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CNN Larry King Live
Virginia Tech Massacre
Aired April 16, 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, 33 people are dead after the worst mass murder in U.S. history shook the campus of Virginia Tech and stunned America this morning. At least 15 are reported wounded, some still fighting for their lives. A gunman is dead, too.
But who is he? And how and why did this deadly rampage happen?
Now, for the latest on what we know and don't know, we're live at the scene to meet Virginia Tech students who witnessed the mayhem and heard the gunshots.
(VIDEO CLIP OF SHOOTING, COURTESY JAMAL ALBARGHOUTI, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT)
KING: Plus, the terrifying ordeal of a student barricaded inside a classroom as the gunman tried to shoot his way in.
And Dr. Phil McGraw tells us how traumatized students can deal with this horrifying ordeal.
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems really senseless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just utter shock how anybody could do this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, this is just like a college Columbine. This is just (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knowing that I could have been in one of those classrooms, it's shocking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pain for everybody else will just go on forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Good evening from New York.
Thanks for joining us.
This terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech has, of course, overtaken our plans for a special one-on-one with Oprah Winfrey tonight and a profile interview of me by Katie Couric tomorrow night, all in connection with my 50th anniversary on the air. We'll let you know when they are rescheduled.
Our responsibility right now is to bring you everything we know about the worst shooting massacre in United States history.
We're going to start in Blacksburg, Virginia, the home of Virginia Tech, with Jamal Albaughouti.
Jamal is a Virginia Tech student and a number one A-one news reporter. When he heard shots, he began recording video on his cell phone and we're going to show you what he recorded and then ask him about it.
(VIDEO CLIP OF SHOOTING, COURTESY JAMAL ALBARGHOUTI, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT)
KING: Twenty-seven shots, some of which may well have come from police, are clearly audible on this shocking real time tape.
Jamal, our I-News reporter on the scene, what were you doing there? What were -- give me the scene as you set it.
JAMAL ALBAUGHOUTI, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Well, first, to answer your question, what I was doing in that area, I was going to talk to my adviser on a -- who was in a building just next to Norris, where all of this happened.
When I was approaching that building, a gentleman started shouting and it's the first time I'm going to say it, but he was using the "F" word and he was telling us to get off the ground. And when a professor starts to use this language, you would know that there is something really serious.
I thought there was another bomb threat in Patton Hall because in the last week we've got -- we received two of these, which, at the end, we discovered that they were not serious.
But I just left the building and went back.
While I was walking, I saw a cop running around. And then he saw other cops. He drew his gun from his pocket or from the gun's pocket, and started running toward the other cops. And then they both started running toward Norris Hall.
I knew then that there is something really serious going on on the spot. It's not a bomb threat because that's not what they did with the previous bomb threats.
KING: So, Jamal, did you immediately...
ALBAUGHOUTI: I -- when I saw...
KING: ... did you immediately get out a recorder and start shooting? ALBAUGHOUTI: That's -- that was the time I did that. I just took my camera and started -- I knew that it's really serious. I took my cell phone and started recording that. And in a matter of 10 to 15 seconds, we started -- I started hearing the gunshots.
at first I thought they were far, but then I realized they were not far. They were just inside the building.
I saw a person from Norris Hall trying to talk to the people outside or to the police officers outside Norris Hall. He was talking to them through the window. I couldn't hear what he said, but I saw him pointing at something in Norris Hall.
I ran -- I took a few steps toward the cops. I saw them trying to get into Norris Hall.
Now, some people are telling me that the door, Norris Hall's door, was chained. Now, I didn't see that for a fact. I saw cops either struggling to get in, in which it would be chained, or what I thought was that they opened the door through a bang, like a gas bang or something like that, closed the door...
ALBAUGHOUTI: ... closed the door and then reopened it again.
I saw them -- I saw like many cops trying to get into the...
ALBAUGHOUTI: ... into the building.
KING: Did you see anybody shot?
ALBAUGHOUTI: I did not see anybody get -- getting shot. No, Larry.
KING: What was it like for you to do this? What were your feelings?
ALBAUGHOUTI: I can't tell you my feelings. I didn't know what I was doing, to tell you the truth.
