Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Gunman At NASA; Virginia Tech Gunman's Family Apologizes
Aired April 20, 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, another shooting incident shocks America, this time at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where a gunman has killed a hostage and himself.
What happened and how?
We've got the latest from the scene.
And then, with the nation mourning the 32 victims of Monday's shooting rampage, the deadliest in U.S. history, we finally hear from the Virginia Tech gunman's family. They say they never thought he was capable of so much violence. But all week we've heard about so many warning signs.
Now, inside the killer's mind with Dr. Phil McGraw and a student who lived with the gunman.
What we have learned from the Virginia Tech tragedy and can it help us keep such a thing from happening again?
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Well, we had another hostage situation, this one at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
It ended with the armed hostage taker and one of his captives dead. A second hostage, a woman, is physically unharmed.
Joining us via phone is Miles O'Brien, CNN's expert space correspondent.
What happened and when -- Miles.
MILES O'BRIEN, SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, it began at about 1:40 Central time, about 2:40 Eastern time today, when a contractor worker -- and most of the workers there at NASA's Johnson Space Center are under contract to the federal government -- who works for an engineering firm, came into this Building 44, engineering building and office building, where they do work on communications devices used on the space station, in the International Space Station, as well as the space shuttle.
A couple of shots were fired and the authorities believe that at least -- at the very early stages of the game, one person was shot and ultimately died.
That led to a barricade situation with another hostage, a woman, who ultimately was -- was able to escape unharmed. She was bound and gagged.
But in the course of that barricade situation, some very tense times at the Johnson Space Center, that campus like setting there. And, in many ways, reminiscent of what we saw earlier in the week in Blacksburg, Virginia.
SWAT teams closed in. Did not hear anything from him, no communication established from this employee. Finally, they heard a single gunshot, nearly four hours into the ordeal. They went into the room and found him dead, found the hostage in another location on the floor dead and the hostage who was freed.
A chilling reminder of the violence of guns just a few days after Blacksburg -- Larry.
KING: Miles, you stay right with us.
NASA held a press conference a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. DWAYNE READY, HOUSTON POLICE: Yes, let me explain that.
The report to us was that there were two shots, and that's what caused us to respond to this scene. And we're believing that one of the things, the male, who's deceased, was shot during that particular moment, because, from that point forward, we only had the other shot, that was heard by our SWAT team members, and we believe that to be the suspect shooting himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Stephen Dean, a reporter with KPRC TV, a very well known television station in Houston, joins us.
What do we know about the hostage taker, Stephen?
STEPHEN DEAN, KPRC REPORTER: Well, what NASA is now saying down here at the Johnson Space Center is that all three of the people involved today are engineers who have worked down at the Johnson Space Center for years. The head of the Johnson Space Center, Michael Coats, says he thinks that all three of those people involved today -- the gunman, the victim who was killed and the woman who was held hostage, they all went to lunch today, and then came back.
And then, police say it's unknown exactly what happened, but it was yet another scene where people were running from the office, trying to get out of there. This is a building at the Johnson Space Center that's an electronics laboratory and they're just trying to sort it all out.
They have actually looked through his home. They've looked through this engineer's car, the man who bought the gun, just one month ago, they now say. They didn't find anything else, but they had bomb sniffing dogs just in case, playing it very cautious today.
KING: What's the current status of the woman?
DEAN: The woman is being questioned at Houston police headquarters right now. She was not injured. They say that after the gunman killed himself inside Building 44 at Johnson Space Center, they say that she was duct taped around the mouth. She was duct taped by her hands. But right after he killed himself, she was actually able to remove the duct tape from her mouth and call campus security at Johnson Space Center.
And she told the SWAT team what had happened.
KING: Miles, how can someone get a gun on NASA property?
Miles, do you hear me?
Miles can't hear me.
Stephen, how can someone get a gun on NASA property?
