Wow., I wonder what will come of this?..
Va. Tech Gunman?s Mental Health Records Found
The mental health records of the gunman in the Virginia Tech massacre, which could not be found during the investigation into the 2007 shooting, have been discovered in the home of the former director of the university?s counseling clinic, Gov. Tim Kaine said Wednesday.
The records were found by lawyers preparing for a civil lawsuit filed this year by families of two of the 32 people that Seung-Hui Cho killed before turning the gun on himself on April 16, 2007. The center?s former director, Robert C. Miller, left his position at the Cook Counseling Centermore than a year before the massacre.
The discovery raises new questions about the rigor of the state?s investigation into the shootings. Mr. Kaine said a criminal investigation was underway to determine how Mr. Miller was able to take the records and why the documents were not found earlier.
Mr. Miller declined to comment.
Mr. Kaine said the files would be made public within days, either with the permission of the administrator of Mr. Cho?s estate or through a state subpoena.
?While I do not know the contents of the files,? the governor said, ?I recognize that they are an important component in understanding what happened that day and what productive steps can be taken in the future to prevent such a terrible event.?
In April, the families of two slain students sued the state, the university, its counseling center, several top university officials and a local mental health agency. The lawsuit alleges gross negligence in the care and attention given to Mr. Cho before and during his shooting spree.
In December 2005, Mr. Cho began exhibiting strange behavior and was hospitalized for psychiatric reasons. He was then ordered to undergo outpatient therapy.
A report into the shootings commissioned by Mr. Kaine determined that while Mr. Cho had had numerous inteactions with the counseling center before the shooting, some of his records from the center could not be found.
W. Gerald Massengill, the former state police superintendent who led the state?s investigation into the attack, said Wednesday that investigators had interviewed Mr. Miller?s successor at the Cook Counseling Center, Dr. Christopher Flynn. Mr. Miller was not interviewed, Mr. Massengill said.
When told the mental health records had been found, some families of the victims seemed to take a wait-and-see attitude.
?If the files show early signs that Cho was really dangerous, then it raises real questions about what was done to deal with him,? said Bryan Cloyd, an accounting professor at Virginia Tech whose daughter, Austin Cloyd, was killed by Mr. Cho.
Professor Cloyd added that he was especially bothered that Mr. Miller apparently took the files home. ?But, honestly,? he said, ?we don?t know yet what the files say, so it?s premature to decide if they indicate larger errors.?
Other families voiced frustration.
Andrew Goddard, whose son, Colin, was shot but survived, said that since the governor?s report was released, new information had come out about the timeline of events and the reasons for the university?s delay in locking down the campus once the shooting began.
?Even though my son survived, it?s difficult to reach closure when more and more stuff keeps getting unearthed,? he said. ?It really rattles your confidence in the investigation.?