You know what I remember?
I just remember the streets of the Middle East, which I come from. And when I first choosed to come to Blacksburg, probably the best thing I loved about it, how safe this place is.
ALBAUGHOUTI: And now such a thing -- you know, I came from the Middle East trying to get away from such things...
ALBAUGHOUTI: ... and here it is in Blacksburg.
KING: How ironic.
Thank you, Jamal.
We'll be calling on you again, I'm sure.
Jamal Albaughouti, our I-News Reporter on the scene. And what a job he did. He's a guy who leaves the Middle East because of violence to come to peaceful Blacksburg, Virginia and gets this.
We have another tape to show you.
Erin Sheehan was an eyewitness survivor of today's massacre at Virginia Tech. She was in class at Norris Hall when the gunman carried out his rampage.
And here is some of what she saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN SHEEHAN, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT EYEWITNESS: He just stepped within five feet of the door and just started firing. He seemed very thorough about it -- getting almost everyone down. Or I -- I pretended to be dead, just on the ground.
And then he -- he left for about 30 seconds, came back in, did almost exactly the same thing, because I guess he heard us still talking.
And then we forced ourselves against the door so he couldn't come in again, because this door would not lock. And so he -- he came and tried to force himself in about another three times and then he started shooting through the door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Brianna Keilar is our -- one of many CNN correspondents on the scene.
What's the latest from your vantage point -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there certainly is some confusion here, Larry, that we learned during the last press conference, and that's because there was one shooting, of course, reported at 7:15 a.m. this morning and another one reported almost two-and-a-half hours later, at 9:45 a.m.
And what we heard was that during the first shooting at a dorm where, of course, a man and a woman were killed, police say they identified a person of interest. They say they've spoken to that "person of interest." The person remains a "person of interest," although they are not in police custody. And then in the second shooting, they have preliminarily identified the gunman there who did kill himself in Norris Hall here on campus, where 31, including the gunman, were killed.
But the problem, it appears, is that the descriptions of these two don't match.
So therein, of course, lies the problem -- the question being...
KEILAR: ... is there someone else out there, perhaps another gunman?
And what we heard from Virginia Tech police chief Wendell Flinchum, a few hours ago he said no, there isn't.
But when you listened very carefully, Larry, during this last press conference, he didn't commit to that same answer.
But if you speak with students here, they really have no doubt that these two shootings were linked.
KING: Linked and therefore someone is loose?
KEILAR: No. Their main concern -- they don't seem to be worried that someone is loose. Their concern at this point is they're angry. They're angry because, as we said, the shootings occurred about two- and-a-half-hours apart. Again, the time line -- 7:15 a.m. the first shooting; and then an e-mail about that first shooting didn't go out...
KEILAR: ... until a few two hours later, 9:26 a.m. That's when students and staff were alerted, less than 20 minutes before the second shooting. A lot of students that I've talked to want to know why -- why did it take so long?
They didn't have the chance to be vigilant and they feel that perhaps this second shooting could have been prevented.
KING: A very fair question.
We'll be back with lots more on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Up next, how do victims' families and traumatized students deal with today's terror?
Dr. Phil McGraw joins us with a pastor who ministers to the Virginia Tech campus and community, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many students were wounded or killed? SHEEHAN: At least -- when we left, only four of us left, and two of them were mildly injured and everyone else was unconscious, either dead or -- or wounded seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how many of them were there?
SHEEHAN: There was about 25 persons in German class and the professor was down, too.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess there was gunshots that were right behind the building that I was in. And so they peel (ph) us all inside the building and we had to stay inside there for like 15 minutes. And these two kids, I guess, had panicked and jumped out of the top story window. And the one kid had broke his ankle and the other girl was not in good shape. They were laying on the ground. And it was just mayhem.
And then they told us to get out of there. So we ran across the -- the drill field as quick as we could. And there was cops yelling and it just -- it was just a mess. So it was kind of scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now in Blacksburg, Virginia, Pastor Jim Pace, the New Life Christian Fellowship. He ministers to the campus of the Virginia Tech, and the community, as well.