DEAN: Well, it's a federal facility, so firearms are banned. You can't carry a gun. Of course, Texas has a canceled carry law. There are an awful lot of people carrying guns. Well, there are signs up out front that say guns are banned here. It's a federal installation. You can't do it.
However, they do not do very vigorous searches as cars come into Johnson Space Center. It's just not a matter of routine.
And the head of JSC says hey, just this week, with the Virginia Tech shootings, we examined our security. We took a look at it. We took a look at our response procedures and there is nothing he would change.
So they do not do vehicle searches. They just show a badge and cars are waved on in...
DEAN: And this area is right near the gates.
KING: What's Building 44?
DEAN: Building 44 is an electronics laboratory. And is telling us that they work on communications equipment that is used to communicate with the shuttles in space. It's not a mission control area or somewhere where they're working on active missions. It's an area and a building that they develop systems to be put on shuttles later.
KING: Miles, what about this whole incident surprises you the most?
Miles, do you hear me?
Apparently -- Miles, are you there?
Well, we've lost him. And apparently we've lost touch.
We thank Miles O'Brien for checking in with us.
We only have about a minute or so left.
Stephen, what about this incident surprises you the most?
DEAN: Well, what was amazing was that everybody's nerves were so on edge this week. Every police officer I talked to was just waiting on something to happen. There were at the ready. SWAT team officers had loaded their cars. There was just a lost of nerves on edge.
And then suddenly a report of gunfire on Johnson Space Center, a normally quiet place where engineers all work. Now they're saying these were three engineers who apparently went to lunch together. That's what they're saying. And they don't know what transpired after that to cause all this to happen.
KING: Still a lot to learn.
Thanks, Stephen, for excellent reporting.
Stephen Dean, reporter for KPRC TV.
We also thank our CNN space correspondent, Miles O'Brien.
Sorry we lost him on the phone.
Up next, the family of the Virginia Tech gunman finally speaks and I'll get reaction from Dr. Phil McGraw and a student who lived with the killer, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ross A. Alameddine, sophomore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian Bluhm, graduate student.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christopher Jamie Bishop, professor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ryan Christopher Clark, senior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The panel assembled will be with us through most of the rest of the show.
They are, in Los Angeles, Dr. Phil McGraw, psychologist. He's host of TV's syndicated "Dr. Phil Show." He is a forensic psychologist, as well.
Here in New York, Dr. Michael Welner, M.D. chairman of The Forensic Panel and ABC News consultant, associate professor of psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine and developer of The Depravity Scale, which uses evidence to measure depravity of the most heinous of crimes. You can find out more about that on the Web at depravityscale.org.
And in Blacksburg, Virginia is Karan Grewal. He lived in the same dormitory suite as Cho Seung-Hui since last fall. He saw Cho on a daily basis.
Today, we finally heard from the family of the gunman who killed 32 people and himself on Monday at Virginia Tech.
The statement was issued by Cho Seung-Hui's sister, Sun-Kyung Cho. And it reads, in part: "On behalf of our family, we are so deeply sorry for the devastation my brother has caused.
No words can express our sadness that 32 innocent people lost their lives this week in such a terrible, senseless tragedy. We are heartbroken. We grieve alongside the families, the Virginia Tech community, our state of Virginia and the rest of the nation and the world.
We pray for their families and loved ones who are experiencing so much excruciating grief and we pray for those who are injured and for those whose lives are changed forever because of what they witnessed and experienced.
Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act. We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost.
This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel like I don't know this person. We have always been a close, peaceful and loving family. My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence. He has made the world weep. We are living a nightmare."
Dr. Phil, last Monday when you were with us, you said that you were anxious to hear from the family.
What do you make of that statement?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, "DR. PHIL" HOST: Well, Larry, I think it's a very sincere and heartfelt statement. And, you know, all of us have to stop and realize that that family has been victimized, too.
It's clear to me from this very elegant and articulate young woman that they are devastated by what he has done. And they would never ever, anybody would never want anyone in their family to do something like this.
