SAMAHA, SISTER OF REEMA SAMAHA: It's really hard for me. I love this school. It's one of my homes away from home. And this is like my family down here. And I had my sister going here. I have a cousin here and all my friends here are like my family. And we are one big Virginia Tech family here.
And it's the hardest thing to come back for something like this. I come back so often to see everyone and to visit, and this is one of the hardest things to do, is come back to this campus for something like this.
KING: How do you -- how do you even deal with it, Joseph, a father losing a daughter? How do you -- how do you deal with it at all? How do you deal with this madman who killed her?
J. SAMAHA: Well, Larry, I don't focus on the madman. I'm focused completely on my daughter and -- and what she has been to us, what she has -- as if she's still with us, and what she's been to our family. And I focus on my wife and my surviving children.
What -- what happened with this guy, you know, has no relevance in my life right now. It's -- it's done. I -- I need to think of my daughter and I get my strength thinking of her and visualizing her constantly.
KING: I'll bet.
How do you deal with it, Omar?
O. SAMAHA: I don't think I've started dealing with it yet, Larry.
I'm still in shock at the moment. I -- I miss her so much and I wish she was here. But it seems so unreal to me right now. And it'll -- it'll take a while to sink in.
KING: Why, Joseph, do you agree to talk about her?
J. SAMAHA: Sorry, Larry, one more time, please.
KING: Would you agree to come on to talk about her?
J. SAMAHA: Oh. I advocate for her. I mean she is -- she -- she's my strength. I'm speaking for her. She is a loving kid. She -- she is a great student. She was creative. She was intelligent. She was innovative. Anything a parent would want in a daughter.
And I'm here to speak for her. And she gives me the strength to do that.
KING: Well said.
Omar, do you bear your school, your former school, any ill will?
O. SAMAHA: None at all. None at all. I love this school and I love everyone here and my heart goes out to everyone involved in this.
KING: Joseph, have you made any funeral plans at all?
J. SAMAHA: Well, Larry, as part of the condition to release our loved ones, we had to make arrangements with funeral homes. And they coordinate with the -- with the coroner in Roanoke, Virginia. And so that was the first step.
We're still waiting to -- to see our loved ones, our deceased children. We haven't been able to do that. Apparently there's some legal issues involved. They're asking us to wait four or five days, perhaps that long. And I don't think the parents can do that, nor do we want to do that. And we need to be reunited with our children as soon as possible.
KING: Does that bother you, Omar, this wait?
O. SAMAHA: Yes, it bothers me because this doesn't need to be dragged on any longer. And, you know, we need to -- we need to try to move on ourselves. And the longer we wait to have a funeral and all of that, the -- the longer it's going to take for us to start healing.
KING: Dr. Phil, what do you say to Joseph and Omar? What can you possibly say?
MCGRAW: Well, Joseph and Omar, please understand that all of us certainly feel your pain. And I was just sitting here listening to this wonderful father speak with such wisdom and such an example for everyone in this situation.
What he has said is he is there to advocate for his daughter, speak on her behalf and focus on her, and not this madman that did that thing. And Joseph, I just -- I so admire your strength and courage and you're -- you are using her life and your life to come on talk about this right now in this way because what you're saying is exactly what needs to happen here with so many people that are facing this terrible, terrible burden and challenge.
I just -- my heart goes out to you. I admire your position.
And, Omar, I know, as a brother, it's going to be very difficult to get your mind around this. But I just hope that you will focus on all of the days that she lived instead of the one day and the one moment that she died. Because that is a painful moment and from everything I can understand about her, her life was truly a celebration.
MCGRAW: So you have to focus on the celebration instead of the -- that one moment in time.
KING: Well said, Dr. Phil.
Thank you, Joseph.
J. SAMAHA: You, too.
KING: And thank you, Omar.
O. SAMAHA: Thank you, Larry.
J. SAMAHA: Thank you.
KING: Our hearts and prayers are with you and we'll call on you again.
J. SAMAHA: Thank you.
O. SAMAHA: Thank you.
J. SAMAHA: God bless you.
KING: Thank you.
O. SAMAHA: Thank you.
KING: When we come back, we're going to talk to two roommates of the man that caused all of this.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE, as this night vigil coming to an end on the campus at Blacksburg, Virginia, of Virginia Tech.