And in Dallas, Texas, our old friend, Dr. Phil McGraw, the host of TV's "Dr. Phil" and "New York Times" best-selling author. He has a Ph.D. of course, in clinical psychology.
Pastor Pace, what's the church doing with -- in regard to today's events?
PASTOR JIM PACE, NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: Well, I'd say, Larry, we're just trying to get our feet under us a little bit, just like everybody else is. Every time we seem to turn on the TV it gets worse.
But we're just trying to focus on giving some people a variety of different ways they can deal with this. We have some larger group things for people that want to process this with lots of people. And then we've got some smaller things for people that want to hole up in their -- in their dorm or in their apartment and just kind of try to sort this out with a few friends.
We're just trying to be as many places as we can. We're helping out with what the university is doing, as well, and just trying to lend our support there.
KING: Where were you when it happened, Jim?
PACE: I was about 200 yards away at a coffee shop watching the feed on CNN as it went down.
KING: Dr. Phil McGraw, the biggest problem here in dealing with the relatives of those who died is how to counsel them.
How do you counsel them?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, "DR. PHIL" HOST: Well, Larry, you know, first off, what you can't do is try to trivialize or minimize the questions that these people have. And, you know, what we have to understand -- and these parents are going to have -- as a father with a son in college, I can empathize with how they must feel. You send your children to school and you expect them to have a peaceful educational experience and to be safe, and then something like this happens.
And it's the fault of the gunman, no one else. But I can tell you, as a society, we have got to wake up and understand that we are in a different era right now.
You know, I deal with psychopaths and sociopaths everyday that are capable of doing this kind of thing. And these parents are going to have huge questions.
Why was there a two hour gap between the first shooting and the second shooting and the campus wasn't locked down?
It wasn't closed down. They say they sent out e-mails. If you're in your car on the way to campus, you're not checking your e- mail.
So these parents are going to first have tremendous frustration and anger about those charged with the safety and security of their children not stepping up and doing their job.
MCGRAW: Those are questions they are going to have first. And if you don't answer those, it's going to be hard to get them to listen to you.
KING: Therefore, isn't the comforting going to be doubly troublesome?
MCGRAW: Well, it is going to be doubly troublesome, because you've got the shock, you've got the anger, you've got the frustration. And somebody needs to look these parents in the eye and give them some realistic and legitimate questions.
And then, you know, the second thing that has to happen is they do have to talk about it. And god bless Pastor Pace for being on site and stepping up and providing a place for people to go to share their thoughts, share their feelings. You've got to give this a voice and get it out. But we cannot make hollow promises to the remaining students. And, you know, this happened at a wonderful institution, Virginia Tech. It didn't happen at Stanford or Texas Tech or the University of Miami.
But every one of those schools needs to look and say do we have a crisis plan? Do we have an intervention plan? Have we educated our students that if you go code red, if something happens, here's what you do, and everybody understands this isn't some kind of mindless drill?
This is a powerfully, powerfully tragic wake up call.
MCGRAW: The tuition is not worth it, but this just continues to happen and we have got to wake up that we are in a different era in America today.
KING: Dr. Phil will remain with us.
We thank Pastor Pace.
Let's quickly check in with Greg Esposito.
He's in Blacksburg, a reporter with the "Roanoke Times." And he's been with this since the get go all day.
Greg, what do you make of this two shooter idea?
GREG ESPOSITO, "ROANOKE TIMES": Well, I don't know about that. I think a lot more details will come out in the following days.
Right now, this is a really sad story. And as was mentioned earlier, the idea that these shootings happened, you know, more than two hours apart is certainly something that's going to be looked at and questioned for a long time.
KING: Is Roanoke the closest big city?
ESPOSITO: Yes, it is. We actually have a bureau in Blacksburg and I live here in Blacksburg. And it's a really quiet, nice, friendly town. So -- very close-knit, too. So something like this is affecting everyone.
KING: How do you explain it to yourself?
ESPOSITO: I don't think there is a real explanation. It's -- it's a really sad event and I'm going to be writing a lot of sad stories over the next several months. And I -- I really don't think there is an explanation right now.
KING: Thanks, Greg.
Greg Esposito of the "Roanoke Times."
We'll be back.