I think we have to pray for them and have compassion for them, as well. They certainly are not the guilty parties in this and I hate that they're having to go through this, along with so many others that have suffered. KING: Before we ask Dr. Welner, Karan, what can you tell Dr. Welner, a psychiatrist, and Dr. McGraw, a psychologist, about your suite mate that will add to their understanding of him?
And based on what his sister just said.
KARAN GREWAL, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Like I said before, he never really talked to me. He kept quiet, kept to himself. He stayed out of the way of everyone. He never gave us a reason to ever approach him. He showed no initiative ever to have any conversation.
He never said hi, never looked anyone in the eye.
KING: Ever show a sign of hostility or violence?
GREWAL: Never. He sat in the corner, never in the way of anyone. He never wore violent t-shirts or had an angry look to him or ever gave anyone any reason to doubt that he was just a quiet and private person.
KING: Dr. Welner, where on The Depravity Scale does he fall?
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, CHAIRMAN, THE FORENSIC PANEL: Well, I think that in a crime like this, it's fairly obvious that we have to struggle every day in America with crimes where somebody may not have been so terribly successful in extinguishing the lives of many.
I've worked on cases where people wanted to carry out a mass shooting. Maybe one person was killed, maybe one was not. But we...
KING: You're saying he was good at it?
WELNER: No. What I'm saying is that what we need to do is have a means of distinguishing the worst of crimes so that evidence drives the decision rather than hype. And that what The Depravity Scale research is doing, is it is involving members of the general public -- and I would urge people to participate in this research -- to make decisions about what is the worst of crime based on intent, actions and attitudes.
KING: And when we know what is the worst of crimes, so?
WELNER: The importance is, is that we already work on the worst of crimes at sentencing and we -- we've asked jurors to decide what is a heinous crime and they're given no direction. This research is being carried out to involve the general public to define a standard so that when crimes aren't so obvious, like this, we can have a fair and consistent court that reflects the judgment of the citizens that are supposed to be affected by the court.
KING: Dr. Phil, what's your read on the shooter?
MCGRAW: Well, you know, I think, first, Larry, we've got to ask ourselves why we care.
I mean why are we talking about him? And I think the reason that -- that we as a country, we as a community care, is to find out what we can learn about this.
You know, I said, when I was on the show a few nights ago, that if you look at all the warning signs that we now know about, the teachers that were alarmed by him, the roommates that were alarmed by him, his being on the radar screen in the mental health treatment system and in the court system, it's easy to say well, my gosh, of course something like this happened.
But it's easy to explain what happened. It's much more difficult to predict that something is going to happen.
But I think the reason that people are interested in why he did what he did and what kind of person is capable of this is so they can look around them in their own worlds and see if there are people there that are beyond just weird, beyond just out of step with the mainstream, that need to be looked at, need to be watched, need to be protected against.
And so I think people are saying what is it -- what was this? What was going on?
MCGRAW: Why did he do this?
KING: We'll take a break and we'll come back.
Others will join us.
Our panel will be with us throughout.
Coming up, a student wounded in Monday's massacre who saw the German -- saw the gunman, rather -- shoot his heroic professor. The Holocaust survivor who gave his life to save the students, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Partahi Lombantoruan, doctoral candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Matt Laporte, sophomore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liviu Librescu, professor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: G.V. Loganathan, professor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That day we saw horror. But we also saw quiet acts of courage. We saw this courage in a teacher named Liviu Librescu. The gunman -- with the gunman set to enter his class, this brave professor blocked the door with his body while his students fled to safety. On the day of remembrance, this Holocaust survivor gave his own life so that others may live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And in Professor Librescu's class was Matt Webster, a Virginia Tech student who saw his professor shot. Matt himself was injured. His brother Mike is also with us.
They both are in Virginia Beach.
Matt, first, how are you doing with your injury?