We're joined now by Gary Tuchman, CNN national correspondent, in Blacksburg. He had an extraordinary -- we want to -- who did you talk to today?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Larry, I talked to two Virginia Tech juniors who, last year, when they were sophomores, lived with Cho. They were his roommates. They lived in a four room suite for an entire year.
And, Larry, they say that he was absolutely the strangest person they had ever met in their lives. He barely ever talked. But they say, nevertheless, they never would have figured he could have committed murders like this.
KING: Let's take a quick look at the piece of the interview you did.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
TUCHMAN: Then something happened that -- you say he started harassing women at school here, right?
TUCHMAN: Tell me about that, John.
JOHN: He -- I walked back to my room one night and there was a policeman in there. And apparently what had happened was he had gone up -- or he had started talking to her online first. He found where she lived, started talking to her on AIM. Then he went over there. He was using the name "question mark." He said, "Hey, I'm question mark" and that really freaked the girl out.
TUCHMAN: So he was stalking her?
JOHN: Yes. He found out everything about her first.
TUCHMAN: And like he told this girl all the things he had learned about her?
JOHN: I don't know if he told her that. But he -- he felt they were playing some kind of game or something.
TUCHMAN: Did you know the girl?
JOHN: No. I didn't (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
TUCHMAN: Was she freaked out about it? Did you hear later?
JOHN: Freaked out about it enough to call the police.
ANDY: There were two other instances that we know of. One was one of our friends, he started following and bothering her. And another was down the hall.
TUCHMAN: And what happened in those cases?
ANDY: The one down the hall, I got the girl's screen name and kind of told her -- I I.M.d her and told her this guy, you know, he's messing around with you, here's his name and you should kind of ignore him and just stay away from him.
And then the other time the cops responded again and Seung became upset about that. And he had told me that he might as well kill himself.
And so I told the cops that and they took him away to the counseling center for a night or two.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KING: Gary, don't you wonder how this guy ever got in to be a fourth year student?
TUCHMAN: Yes, that's what I asked these two roommates, John and Andy. I said, "If he was so strange, if he had to be sent away to this counseling center for a couple of days and the university was obviously aware he had a problem, didn't you think that maybe he was dangerous?"
And they said, "You know what? He was very weird, but he wasn't violent. He never talked about guns. He didn't have any guns. Yes, he did weird things like he played the same songs over and over again on his computer laptop. It was a song by the rock group Collective Soul. And he played it over and over dozens and dozens of times.
He did a lot of weird things. But they said because he was smart enough to get into a great school like Virginia Tech, we figured he was OK and we weren't that worried about it.
TUCHMAN: Yes, we thought he was weird, but we weren't that worried.
KING: Gary, the rest of that piece, all of it, will air on "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour.
Thanks, Gary, as always.
Gary Tuchman in Blacksburg.
Joining us now in Blacksburg is Trey Perkins, a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre. The shooter opened fire while he was in German class. That's the firing that killed his professor.
And also there is Melanie Swift, a Virginia Tech student. She was in class in Norris Hall when the shootings took place.
Trey, what happened in the German class?
TREY PERKINS, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I was just sitting in class around 9:45 when we heard some -- some popping noises coming from what we thought was across the hall. We -- we didn't really know what it was. One of the students suggested it might have been a joke.
And after, you know, right after that, a guy runs into the room and immediately opens fire.
KING: Did you know him?
PERKINS: I had never seen him before.
KING: Did you see people killed?
PERKINS: Yes, unfortunately.
KING: Where did -- how did you get away?
PERKINS: I -- I just -- I got on the ground and turned some desks over, two or three desks, I flipped on their sides and I just laid there and just -- just prayed.
KING: Did you see your teacher shot?
PERKINS: Yes, I did.
KING: Well, that'll never leave your memory, will it? What was it like for you?
PERKINS: I -- I can't even begin to explain it. It's something I -- I don't -- I don't want anyone to ever have to go through and I -- I just -- I don't want to ever have to go through anything like that again.
KING: Melanie, you were in class in Norris Hall.
What class were you in?
MELANIE SWIFT, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I was in my auditing class. We were actually taking an exam. And I was on the third floor, right above the shooting.
KING: And what -- what did you hear? What happened?