Up next, the Virginia Tech student who lives in the dorm where the first shootings took place and knows one of the slain students, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES STEGER, VIRGINIA TECH PRESIDENT: Today, the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions. There were two shootings which occurred on campus. In each case, there are fatalities.
The university is shocked and, indeed, horrified that this would befall us and I want to extend my deepest and most sincere and profound sympathies to the families of these victims, which include our students.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've spoken with Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. I told them that Laura and I and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, from Blacksburg, Brendan Porter, a Virginia Tech freshman. He lives on the fourth floor of West Amber Johnson Building, where the first shooting incident happened this morning.
With him is Laura Ann Spaventa, also a Virginia Tech student, who was in class when she heard gunshots.
And Dr. Phil McGraw in Dallas remains with us.
Brendan, what happened?
What did you see?
BRENDAN PORTER, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: Well, I was awoken this morning by my R.A. banging on my door. He had to evacuate the whole fourth floor. It's a coed dorm, so half of the -- half the side is guys, the other half is girls.
And we were told there was an incident and there was police everywhere and we had to bring out student I.D.s, our Hokie passwords with us. And we reported to the third floor crossover in A.J. where we sat at -- sat there for about an hour. And we really didn't know what was going on. We -- there was rumors circulating of shootings, stabbings. We really didn't know what really happened up there. But about an hour later, an hour after we got taken out of our rooms. An official type lady came in and she told us that there was an incident where two people were injured on the fourth floor by the elevators.
And so that's why we all had to get evacuated. And it was just -- it was just kind of -- they didn't really tell us that it was shots. But so we were just -- we were just kind of freaked out by the fact that there was people that got seriously injured on my floor, in my dorm building.
KING: Did you know them?
PORTER: I actually did know the one R.A. He governed half, a little bit of half of the hall, the guys in half of the hall and the girls. I didn't know the other one.
KING: Is he living?
PORTER: No. He's deceased.
KING: Laura, what did you witness or what did you hear?
LAURA SPAVENTA, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: I was in class at the time that we heard shootings. We were sitting there in the middle of my media writing class and we got an e-mail saying that a shooting had occurred in West A.J.
And we really didn't think much of it because there had been bomb scares on Friday and earlier that month. So we kept going on with class. And then we got another e-mail saying to stay where we were because the shooter was on the loose on campus.
So at that point, my professor locked our door and shut the blinds and turned the lights off and had all of us get away from the windows. And we sat underneath desks for a little bit. And we all like called our parents and called friends to see where everyone was and try to find out where everyone was and just make sure everyone was OK.
And then once -- after the initial shock, since it was a media writing class, we did try to get information to put an article together for our student-run Web site, planetblacksburg.com.
And it just -- it was crazy all the rumors we heard. I mean, first we heard it was one person. Then we heard it was two people on the loose, then three or four, and then back to one. It just -- there were so many rumors flying around, we didn't know what to think.
KING: Brendan, what did you think when you saw this person you knew was dead? What went on in your mind?
PORTER: I mean I've -- I personally have had to deal with death a lot recently. Just about a month ago, back home where I live, one of my good friend's little brothers died in a car crash. So it's just, I've -- I've been -- it seems like it's been all around me recently and like I -- there just -- it's the shock that it happened in my dorm building on my floor and a guy that I know. It's just -- you never think that it would happen at a place like this.
KING: Brendan and Laura, thank you.
Let's go to the hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital.
Standing by is our old friend, CNN correspondent John Zarrella.
What's the word there -- John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, a lot of late information coming out from the CEO, Scott Hill, who came out within the hour and -- and briefed us. Again, the total number here were 17. They believe they got the very first of the injured and the shotgun -- the gun wounds here, in fact, the very first two, they believe, perhaps wounded in the dormitory, according to Mr. Hill, came here this morning.
As soon as they received word that there was going to be multiple gunshot wounds and casualties coming here, they declared what they call a code green. And that is their disaster plan. It was put into operation. They called in some additional doctors, some additional resources.
But they say that they were able to handle the bulk of the injuries with the staff that they had here. What they did, they said, were they performed at least four major surgeries, in addition to some other surgeries. Most of the -- the victims that came here, of the 17 total that arrived here, were gunshot wounds, but not all of them. He would not break it down, would not elaborate on what some of those other injuries were.