MATT WEBSTER, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I'm pretty good. I was -- I was really lucky. So I really can't complain as much as a lot of people. So I was very fortune.
KING: Tell me about what you saw and what your professor did.
MATT WEBSTER: Well, I guess -- I guess I'll just start from the beginning. Of course, we had heard the shots down the hall and someone said it was gunshots. So we -- we shut the door and someone started kicking out the windows and started jumping out. And then a couple of seconds later, the gunman started trying to get in the door.
And Dr. Librescu just put his body against the door and tried as long as he could to hold the -- hold Cho out while the rest of the students got out. And, obviously, not all of us could get out, but he definitely postponed him coming in just long enough to get a few more people out. But then he just couldn't hold him anymore and he was just pushed back and was shot as soon as Cho walked in the door.
And then he just walked by each of the rest of us and shot us.
KING: How? Did you know Cho?
MATT WEBSTER: I did not.
KING: Did -- he shot the professor as soon as he got through the door?
MATT WEBSTER: Yes. It was the first thing he did. He didn't make a sound or anything.
KING: Mike, you were where at this time?
MIKE WEBSTER, MATT WEBSTER'S BROTHER, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I was in a building close by. We were -- I guess we were locked down in Randolph Hall.
KING: Did you realize your brother may be in trouble?
MIKE WEBSTER: Yah. I didn't -- I didn't realize how much trouble, but I did realize that he was -- I didn't know that he was in class in that building. And I didn't know that there was something bad going on, because people from that building had run -- had come -- had run out of the building into -- and were in the hall that I was in.
KING: Matt, how many in your classroom died?
MATT WEBSTER: I believe that it was only the professor. Yes, I think that might have been the case.
KING: Did he -- did Cho say anything while he was firing shots?
MATT WEBSTER: Not a word. Not even a facial expression.
KING: What kind of professor was he?
MATT WEBSTER: He was -- he was a good one. He was -- I mean at least for me, I think he had kind of taken a liking to me. He was the kind that when I would miss class, he would hunt me down in the hallway to tell me what I had missed and -- I mean he seemed to really care about the -- whether his students were understanding what he was teaching.
KING: Now, this is something, Matt, you -- I don't imagine you've ever seen anyone die.
MATT WEBSTER: No, definitely not.
KING: So this is a lifetime imprint?
MATT WEBSTER: Yes. Yes.
KING: Are you going to come back to school?
MATT WEBSTER: I think so. I don't know if I'll come back Monday, but I'll definitely -- I mean if nothing else, I'll definitely come back next semester and I'm going to try even to finish up my classes this semester.
KING: Karan, the more you hear this about your suite mate, what do you think?
GREWAL: It doesn't sound -- his facial expression don't sound any different than what I saw everyday. But the violence -- he never seemed that he was capable of any violence. He never showed any aggression toward any of the suite mates.
KING: So this is shocking to you?
GREWAL: Definitely. I couldn't believe it was him until it was confirmed to us by the police that night.
GREWAL: Even when I heard it was an Asian male, it was -- it was unbelievable.
KING: We'll get the thoughts of our doctors now. Thanks, Matt Webster and thanks, Mike.
All right, Dr. Phil, the obvious -- why do you think he did this?
MCGRAW: Well, Larry, this is a really layered situation and obviously, in order for any professional to render a diagnosis, they would have to do a thorough evaluation of this young man, which is not possible in that he's deceased, which is always the case in these tragic situations.
But I think it's clear to me, from what I know, and I think most professionals would agree, that this is a paranoid schizophrenic that we're dealing with here. He clearly has paranoid tendencies and the schizophrenic overlay is -- is very obvious.
So he's a severely disturbed individual in terms of mental illness.
But the complex thing about this is I don't think that this was the product of a psychotic episode at the time. It was too organized. It was too thoughtful. It was too planned out. And if he was in a paranoid schizophrenic episode at the time, in terms of being -- experiencing hallucinations, either visual or auditory, and overwhelming delusion, at the time, you wouldn't expect to see this kind of organized and efficient killing and behavior.
