Published January 13, 2015
Here are the latest updates from the FOX News Urgent queue:
8:03 p.m. ET: Washington Nationals Tribute to VT During Game:
per FOX News Capitol Hill producer:
...In case this has not been passed along: a Player for the Washington Nationals went to Sports Authority in Alexandria right before the game -- bought up a bunch of Va Tech baseball hats....The Nationals are wearing the Hokie Hats during thier evening game (ongoing) with Atlanta....
5:17p.m. ET: Bush Stop After Meeting With Families:
Per Travel Pool
Travel pool shot the following:
President Bush went to the far end of drillfield w first lady and kaine and wife to sign a makeshift memorial ... Mrs. Bush set a bundle of orange & reddish roses at the memorial ... Students and onlookers watched from the drillfield.
PER TRAVEL POOL:
Potus and flotus signed the following:
Bush: "God Bless, George W Bush"
Laura: "With Love, Laura Bush"
4:45 p.m. ET: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RESPONSE TO SHOOTINGS AT VIRGINIA TECH:
WASHINGTON - Following his expression of condolence and offer of support yesterday, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales pledged Department of Justice assistance to the victims of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech and the state and local agencies that are leading the investigation.
The Department of Justice has every confidence in Virginia law enforcement authorities and stands ready to assist as needed. Below are key resources already deployed by the Department and resources presently available to assist with the state, local and campus response.
-- TheFederal Bureau of Investigation dispatched 20 special agents to Virginia Tech, all from the Richmond Division. Additional agents are available for deployment from the FBI's Norfolk Division and Washington Field Office.
-- Additional FBI resources that can be deployed as needed include a mobile command post, evidence response teams, laboratory assistance, and its Victims Assistance Rapid Deployment Teams, which are specially trained in responding to mass casualty events such as the shootings in Amish country and Red Lake, Minnesota.
-- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) dispatched 12 agents from the Roanoke field office. ATF continues to assist the Virginia State Police and local authorities in processing the crime scene, firearms and ballistics recovery, tracing through the National Tracing Center, and ballistic analysis through the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.
-- The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia is on-site and has offered the assistance of his victim-witness staff to the operations center. The Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys also has a 10-person team of victim-witness specialists who have volunteered their services for emergency situations and are available to be deployed as needed. The Criminal Division's victim-witness coordinators are also available to assist.
-- The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) has emergency funds available to aid the victims and survivors of, as well as the first responders to, the tragedy at Virginia Tech. These funds, from the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program, can be used to support victim-assistance activities such as counseling and other state and local law enforcement services.
-- The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) stands ready to provide support to the Virginia Division of Criminal Services, Virginia State Police, Virginia Tech Police, and law enforcement in surrounding counties.
-- Five members of the U.S. Marshals Service Blue Ridge Task Force, located in Roanoke, responded and assisted yesterday with the evacuation of students.
-- Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were part of the Blacksburg Police Department's SWAT team that helped clear the campus dormitories immediately following the shootings. The DEA is offering its resources and assistance to the Virginia State Police, the Blacksburg Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies.
The Justice Department has posted a number of links to resources on its Web site, http://www.usdoj.gov, for those seeking to cope with the tragedy and to better protect America's campuses, schools and children.
4:31 p.m. ET: Vigil Expectations:
FROM FOX NEWS IN BLACKSBURG:
A VIGIL ON THE DRILL FIELD AT VIRGINIA TECH IS EXPECTED TO DRAW AS MANY AS 40,000 TO THE SCHOOL'S CAMPUS TONIGHT.
THE EVENT BEGINS ABOUT 8 P-M EASTERN TIME AND WILL FEATURE BRIEF REMARKS FROM A VARIETY OF STUDENTS AND FACULTY.
VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT ADEEL KHAN IS EXPECTED TO BE AMONG THOSE TO SPEAK.
GOV TIM KAINE (D) AND HIS WIFE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE. THE GOVERNOR SPOKE AT THE EARLIER CONVOCATION THIS AFTERNOON.
FOLLOWING THE VARIOUS REMARKS, THE STUDENTS ARE TO LIGHT CANDLES AND OBSERVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE, WITH THE EVENT TO WRAP AFTER 9 P-M-- OR AS LATE AS 9-30 P-M.
4:17 p.m. ET: Another Cho play turns up, "Mr. Brownstone"
AOL employee provides another Cho play, "Mr. Brownstone." see link:AOL News has obtained two plays a classmate says were written by Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui. Ian MacFarlane, a former classmate and current AOL employee, provided us with the plays.
4:09 p.m. ET: Sen Dem says gun control talk is "way way way too insensitive..premature":
UPDATE: Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) told reporters after the regular, weekly meeting of her Caucus, that the VA Tech shooting had been discussed but that no substantive conversation had taken place on any possible legislatiave remedies.
Boxer told reporters it's time to consider gun control measures, however, and that she's talking to her fellow California Democrat, Diane Feinstein, about a bill Feinstein is crafting to limit the number of bullets in a gun clip. This is a portion taken straight from the now-expired Assault Weapons Ban which previously outlawed clips with more than 10 bullets.Boxer added that another piece of legislation she co-authored with Colorado Democratic Senator Ken Salazar, former state Attorney General during the Columbine shootings, should be considered. This bill would "provide funding for schools through the Justice Department to improve school safety measures such as tiplines, surveillance equipment, and capital improvements to schools," according to an office press release. Boxer noted that this bill would not help on college campuses, however.
Senate Judiciary Cmte Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT) said his committee would hold hearings on the VA Tech shooting, but, "It's way too early to talk about legislation."