We were able to talk to one student who came to see a friend and his friend, he said, after he had seen him, had been shot twice in the leg.
They also said that they set up one area for family members within the hospital and another area, Larry, was set up for students to come who wanted to visit some of their friends.
In all, there are nine still here at the -- at the Montgomery Center. There are six that are in stable condition, three that are in critical condition and five were discharged and a couple of others were transported to other hospitals because of the severity of their wounds -- Larry.
KING: Thanks, John Zarrella.
Before we take a break, Dr. Phil, is it -- quickly -- is it good for these kids to talk about what they saw?
MCGRAW: Larry, it's imperative that they give it a voice and get it out. And we can talk in a few minutes about what some of the questions are that they need to ask themselves and some of the steps...
MCGRAW: ... that all of these students need to take to cope with what's going on.
But one of the key things is to give it a voice.
KING: Thank you.
Dr. Phil remains with us.
We'll be back with more students.
Still to come, someone whose class was put in lockdown for hours today.
More eyewitness accounts from Virginia Tech students, when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm coming across and I see this SWAT team swarmed around Norris. And I had no idea what was going on. And all of a sudden, I just hear these shoots -- like these fires going off and like all of these gunshots. And every, like everyone just starting screaming run. And everyone ran across the drill field.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems really senseless. And I was -- it's really hard to just think about it, why, you know, all these people have to die for no reason, sort of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's insane. Just thinking back to Columbine and stuff like that, that shooting at the Amish school in Pennsylvania. It's just utter shock how anybody could do this to anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to more on this horrible, horrible day. Joining us in Blacksburg, Matthew Waldron, who was with students who jumped out of some windows, Sergei Dubograev, a Virginia Tech student, he was in English class; and Andrew Huang, a Virginia Tech freshman who got out of class early and was walking by Norris Hall when all this happened, Dr. Phil McGraw remains with us.
Matthew, where were you when you saw those students go out the window?
MATTHEW WALDRON, VA TECH STUDENT: I actually did not witness them jump out of the window. But when I was inside of Holden Hall, they had brought them inside and they were sitting on the floor. And the one boy had broken his ankle and the girl was in rough shape too, and they had just dialed 911, the ambulance, to get them there and they were pretty shaken up along with everybody else who was just finding out the news.
KING: How did you react to all this, Matthew?
WALDRON: Well, at first I was really shocked. I really didn't know what to think. I mean it's just you think of Blacksburg, Virginia and a nice safe place, which it still is. I don't know it was just really scary. You didn't know really what to think at the minute. It was kind of -- everybody was in panic. And the scariest part was when they released us and we were running across the drill field. And it was just like, here's open targets. You didn't know what was going to happen.
KING: Sergei, where were you? What did you see?
SERGEI DUBOGRAEV, VA TECH STUDENT: I was in my English class. We did not know what was going on at the time. And outside the window, we heard six or seven armed police officers storming as if they were chasing somebody. And my English teacher told us to get on the ground. And we shut all the windows and closed the blinds. And we stayed on the ground a few hours.
KING: Were you scared?
DUBOGRAEV: I just didn't know what was happening. It was just like in the beginning of the year when the first shootings happened and I just didn't expect it to happen again.
KING: Andrew, where were you? What did you see? What did you hear?
ANDREW HUANG, VA TECH STUDENT: I was leaving my English class around 8:40 from Davidson, which is about five minutes from Norris. And I was -- while I was walking past Auditorium, which is next to Norris, a police car had come up behind me. And I didn't think anything of it because we had previous bomb threats, so I figured it was just precaution.
But then as I was passing in front of Norris, which was about 10 yards to my left, at this point I started hearing gunshots and I was really in a state of shock. I had no idea what to do. I froze for about 10 seconds and I just ran because that was the first instinct that came to my head.
KING: Andrew, do you want to stay at Virginia Tech?
HUANG: Don't get me wrong, I love this school because I mean this is a great place to go to school, but it's just unfortunate all these events have happened to us so far. And it's just something you never want to be a part of. I mean just to be a part of the worst shooting in U.S. history is detrimental enough to me.