So while I believe he was a paranoid schizophrenic, I certainly don't think that he was in a -- a florid psychosis at the time that it happened.
KING: All right.
MCGRAW: I think it was more an outpouring of just rage and resentment and bitterness that has come across -- built up for a long period of time and I think the trigger was probably internal. I don't think it was necessarily that somebody set him off by doing something to him that day, because I think he had planned this for a long period of time.
KING: All right.
WELNER: I see it a bit differently, but I would agree with my distinguished colleague that he most certainly meets the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. I can only operate with the literature and my experience in working on these cases...
WELNER: ... that paranoia is a familiar quality of people who embark on mass shootings.
One of the great challenges in examining a case like this is to be able to distinguish whether it is the organized behavior that drives from a fixed false idea, an irrational, what we call delusions in which people who have a major illness can actually behave in an organized way or if there is something in parallel, some particular resentment.
One of the other entanglements of this is one of the most problematic symptoms of schizophrenic is hostility, rage. You treat the schizophrenia, the hostility and rage becomes less intense. Now, we allow for insanity in courts and as forensic professionals, through hallucinations and delusions. But one of the great tragedies of schizophrenia and homicide is that one of the most lethal symptoms of schizophrenia is hostility and unbridled rage.
KING: We've got to get a break.
Up next, the whole nation paused today to join the state of Virginia in remembering the victims. A Virginia Tech official tells how students and faculty are dealing five days on, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIEAH LIBRESCU, SON OF PROFESSOR LIBRESCU: He loved his work and his discoveries. And he literally gave his life for -- for what he loved and the university and the research he was conducting.
He is a hero at a level which I didn't even think my father could be. And so that -- that's all I can say. I mean if he really saved even one -- one person, then he is the ultimate hero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Joining us now from Blacksburg is Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech's associate vice president of university relations.
This has to be an incredible week for you. How are you standing up?
LARRY HINCKER, VA TECH ASSOCIATE V.P. OF UNIVERSITY RELATIONS: Well, I got a couple hours of sleep last night, Larry, so I'm probably feeling a whole lot better because that's about the whole amount of sleep I got this week.
KING: How are the students and faculty dealing with it now five days on?
HINCKER: You know everybody is dealing with it a little bit differently. And the amazing thing is just kind of the outpouring and the touching. I was asked at a newscast earlier today, what's different at Virginia Tech this week, and I said there's an awful lot of hugging going on.
KING: Do you think -- is normalcy a long way off?
HINCKER: You know we're going to try. I mean one of the things that we said here, and I'll say tonight, is that we're not going to be defined by this event. And this university is ready to restart. We have to mourn, we have to grieve, we to hug, we have to understand, but we are ready to rebuild because, as we heard from our great poet Niki Giovanni, this university will prevail and we will once again be known as one of America's great research universities.
KING: You had a baseball game today against Miami, right?
HINCKER: Yes, that's what I heard although I've been somewhat under a mushroom hustling from here to there that I don't know a whole lot about what's going on right about now.
KING: When do classes resume?
HINCKER: Classes will resume Monday. And that's a very important time for us. You know we're really concerned about our students and we want to make sure that they're able to kind of re- immerse themselves.
And you heard from Matt over at Virginia Beach earlier, we're giving our students just a number of options. If students want to leave school right now, take the grade they've got and go on home, be with mom and dad and their loved ones, that's fine. If they want to stick around here, take the grade they got and be here with their loved ones, that's fine. If you want to go back into school and take final exams, that's cool too. If you drop out, take a withdrawal and come back later on at some time, that's cool. So we have got to find ways to help people re-immerse in this process and try to get themselves back on their feet.
KING: And are you satisfied, Larry, with how the school dealt with the shooter?