SWIFT: We just heard -- there was probably about 15 minutes left in the class when we heard loud bangs. None of us knew what they were. It was nothing I had ever heard before, but we -- our teacher just said oh, it's just the construction. There's lots of construction going on around that building. So we just continued to take our exam.
And then one of the students -- actually, my roommate -- she finished the exam earlier and she went down to the second floor, saw students diving and smoke, yelling, "Get down! Get out!"
She ran back up to our classroom to inform us that there was a shooting going on below us and what we were hearing were gunshots.
KING: And what did you do then, Melanie?
SWIFT: We then went across the hall and barricaded -- there was about 25 of us left -- and barricaded into a small professor's office. For about 15 minutes we just were in there, still all confused with what was going on. We were hearing screams below and then a SWAT team came to escort us out.
Thank you both very much.
Trey Perkins and Melanie Swift.
Up next, one of the first responders yesterday tells what he saw when he got to the scene of the bloodbath, right after this on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZACH PETKEWICS, VIRGINIA TECH SENIOR: Me and two others got up, threw a couple of tables in front of it and had to physically hold it there while there -- while there was gunshots going on. He came to our door and tried the handle. He couldn't get it in, because we were pushing up against it.
He tried to force his way in, got the door to open up about six inches and then we -- we just lunged at it and closed it back up. And that's when he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door, thinking we were up against it, trying to get him out.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: What do you say when people are calling you a hero today?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was the vigil earlier tonight. Ended a little while ago. Let's check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent at the Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg.
What is the latest there, Sanjay?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good news today, Larry, overall. When you talk about all of these patients, 17 patients brought here yesterday. Three were in critical condition. Now we are hearing that there are eight patients remaining. One was actually discharged today and all eight that are actually here are now in stable condition, expected to be discharged over the next several days. So good news, forward progress. Overall in this area, four hospitals, Larry. Only one critically injured patient still at a hospital not too far away from here, Larry.
KING: Sanjay, mostly bullet wounds?
GUPTA: Yes, you know, it is mostly bullet wounds but it's also interesting, as you probably heard, Larry, there was some people who actually jumped out of windows. There is one young woman, for example, who has back injuries, a broken vertebrae in her back, and neck injuries. Another person who has this ankle fracture, both from falling, just jumping out of the window.
KING: Sanjay, stay there. We will be -- check in with you throughout the days and nights ahead.
Matt Green joins us, he is in Blacksburg and he is president of the Virginia Tech rescue squad. He is also a student.
You're a student and member of the rescue squad. Matt, how does that work?
MATT GREEN, VIRGINIA TECH RESCUE SQUAD: Yes, sir, that's correct. Well, we are both full-time students and full-time EMTs for the Virginia Tech rescue squad. It consists mainly of 40 members, all volunteers. It's a student-run organization meaning all our leaders and leadership positions are filled by current students of Virginia Tech.
KING: How are you trained?
GREEN: We -- our minimum training is an EMT basic. We do have all the way up through ALS providers, which means advanced life support, varying in between. We are all certified.
KING: All right. You were part of the response team that went into the West Ambler Johnston Hall, is that right, that dorm?
GREEN: I actually was not a part of that team. I am familiar with both incidents, though.
KING: Where did you go?
GREEN: I actually arrived for the 9:30 incident at the Norris Hall.
KING: And what did you find when you got there?
GREEN: Well, we were dispatched to the Norris Hall area around 9:30 in the morning for multiple patients with injuries. The police established a perimeter and cleared a safe zone for us so we could then work and begin to treat and transport patients as they came to us.
KING: Did you find anyone that was deceased?
GREEN: We are not allowed to discuss those that are deceased and their conditions at this time.
KING: You never had any situation, obviously, nothing quite like this. How did you approach it?
GREEN: Well, we have actually trained for incidents such as this. We trained for things hoping they would never occur. Unfortunately, this one is -- has occurred for us. We have trained for multiple patients with gunshots in educational buildings before. This gives the advantage of preparing guidelines and procedures on how to handle these incidents if they unfortunately do occur.
We also are familiar with previous incidents such as the Morva case and are familiar with managing multiple patients. We are responsible for overseeing the treatment of all patients at the Virginia Tech football games, which can hold over 40,000 people at one time.
KING: I know, I have been there. We thank you, Matt, and we salute you.
Dr. William Knocke joins us. He's head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. And was friend of the late professor G.V. Loganathan who was killed in the campus massacre. How close were you and he?