KING: Are you saying you're going to leave?
HUANG: No, I plan on sticking it out. Something like this isn't going to stop me from staying at this school. I love this school. It's great. KING: Sergei, what about you?
DUBOGRAEV: I mean it's unfortunate that this incident happened but I feel like this school is one of the safest places to be and I really love it here. I will stay.
KING: Well said.
Dr. Phil, shouldn't parents feel when they send a child to the school, that the child is safe, I mean one plus one equals two?
MCGRAW: Well, really, you certainly have that expectation. And as you know, Larry, I have a son that's a sophomore in college and so I know from a parent's perspective that you expect them to be there having a good time and getting an education.
And I think what we have to turn our attention to now is what these students could and should expect as things move forward at this point. Most young people don't have the ability to recognize what post traumatic stress syndrome really is. But you can expect that a lot of these students are going to start to play the what-if game with themselves. What if it had been me? What if I had turned the corner a few seconds sooner? And they'll begin to have anxiety and some of them at a debilitating level.
So they have to be able to understand that you've got to get help for this. If you're starting to lose sleep, if you're starting to have poor quality sleep, if you're starting to have nightmares, if you're getting irritability and anxiety and an inability to concentrate, recognize that this is a very predictable outcropping of this kind of traumatic exposure in your life and you need to reach out and get professional help for it.
Virginia Tech has a wonderful student services system. They have a wonderful psychology department and of course, these resources are going to be greatly overwhelmed at this point, so everybody is going to have to step up and help. KING: We're going to break and we'll come back with more. Someone who should add some very interesting thoughts to this will be our very special guest Thursday night, former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
Up next, what kind of person could do something like this, plus more students whose campus became a war zone today when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL COSTELLO, REPORTER: The carnage inside Norris Hall is indescribable. But this morning, for Tiffany Otey, a Virginia Tech student, it was morning like any other. She along with 18 others were taking a test in Norris until they heard the gunfire.
TIFFANY OTEY, VA TECH STUDENT: So we called 911 and the police showed up. And they're outside armed with guns. We decided that we should probably go into a room that had a locked door. So we went into a teacher's office. There were about 20 of us and we went into a teacher's office and locked the door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with more of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll talk with Candice DeLong, the retired FBI profiler in just a moment, she has some valuable thoughts, I'm sure, and Dr. Phil McGraw with his insights.
Let's check in with Josh Ehlers though, a Virginia Tech student in Blacksburg.
Did you hear gunfire, Josh?
JOSH EHLERS, VA TECH STUDENT: I did during the second shooting. I was walking by Norris Hall and I heard two shots fired.
KING: What do you make of all this? Where were you and what happened after the shots?
EHLERS: I mean I was in shock at first. There had been cops around the building and the shots fired and everyone just kind of froze for a couple seconds and then started running in the opposite direction as the cops rushed in.
KING: Has this made you frightened about going to school?
EHLERS: Not really. I mean it's not the kind of thing that happens everyday. I don't think it's ever going to happen again so I'm not really frightened.
KING: Did you know anybody who was hurt? EHLERS: Not that I know of. All my friends and people I've talked to are safe.
KING: Thanks, Josh -- Josh Ehlers in Blacksburg.
Candice DeLong, the FBI profiler, this is real early to do this but can we profile this type of person?
CANDICE DELONG, RETIRED FBI PROFILER: Well, in the vast majority of cases of mass murderers in the past involving a shooter, investigation usually reveals that the individual was, in the absence of mental illness, very, very upset about something going on in his life, some kind of major stressor: a break-up with someone, a divorce, the death of a child, something like that. And sometimes we find that there was a major mental illness going on and that the person was suffering from delusions and paranoia, thought the world was out to get him.
If you recall maybe, I think it was 20 years ago; a man went into a fast-food restaurant in Southern California and shot a tremendous amount of people, including little children. And it turned out he was a very paranoid individual who thought the world was out to do him harm. KING: Is there any way to spot them before?