HINCKER: Yes. You know there's so much questioning going on right now, and not only is it understandable but it's good. People are asking about response time. People are asking about early warning signals. People are asking about the mental health system. They're asking about the gun permitting system.
And you know if this is not going to define who we are, the only way it's going to be that is that if we analyze, if we look at it, if we understand it, we have to look at it every which way from Sunday because the rest of the world, the rest of the nation and all of higher education has to look here and has to understand what happened here so this horror will never come anywhere else again in our country.
KING: Thank you, Larry. We salute you and get some rest.
HINCKER: Thank you.
KING: Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech's associate vice president of university relations.
Karan Grewal, we understand that you saw Cho at 5:00 a.m. on the morning of the shooting. KARAN GREWAL, LIVED IN SAME DORM SUITE WITH VIRGINIA TECH GUNMAN: Yes, I did.
KING: What were you both doing up that early?
GREWAL: I was studying all night for a paper I had due Monday morning. I just got -- went to the bathroom to freshen up before I got two hours sleep before I had class. I was in the bathroom when he walked in and went into one of the stalls. It was the same as usual. He didn't look at me, had no expression on his face, looked as if he just woke up and was going on with his day.
KING: Does that surprise you, Dr. Wellner?
DR. MICHAEL WELLNER, CHAIRMAN, THE FORENSIC PANEL: You know I wonder if Karan could answer a question -- Karan?
GREWAL: Sure. Yes?
WELLNER: What do you think was the reason you were spared?
GREWAL: I just feel lucky really. The scenarios have been running through my mind all week but I just want to stop thinking about why he spared me but I do feel really lucky.
WELLNER: Do you feel that there's anything you did right that others might learn from who are lose to very agitated and very unapproachable people?
GREWAL: I guess I tried multiple times to talk to him to say, to just to say hi to him in the hallways or when he was sitting around me, just to try to start a conversation at least at the beginning of the year. I don't know if that helped a lot, any bit, but...
KING: It didn't hurt.
GREWAL: I don't know -- I guess. That's how I feel.
KING: When we come back, new revelations today that the Virginia Tech gunman was bullied in high school. How much did that have to do with Monday's rampage? We'll ask the panel next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just really hard to hear that she passed away and that somebody could just take a life like that, an innocent life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just had a very unique and very fun personality and sense of humor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one of the things that I learned from him, is that no matter how bad things get, you've got to think positive and you need to look on the brighter side of life.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY LANE, JARRETT LANE'S MOTHER: Jarrett was so proud to be a Hokie. He was a Hokie through and through. He had no other ambition except to go to Tech and into engineering and to go on to graduate school.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Phil, what do you make of the story that Cho was bullied in school?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL SHOW": Well, I think you have to look at all of these things as defining who is this young man became on the day that he did this. I mean did d it have an impact? Very likely it did. And as I said, it's my opinion we're dealing with someone that was suffering from a severe mental illness. And what we know is that when you are impacted by this kind of mental illness, your social development is arrested. It stops.
And if you go back and find markers along the way, and I think we will see those as his life is extruded on a time line, that this is something that had impacted him for a number of years, then his development was probably arrested several years ago, which means you were dealing with an immature individual, somebody that was not functioning at a level that you would expect, someone his age as a college man to be functioning. So was he still experiencing pain from those sorts of young, adolescent experiences? Very possibly. And I think rage played a huge part in what was going on here.
MCGRAW: But, Larry, it affects everyone differently. I mean some psychotics can be somewhat organized to the point of being ritualistic, others can be so out of touch that they are easy to spot on the street corner or in a crowd. Everyone has a way of experiencing these things differently. But I think clearly this was a man that had severe mental illness. It arrested his development early on. So I think you were dealing with an immature and rage- driven individual and we saw the results of it.
KING: Dr. Wellner?