DR. WILLIAM KNOCKE, PROFESSOR, VIRGINIA TECH: Dr. Loganathan and I have been colleagues for approximately 25 years. He was a very close and dear personal friend. A true colleague. As I think about G.V., I think of someone who was totally pure in heart. Someone who had great respect for his students, be they Ph.D. students, sophomore students, whatever, he loved them all.
KING: Where were you when the events occurred?
KNOCKE: My office is in Patton Hall and the windows out of my office look directly on Norris Hall. So I saw students jumping out of the windows, I heard gunfire. I saw the police surrounding the building and bringing students out. It was a very surreal experience to observe.
KING: How did you find out about your friend?
KNOCKE: Well, we did not find out officially about his situation until last evening. We kept hoping and praying during the day that we would get good news for he and we lost eight students in our department as well. And throughout the day, we had hope hoped -- hoped beyond hope that we would find out something positive. But unfortunately in the end, all were deceased.
KING: How do you equate this to yourself? How do you deal with it?
KNOCKE: Well, it has been a very rocky day-and-a-half. We have received tremendous support from around the world. I literally have hundreds of e-mails on my computer back in the office. Every time I stop by, there's more there. People that I quite honestly even don't know from our places, friends I haven't talked to in 20 years from prior sabbaticals and the like who have called or contacted us.
The outpouring for our department and for the individuals impacted has been simply overwhelming and much needed.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Knocke. Dr. William Knocke.
When we come back, Dr. Phil McGraw returns with his thoughts. We will also meet another student who arrived on campus as the events occurred. Drove up to class yesterday just in time to hear gunshots. He was at today's memorial where the president spoke. He and Dr. Phil are next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they are gone and they leave behind grieving families and grieving classmates and a grieving nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM WOODS, VIRGINIA TECH SENIOR: It's going to be really hard to understand why. And I think over the next couple of days, week, it will more sink in and then it's just a tragedy of nothing else to do but be sad and sorry that it happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Phil remains with us in Las Colinas, Texas. But first, let's check in in Blacksburg with Jason Klein, Virginia Tech student who arrived on campus as events at Norris Hall were unfolding.
What, did you drive up, Jason?
JASON KLEIN, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Yes, I was commuting to the campus. Prices Fork lot. I had a class at Hancock Hall, which was right behind Norris Hall. I arrived at around -- I arrived to the parking lot at probably 9:55. It was unusual because at that time it's usually not too hard to park.
And there were not too many cars there, but for some reason it still took like 10, 15 minutes to find a spot because there was a big traffic jam. So at about 10:05 I started walking towards the campus because people were still approaching the campus. I got there and was intercepted by a student when he told me to turn around, the police believe that there are -- a gunman on campus.
And about a minute later as I was walking back to my car, the police came on the megaphone and said that there's a gunman on campus. Shots have been fired. Please seek shelter and stay away from the windows.
KING: Wow. What did you do? KLEIN: I returned to my car and I drove back to my apartment, which is about two or three minutes off campus. I woke up my roommates and we stayed tuned to the TV all day to watch the horrific events and make sure that, you know, we could account for all of our close friends.
KING: What was the memorial service like today?
KLEIN: It was unbelievable. Both the convocation and the candlelight vigil, just to see everyone there, you know, in the best spirits that they can be. There were chants, like we had the "let's go Hokies" chant going on. And everyone is trying to go through this grieving process, you know, as best as they can and helping each other and everyone is real supportive of everybody.
KING: Thanks, Jason. Thanks for giving us the moments.
Dr. Phil, what about people dealing with surprise? Here's a kid, pulls up in his car, just looking for a parking space, sees a traffic jam and suddenly the world ends.
MCGRAW: Well, of course, this is nothing that you can ever expect. And I think one of the biggest frustrations that people are dealing with right now, is -- you know, was this foreseeable? And certainly when you're walking up to campus, you don't foresee this kind of thing happening.
But I think that one of the things that I really hope people understand is that there's a big difference between explanation and prediction. You know, after the fact we can look back and the comments of Mrs. Roy, who just went so far above and beyond the call to try to help this young man.
We see that the troubled writings that he has, the roommates that talk about the things that were going on with him, those things stand out with a bright light after the fact. But to use those things to try and predict who is going to be violent and who is not is just something that is not possible.
