Skip to main content
Home World U.S. Weather Business Sports Analysis Politics Law Tech Science Health Entertainment Offbeat Travel Education Specials Autos I-Reports
U.S. News

Source: Gunman angry at 'rich kids'

Story Highlights

• Gunman wrote violent, disturbing scripts, former classmate says
• Reports say gunman's note blasted "deceitful charlatans" on campus
• Gunman was 23-year-old senior English major
• Cho Seung-Hui listed Centreville, Virginia, as hometown
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

CENTREVILLE, Virginia (CNN) -- The gunman in Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech was Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior English major from Centreville, Virginia, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said Tuesday.

A government official told CNN's Jeanne Meserve that a note has been found indicating Cho showed anger against "rich kids."

The official also said Cho had a history of mental illness but gave no details. (Watch Cho's former roommates describe him and his imaginary girlfriend Video)

Cho left a note in his dorm in which he railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on the Virginia Tech campus, The Associated Press reported.

The Chicago Tribune, citing unidentified sources, reported that Cho may have been taking medication to combat depression and that his recent behavior was troubling, including setting a fire in a dorm and stalking women. (Watch an English professor describe how she did not want Cho to be with other students Video)

Draft scripts for two plays allegedly written by Cho for a writing class contain "really twisted, macabre violence," according to a student who was in class with him at Virginia Tech.

Ian MacFarlane, now an AOL employee, describes the writing as "very graphic" and "extremely disturbing."

The writings were provided to CNN by AOL. The employee also wrote a blog to accompany the two scripts. (Read about Cho's troubling scripts)

MacFarlane said in the blog that when the class read Cho's work, "it was like something out of a nightmare."

"The plays had really twisted, macabre violence that used weapons I wouldn't have even thought of. Before Cho got to class that day, we students were talking to each other with serious worry about whether he could be a school shooter." (Watch how Cho's words could help police Video)

MacFarlane said Cho was extremely quiet, and efforts by other students to draw him out were rebuffed.

Cho took his own life as police closed in on him, according to Col. Steve Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. Thirty other bodies were found in Norris Hall along with Cho, officials said.

Two people were killed earlier Monday in a college dormitory.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that Cho was a legal permanent resident and had a green card. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Cho emigrated from South Korea when he was 8.

He lived in a Virginia Tech dormitory, but not in West Ambler Johnston Hall, where the first of Monday's shootings took place, university officials said.

On Tuesday, the mail carrier who has been delivering mail to Cho's parents since they moved to the subdivision described his father, Cho Sung-tae, 61, and his mother, Cho Hyang-ai, 51, as "super nice." He said he never met their son.

"I only met them [parents] when they were home, and I had packages to deliver to them ... but every time I did see them, they were super nice," Rod Wells said.

"It's just breaking my heart," he added. "No parent deserves that."

No one was home at the white, two-story townhouse residence Tuesday.

Virginia Tech senior Shane Moore said Tuesday he recalled having lunch with Cho three years ago.

Moore said his former roommate knew Cho because the two went to the same high school. Moore and his roommate approached Cho and asked if he would like to sit with them. Cho agreed but didn't say a word during lunch.

Finally, Moore's roommate cracked a joke and Cho laughed. Moore didn't take offense to Cho's silence.

"He just seemed real, real shy," Moore said. "He was quiet, nothing too unusual."

Students in one of Cho's classes called him "the question mark kid," classmate Julie Poole told the AP, because Cho used just a question mark for his name on a class sign-in sheet.

Fairfax County Schools in Virginia issued a statement Tuesday saying Cho graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia, in 2003. Two of Cho's victims also attended the school. The school's Web site describes it as an "honors" high school.

Court records obtained by the AP show Cho got a speeding ticket from Virginia Tech police on April 7. He was cited for going 44 mph in a 25 mph zone, the AP reported, with a court date set for May 23.

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Related Topics

Search TopicE-mail Alerts


Cho Seung-Hui, whom police identified as the gunman in Monday's shooting rampage, was a loner, a university official said.




Quick Job Search
  More Options
International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise with Us About Us Contact Us
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
SERVICES » E-mails RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNNtoGo CNN Pipeline
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more