WELLNER: I need to add some important understandings for the audience. First of all, schizophrenia does not cause mass shooting. Professionals who treat chronic schizophrenia would find that being docile; being withdrawn is a very important element of schizophrenia. So it is important for us to bring schizophrenia out of the closet and take the stigma way. In my experience...
KING: But they can be violent.
WELLNER: But it's more than this. We're dealing...
MCGRAW: I agree completely with what Dr. Wellner is saying. I agree completely with what he's saying.
WELLNER: It's more than this. There is an important element to mass shooters of being immortal. And the way to get immortal through guns as a display of power and masculinity is a very important identification of identity for a person who's failed.
The relationship to schizophrenia is you have someone who gets hit with this illness, doesn't know what the hell is happening to them but they can't think right, they can't relate well, they can't connect well, they feel suspicious of people and they find sanctuary in that isolation by resenting others and ultimately dehumanizing them. You have to dehumanize others to kill strangers.
KING: Karan, did you see any signs of this in your suite mate?
GREWAL: I definitely saw isolation in him. He kept himself isolated. Like I said before, we all tried to talk to him many times but he just kept himself away. So later on we just decided that maybe he likes to be by himself and so that's what we did, we left him by himself, gave him his space.
KING: Back with more of our panel after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told me, it's not worth this anymore. I said why? And he said no, they had a shooting over there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rest of our life is going to be to celebrate his life, to say what he did good, you know, and to say, that Jeremy was a good boy, a good man and we're going to love him forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just a beautiful person. He touched a lot of people without even knowing that he was so important to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: In our remaining moments with our outstanding panel, Dr. Phil, what do you make of that report that Anderson Cooper just gave, that he may have known -- had some sort of relationship with the first girl killed?
MCGRAW: Well, you know, I think it's going to be -- we're going to be finding out more and more about what were the internal and external triggers of this individual as time goes on. I think the most important thing and the point that I want to come away from this with is that we do raise awareness and open a dialogue and get people to pay attention socially about what's around them. But I think it's very important that we not get people in a mindset of starting a witch hunt.
As Dr. Wellner alluded to a bit earlier, most schizophrenics are certainly not violent and they don't become shooters. Most of the schizophrenics that people will encounter in their lives are struggling with a difficult disease. They're very loving people. They can be very productive. And I would hate for somebody to see that label on someone or hear that and believe that, that means that they're a threat.
There are common traits among those that become violent but yet not everyone with those traits do become violent. So I think we have to be very aware but we have to be careful to not overreact and start some kind of a witch hunt but instead create a dialogue about mental health in America.
KING: Well pointed out. We have a little over a minute, Michael.
WELLNER: Well, I think there are key ingredients here. We have to recognize that disenfranchised people, and this isn't just people with paranoid schizophrenia, but people who have paranoia, they search for role models. Everybody searches for role models. Adolescents and young adults search for role models. And sooner or later, people who bump around, have the capability of finding the wrong ones.
Teachers who have been asking all this week, what do I do? You have students in your charge. You have an opportunity to show them light, to show them role models. This gentleman struggling, bumping around, finding sanctuary, his roommate, his suite mate told us, he found a role model where he can draw a sense of power. We've already seen what he wanted to become in the tapes that we were unfortunate to be faced with.
These types of violent role models, people attaches to and we've got to guide people away from the notion that destruction equals power, equals masculinity.
KING: Karan, are you going back to school?
GREWAL: Definitely on Monday I'm going back to classes. I just want to get back to normal and forget about Cho and just get back to the normality of going to school, finishing work and just living as a Hokie.
KING: Thank you. Thank you, Karan. Thanks for spending the time with us, Dr. Phil, as always and Dr. Michael Wellner as well for participating on LARRY KING LIVE.