And so many people are going to say, if we knew all of this, how could this young man have been in this organization, in this university?
MCGRAW: But those things don't stick out until after the fact.
KING: I see. So while it's happening, you may think this guy is weird but you don't think, terror?
MCGRAW: Well, sure. And that's one of the prices we have for liberty and freedom in America. You cannot deprive someone of their liberty because they are different or they are weird or they do things differently than most of their classmates do. There were no signs that this young man had perpetrated any violence on anyone. So it's very difficult to say, we don't like the way you think or that you seem to be withdrawn, and so, therefore, we are going to exclude you from the university or we are going to incarcerate you in some way before you do something.
And that's a great catch-22. But those that are so frustrated about how could this young man have been part of this school for so long and stayed off the radar screen, he was on the radar screen, thanks to Mrs. Roy. But once he gets to the level of being reported and the counselors are involved, they are very limited in what they can do. So there's a big difference between explanation and prediction.
KING: We will be back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Ahead, the student body president who says we need support, not someone to blame. And a pastor offering that support, right after this on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEREK O'DELL, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT, SHOT IN THE ARM: I just heard gunshots down the hall. And we didn't really make anything of it because there's a lot of construction on campus. But we thought it was like hammering on the wall or something.
But then it became very apparent that there was a shooter right when he entered our classroom and shot somebody almost instantly, as soon as he entered. At that point, he started shooting multiple people, a lot of them in the front row. And then lots of us panicked and went under our desks and tried to take cover.
He was kind of going up to people and then shooting them in the head pretty point blank range. I mean, just horrible images that you never want to see again in your mind. I actually hadn't even realized I was shot until after the killer, the shooter left our room. So after he left our room, I looked down and my arm was bleeding pretty profusely.
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KING: We are back. Let's check in with John King. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour.
John, what's ahead?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we will continue our investigative reporting into the tragic shooting here on this campus. We will take you back 37 days on the gun trail, show you where and how the killer bought the automatic handgun he used in the shooting spree here on this campus. We will also take you inside his dormitory room through the eyes of two of his roommates. They described a disturbed and troubled young man. And we will also speak with one of the professors who once pulled him out of a class, tried to tutor this man one on one, tried to get him on the right track.
A disturbing anatomy of a shooter up ahead at the top of the hour on "AC 360," and much more, Larry, more on the emotional vigil here tonight. The emotions on this campus as we try to peel away yet again even more and more details of this tragedy here at Virginia Tech -- Larry.
KING: That's a fascinating couple of hours coming up at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific with John King. Let's go to Brianna Keilar, another CNN correspondent. We have so many far-flung around Blacksburg.
Brianna, what's the latest from your vantage point?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the latest in this investigation is this, police executed a search warrant, Cho Seung- Hui's dorm room, and they recovered a number of items, including an implement that could have been used to shave off serial numbers, which we do understand that Cho did with those two weapons that were found in Norris Hall.
Now what's interesting, though, Larry, is police say a considerable amount of the evidence they recovered were actually documents, that there were, quote, "considerable writings." And at this point they are still trying to link -- or they say they can't definitively link Cho to that first shooting at the dorm where two people were killed. Of course, they say he used two weapons at Norris Hall.
They have been able to link through ballistics one of those weapons to the first shooting. They say it's reasonable to assume that he's responsible for the first shooting but they just don't have the evidence at this point to support that.
KING: Thanks, Brianna Keilar, on the scene. Let's talk to Adeel Khan, he is Virginia Tech's student body president.
How has the student body been handling this second day?
ADEEL KHAN, PRESIDENT, STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION: The student body here has responded absolutely incredibly. We just had our candlelight vigil which was coordinated purely by students. The Student Government Association that organized their Hokies United campaign and had over 10,000, 20,000 students here.
I could not give you the count because it was so many. But it was just an absolutely incredible sight to see, as I'm sure that many of your viewers have seen. And I can't say enough about the students who worked hard to put that together within 24 hours. I think that shows you a lot about the Virginia Tech student body.
KING: Were you part of the grieving with the president and first lady?
KHAN: I was. It was definitely incredible to meet the president and the first lady and Governor Kaine and his wife. They were both very, very sincere in their condolences towards our university. And I really, really appreciate them coming down and showing the state government and federal government support of Virginia Tech. It was great to see them both here.