DELONG: Yes. Usually, we've learned that oftentimes people that do this kind of thing spoke about it before they did it. This man that did this, this morning, he didn't just wake up and have this thought for the first time that he was going to go do this. He's probably been planning it for quite a while. If the massacre in Norris Hall, if it was the same individual responsible for the shootings two hours earlier where we know it seems that a female agent was targeted, then it is a logical assumption to say that this shooter had some kind of relationship with her, wanted her dead, possibly believed the rest of his life was over because of her, and that he was going to commit suicide, that was planned, and he was going to take out as many people as possible when he did it.
KING: Why, though -- OK, you want to kill someone, you're crazed, you're a little nuts, girlfriend drops you, why do you kill innocent people?
DELONG: Well, a lot of these guys aren't left around to ask but sometimes they don't kill themselves. Sometimes it's just acting out all their anger and rage against the world. And the fact that these people were innocent doesn't really mean anything to the shooter. They were people. He wanted to hurt people and he did it.
KING: Dr. McGraw, are they treatable?
MCGRAW: Well, Larry, every situation is different. Candice has given very wise people about who these people are and why they do what they do. The problem is a lot of times they are recognizable. Columbine, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, the Amish school up in New England, if you with 20 hindsight, you'd see that there are warning signs of people becoming very disturbed and oftentimes talking about this now on the website as well as to their friends and neighbors.
And you know are they treatable? They're usually dead after something like this happens because the police take them out or they take themselves out. The question really is can we spot them. And the problem is we are programming these people as a society. You cannot tell me -- common sense tells you that if these kids are playing video games, where they're on a mass killing spree in a video game, it's glamorized on the big screen, it's become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness and add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is too high. And we're going to have to start dealing with that. We're going to have to start addressing those issues and recognizing that the mass murders of tomorrow are the children of today that are being programmed with this massive violence overdose.
KING: Well said.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
Up next, he learned his friend was shot hours after he was woken by loud speakers saying, "Stay inside, away from windows." Another student eyewitness when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: We Virginians have suffered today one of the most grievous incidents ever to occur in our state or indeed in America. I speak of the tragic loss of life, the tragic injury of so many students and faculty at the distinguished and viable institution of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Two more students before we bring Dr. Phil and Candice back. Danny Voltmer, a Virginia Tech, awoke in his dorm room this morning and heard a loud speaker. And Mandy Tehaan who thinks she may have heard gunfire.
Danny, what happened?
DANNY VOLTMER, VA TECH STUDENT: I woke up this morning about 10:30, heard a loud speaker behind my dorm announcing "Emergency, emergency, please seek shelter in your dorms; do not go near your windows." And immediately, I assumed it was another bomb threat because we had two in the past two weeks. But then my roommate turned on the television and I heard "Virginia Tech Shooting." And I was awake since then. I've been watching television ever since. KING: Did you stay in the dorm?
VOLTMER: Yes, we stayed in the dorm for a while until we heard that the situation was completely over and then I went to see a friend at the hospital who had been shot.
KING: And how did he come out?
VOLTMER: She's doing good. It was really reassuring to see her. She smiled and the first thing she said was, "How are you guys?" And it was really good. She was really appreciative we were there.
KING: While you were in the dorm, Danny, did you wonder what the hell was going on?
VOLTMER: Yes, because the report kept changing. The initial report was that was a disgruntled boyfriend who shot his girlfriend and someone else in the hall. And then the report changes to 32 people dead and all I could think of is what's going on? And it was a shock to everybody. Nobody knew how to grasp it.
KING: And your friend, the girl, will be OK?
VOLTMER: She'll be fine. She's recovering nicely.
KING: Mandy, you think you heard gunfire? Where were you?
MANDY TEHAAN, VA TECH STUDENT: Well, I was in my dorm this morning and I had already come back from class. I didn't know what was going on but after I received the e-mail about the shooting, I got really scared and I was just very paranoid about everything and I thought I heard gunfire. I don't know if I did or not but every noise I heard, I was kind of freaking out.
KING: Mandy, what do you make of some who are criticizing school officials who are not doing more, especially since there was some disparity between the earlier shooting and the later shooting?