Up next, CNN's Soledad O'Brien has been digging deep into this story, talking to students at Virginia Tech, and she'll share some of what she's found when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER READ, MARY READ'S FATHER: She has some scriptural quotations from Jeremiah 29:11 -- "For I know the plans I have for you, Mary, declares the lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. And that so much reflects her faith and her optimism and her big hopes and dreams for the future to be able to learn and to grow and to serve and especially to help children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: An extraordinary documentary will air this Saturday and Sunday night at 8:00 and then repeated at 11:00 both nights. It's a product of "CNN's SPECIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT." It's called "Massacre at Virginia Tech" and it's hosted by our own Soledad O'Brien. Let's take a look at one of the students you talked with, and I'll talk to you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard that this is going to be my last memory of Virginia Tech. I mean, fortunately for everyone else, you have time here and you have time to make the best of what's left and cover up these memories with new ones and rebuild from where we are today. Unfortunately, for me and for everyone else who's graduating, this is the last memory that we have and this is what we're going to go with. And it's really, really tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What's the concept, Soledad?
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We heard that so much from so many seniors who told us it was so painful to think of this as their last memory of their college experience as they remember their four years. And maybe even more painful, Larry, was the idea the nation would think of Virginia Tech as the site of the worst school shooting, the worst gun violence, in U.S. history not as they prefer to remember it as a town full of their friends and their loved ones. It is bitterly painful for them.
But you know when you ask those students -- without exception, what I would ask those students so what happens next? Do you come back on Monday in when classes begin? Do you come back next year? Without exception, even the ones who are packing up, even the ones whose parents had come to get them and bring them home, they said without exception, "absolutely, yes, I will be back."
KING: Does, Soledad, in addition to talking to just the students, do you look at what might have been mistakes or oversights made by the school?
O'BRIEN: We will absolutely take a close look at what was missed, those emails. Why were they sent so late?
One thing that was remarkable to me, Larry, is that we actually have not seen a lot of recrimination, not from the staff, not from the students, not even from those parents who came to grab their kids. Many people told us, listen, hindsight is 20/20 and they thought the university did all of they could. There was one teacher who said, "Listen, when I was a student at Kings College in London at the same time of the IRA bombings, we had security. That was an insecure time and we had security." What's key is money. It's going to take a lot of money and maybe there's not the will to protect the students in the way they need to be protected. That was her theory.
KING: Is there some failing at all as you saw it in the mental health system?
O'BRIEN: Well, clearly, there were red flags all over the place and those red flags were missed at a lot of different turns. But I'll you, when you go there, people will say, "I don't want to hear any more about the killer." It was disturbing to see, for the people who were there, pictures of Cho, to see that, to see suddenly he was being highlighted and not the victims.
I'm sure for people watching tonight it's very moving to hear the tributes to those who lives were lost because I think they began to feel that the message was being lost. The focus was on the kilter. They didn't want to talk about the killer. Even some of the victims' family members would say, "That's irrelevant. It's not going to bring my daughter back to know every detail about his mental health, about what balls were dropped. What I want to know is how my daughter or my son or my friend will be remembered.
KING: Was this tough to do?
O'BRIEN: I think for everybody who was there, it was tough to do. There certainly became a point where people were sick of the media, where they felt it was time for us to go. And I would agree with them. It's very, very tough. Some people said, "How can I possibly heal when every time I turn around, someone is sticking a camera in my face?" And you understand that.
At the same time people would sometimes seek us out and say, "I haven't heard enough about my friend. Let me tell you about my friend who was killed." And they'd want to talk. It was brutal for them and it was a tough story to cover.
KING: Thanks, Soledad, we look forward to seeing it.
O'BRIEN: Thanks Larry.
KING: Soledad O'Brien, she'll be the anchor of this weekend's "CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT" documentary, "Massacre at Virginia Tech." 8:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 p.m. Saturday, 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Sunday as well.
Our weekend will consist of tomorrow night; we'll highlights of this past week on LARRY KING LIVE. Sunday night, we'll repeat our interview with President Bill Clinton. And when we're back Monday night, our guests will be George and Barbara Bush. The subject will be cancer. That's Monday night.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com