KING: Thanks, Adeel. Let's check Pastor Jim Pace (ph), the New Life Christian Fellowship.
You have had, Pastor Pace, to minister to many? Oh, I'm sorry. The pastor is not ready. So what I am going to do is take a break now and come back. We will get a few words from Pastor Pace, check in again with Phil McGraw.
And then coming up, she survived columbine eight years ago, what does she have to say now to Virginia Tech survivors? That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADIA CLARK, SISTER OF VICTIM RYAN CLARK: I lost a brother, you know. I had two, now I just have one. And I lost part of my heart.
BRYAN CLARK, BROTHER OF VICTIM BRYAN CLARK: I guess there's a point where the initial thing is devastation but then there's point where you say to yourself that he's in a better place and that's all you can do, is just know that he went doing something he loved, being an R.A., and enjoying life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us from Fargo, South Dakota -- North Dakota, is Crystal Miller, survivor of the Columbine High School massacre which took place eight years ago this Friday. She's currently featured as a speaker on the 180 Tour traveling to high schools across the nation. Author of the book "Marked for Life."
What did you make when you heard this story, Crystal?
CRYSTAL MILLER, SURVIVED COLUMBINE MASSACRE: You know, Larry, it was shock initially. Just hoping that they were over-exaggerating the numbers. But, of course, as those numbers continued to grow, my shock turned to grief. Just absolute sadness to see yet again another community facing these unanswerable questions, the hopelessness, the fear, the sadness, because, of course, I survived Columbine and I can relate in some small way of what that feels like.
KING: But you still don't have all of the answers for eight years ago, do you?
MILLER: Absolutely not. Of course, time heals and some answers have come. And I have even found hope and healing. But we still don't understand why these things happen. And it breaks my heart so deeply, which is why I continue to go out and share, speak to high school, junior high students, people around the nation in hopes that we don't see people having to go through this.
KING: What would you say to the students at Virginia Tech?
MILLER: Wow, I am speechless. It's hard to have words at a time like this. I want the community at Virginia Tech to know that my prayers are with you, that you are not alone, that we support you, we are standing behind you. We are grieving with you, and that hope will eventually come.
KING: Do you eventually really put it behind you?
MILLER: You know, I don't know that you can ever fully put something like this behind you. Of course, yesterday it sent me back to those events yet again. But I do believe that good can come, that healing will come. But, of course, that's an incredibly long journey.
MILLER: I mean, the people at Virginia Tech are only beginning that process.
KING: Dr. Phil, does it help for the people of Virginia Tech to hear Crystal?
MCGRAW: Oh, I don't think there's any doubt about it. Anybody that can share life experiences about this. And the reason it is so hard sometimes to get answers is because perhaps we are asking the wrong questions. There is no answer to why so the question must become what?
What do we do to move on? What do we do to stop this from being part of our society? What can do we do to heal one another and move forward in a constructive way? You can't make sense out of nonsense. So the questions really have to be what, instead of why.
KING: Crystal, do you feel you -- are you thinking about going to Virginia Tech?
MILLER: You know, I would love to if the opportunity arose. And, Dr. Phil, I would definitely agree with you, I mean, which is why I'm committed to going around doing the 180 Tour school assembly program where we are challenging students, their character and really asking them to rise up and to start making a difference. And it starts by the way that they are treating one another.
MCGRAW: Larry, Crystal is keeping the dialogue going. And that's so important what you're doing, Crystal.
MILLER: Thank you very much, Dr. Phil.
KING: Crystal, I salute you and I thank you for joining us.
MILLER: Thank you, Larry. I appreciate it. It's such an honor.
KING: It's my honor having you. Phil, we only have about 20 seconds. The kids at Columbine gave an indication, didn't they?
MCGRAW: Yes, they did. In almost every one of these situations there have been signs when you look back on them, you can see how it was leading up to it. But, again, that's explanation after the fact, not prediction before. We have to become more tuned in. We have to learn how to watch for these warning signs and then create some vehicle to deal with them when we see them. KING: Thank you, Dr. Phil. Another extraordinary night. Thanks, Crystal. And thanks to all of the rest of our guests. Tomorrow night we will be covering again in total. And Thursday night, words of solace from the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
Right now it's back to Blacksburg for "AC 360." Tonight hosted by my friend, John King.
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