Korean murderer stalked female students before killings
This is London:
The Virginia Tech gunman was taken to a mental health facility in 2005 after university authorities received complaints against him by two female students and his parents became afraid he was suicidal, it has been revealed.
Virginia Tech police chief Wendell Flincham confirmed moments ago that Cho Seung-Hui had targeted two female students in November and December of 2005.
He made contact with the first woman through phone calls and in person. Though she complained to police, she later declined to press charges, referring to Cho's attentions as "annoying".
The matter was then handled within the university, outside the scope of police.
Cho instant messaged the second woman in December, 2005. She asked police to ensure he had no further contact with her, and police gave Cho a warning regarding the matter.
Later Cho's parents expressed concern to police that he may have been suicidal. They asked him to speak to a counsellor, and a temporary detention order was issued resulting in Cho being sent to a mental health facility independent of the university.
Under a temporary detention order a person can be committed to a mental health facility voluntarily or involuntarily. Mr Flincham said he believed Cho had gone to the facility on December 13, 2005 voluntarily. It is not yet known how long he stayed for, and any further mental health records are subject to privacy laws.
However according to the file seen by police, nothing was recorded that could have prevented Cho from purchasing a gun.
Neither of the two women who made complaints against Cho were among the deceased or wounded at Virginia Tech.
Police still have not definitively placed Cho at the dormitory where he allegedly shot and murdered Emily Hilscher and Ryan Clark. Police said all were making that "reasonable assumption", but that the physical evidence so far had not been found.
Virginia State police spokesman Steve Flaherty said that on investigating the original shooting in the dormitory, the evidence led police to Emily Hilscher's boyfriend, Karl Thornhill, who had dropped her off that morning and who was known to love guns.
It was while police were questioning Karl Thornhill that reports of the second mass shooting at Norris Hall reached them.
Teachers and fellow students at Virginia Tech lived in fear of Cho Seung-Hui in the 18 months before he struck, it was revealed this afternoon.
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