TEHAAN: I mean I know that Virginia Tech is a safe place and I know that the Virginia Tech police and everyone were doing as much as they can. I think it was very like hard situation. And I think they probably learned from this event that they do need to take -- they need to like work sooner on this and kind of send out e-mails sooner because a lot of kids went to their classes not knowing anything was going on.
But I know that this kind of event can happen anywhere. It's not really -- I don't think Virginia Tech is really at fault for anything.
KING: Danny, did your girlfriend tell you how it happened to her?
VOLTMER: No, I wasn't going to ask her any questions like that.
VOLTMER: I didn't know what to say when I walked in the room. I just wanted her to rest. And I'm going to go back to see her tomorrow and hopefully, she'll be able to talk.
KING: Not the time to ask.
Thank you both very much, Danny Voltmer and Mandy Tehaan.
And when we come back, how do the people of Virginia Tech move on from all of this? We'll ask Dr. Phil and Candice DeLong when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a pretty big window in our classroom. And we saw, all of a sudden -- it was probably around 9:30ish, about six officers run by the building with their guns drawn and we're like, what's going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we saw police all over the place holding guns and stuff like that. It was like the third or fourth in Norris. I didn't know what was happening and everybody said that there were gunshots that came from inside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am in a classroom, which is across the campus from where the shooting had occurred and we are all in lockdown. Most of the students are sitting on the floor away from all the windows and we're trying to be as safe as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Candice DeLong, when we studied and profiled people who have done this in the past and were not killed or have not committed suicide, did they fit the profile, say, of a classic sociopath?
DELONG: Not always. Sometimes the individual turns out to be severely mentally ill with some kind of psychosis or paranoid delusions, which is not the same as a stone-cold killer, sociopath type of person.
KING: Dr. Phil, the tragedy spreads in many areas. As someone once said, Clay Harvey Oswald's mother felt just as sad as John Kennedy's mother at the death of both of them. What about the family of the killer?
MCGRAW: Well, they, too, have lost a son...
KING: I said Clay Harvey, I meant Lee Harvey Oswald. Go ahead.
MCGRAW: They, too, have lost a son, and I am certain that whoever this is and whatever family there is it's shocked, ashamed and humiliated and just as the parents of the students that were hurt or killed at the school. I just hope that everybody around the world, and I know so many of those parents and students are watching us right now, I just hope that everybody will join me in praying for these people to find some peace and to find some comfort in this terrible time. You can't make sense out of nonsense. And that's why I think it's so important to just try and heal yourself and pray for some comfort and hope that it comes.
KING: What about the access of guns, Candice, in this country?
DELONG: Well, I can tell you, Larry, that's of course, on a lot of people's mind today. My son studied in England for a semester at Oxford and he told me, and this is a population where people do not have access to guns, he told me on at least three occasions in that the semester he was there, there were incidents of stabbings where the person didn't have access to a gun but they'd have a knife. In one case, a man ran through a shopping mall stabbing people and stabbed five or six people before he was able to be stopped.
Now, to be sure, if the guy today -- what I'm saying is, somebody that wants to do something like this is going to do it whether he has a gun or not. Obviously, if the shooter did not have a gun, if he had a knife, there wouldn't be so many people dead.
KING: Dr. McGraw, does this cause great concern at other campuses?
MCGRAW: Well, I hope it does, Larry. Again, we get so much in denial and we just kind of think that it'll never happen to us. It's just always something you read about in the newspaper or hear about on the news. But it does happen and we are all vulnerable. And I think there has to be a warning system. I think there has to be education with the students about what to do in a time of crisis whether it's terrorists or whether it's someone deranged that does something like what happened today.
So I hope it causes grave concern. And I know I certainly will be talking to my son again about his position on the campus right now.
KING: These things don't seem to go away, do they, Candice?
DELONG: No, they don't. There'll always be people off center and that will act out their frustrations and anger by hurting those around them. I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out in the next few days that the shooter verbalized to at least one person that he was thinking of shooting, thinking of killing. And if you know someone that's talking like this, guide them into help or make an anonymous phone call to the police or the authorities and let them know there's someone talking about killing.
KING: Thank you both very much. We're out of time.
We will be back again tomorrow night covering this of course. And don't forget, former President Clinton on Thursday night.
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