Freshman Democratic Senator Jon Tester (MT), himself a 2nd Amendment advocate, called any talk of gun control measures "way, way, way too insensitive and way, way, way too premature." Gun rights advocate, Sen. Larry Craig, R-ID, lashed out at those who would call for gun control as a result of the VA Tech shooting, calling it "political opportunism." Craig went on, "I've always believed in nations wher the greatest of human freedoms exist, sometimes the greatest of human abuses can occur. And there are those who are trying to leverage the greatest of human tragedies now."
3:06 p.m. ET: VA Tech/Thousands Express Support on Facebook:
The technology of Facebook has given college kids across the country a new opportunity to come together in light of the Virginia Tech shootings. Thousands of people have written their thoughts.
If you type in "Tech Shootings", at this writing, five hundred groups have popped up. Each group has a different heading including "Always Remember Va Tech" "Prayers for Va Tech"...
and "That Virginia Tech Shooting is Messed Up!".
There was one which was called "Duck n Cover", but it has been removed. The largest membership is on a group called "A Tribute to Those Who Passed at the Virginia Tech Shooting." It has 135 thousand members.
2:50 p.m. ET: Cho's Violent Writings on the Smoking Gun:
Virginia Killer's Violent Writings
Play told of pedophilic stepfather, murder of 13-year-old boy
APRIL 17 -- The college student responsible for yesterday's Virginia Tech slaughter was referred last year to counseling after professors became concerned about the violent nature of his writings, as evidenced in a one-act play obtained by The Smoking Gun. The play by Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was submitted last year as part of a short story writing class. Entitled "Richard McBeef," Cho's bizarre play features a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia and murdering his father. A copy of the killer's play can be found below. The teenager talks of killing the older man and, at one point, the child's mother brandishes a chain saw at the stepfather. The play ends with the man striking the child with "a deadly blow." (10 pages)
2:37 p.m. ET: Bush to meet with families after convocation: Per ABC pool producer - President Bush to meet with family members of victims after the convocation. Exact time TBD. Closed meeting.
2:20 p.m. ET: Affadavit: one handgun from firearm's store roanoke va: According to an affadavit filed today, the police believe one gun was bought at a firearm's store in roanoke virginia.
John Markell, owner of Roanoke Firearms on Cove Road, said today that three agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives visited his shop yesterday. One of the agents told him that the Glock 19 that Markell's shop sold Cho about five weeks ago was used in the mass shooting.
Markell said he was not in the shop when Cho bought the gun but said nothing stood out about the purchase. Cho produced a Virginia driver's license, a checkbook with a matching address and an immigration card. Cho was a resident alien from South Korea.
Cho paid $571 for the gun and a box of 50 9mm bullets, Markell said.
Markell said the ATF told him the serial number was removed from the Glock, but authorities traced the weapon by a Roanoke Firearms receipt found in Cho's pocket.
Markell said he opened Roanoke Firearms in 1998.
2:03 p.m. ET: BUSH met with Pres. Steger, others before event: Before the convocation, President Bush met with: Charles Steger - VA tech president and wife Janet Steger; Jacob Lutz - rector of the board; Col. Steve Flaherty - VA state police superintendent; Wendal Flinchum - VA Tech Chief of Police; Kim Crannis - Blacksburg Chief of police; John Marshall - Secretary of Public Safety, Commonwealth of VA; Gov Kaine and wife Anne Holton
1:51 p.m. ET: Senate: Gun control not high on to-do list: Some advocates of gun control are using the VA Tech shooting incident to push for more action in Congress on the issue, but there is little appetite for this in the Senate (probably similar in the House). A number of Democrats told FOX today that it's premature to be talking about gun control. Still others said it would not happen, given the support for gun ownership, especially among the incoming freshman class, with senators like Jim Webb, D-VA, who carries a permitted, concealed weapon, and Jon Tester, D-MT. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, is a gun rights advocate, as is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT. Leahy is an avid hunter.
1:45 p.m. ET: Schwarzenegger Orders State Flags at Half-Staff: In accordance with the president's proclamation, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered the flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings on Monday, April 16.
1:38 p.m. ET: President Bush's motorcade has arrived at Coliseum
1:34 p.m. ET: Washington Post: Bomb Threat Note Near Shooter: An affidavit for a search warrant filed this morning in Montgomery County, Va., circuit court said police found a "bomb threat note ... directed at engineering school department buildings" near the bodies of the shooter and some victims. Investigators believe "the note is connected with the shooting incident," the agent wrote, without elaborating. The affidavit said that investigators were searching Cho's room in Harper Hall.
1:31 p.m. ET: Bush to meet w/ Va Tech President before convocation: Per ABC Travel Pool: Bush will meet w VT prez before convocation for an update on situation - closed press .. No word on student leader meeting
1:13 p.m. ET: Gov Kaine with President and First Lady: Per ABC travel pool, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and his wife are with the President and First Lady. The group is currently choppering to the VA Tech campus.
1:07 p.m. ET: Westfield H.S. Victims: 3 other victims graduated from Westfield High School -- The principal of the school talked to students this morning.
Reema Samaha was among one of those victims.
Cho Seung Hui graduated frm Westfield H.S. in 2003.
Another interesting story about Westfield graduates: Michael Kennedy, Class of '05 - Shot and killed two police officers and wounded another outside the Sully district Fairfax County police station in in May, 2006. Kennedy suffered from mental illness. Cho Seung Hui and Michael Kennedy were students at Westfield at the same time. This may be coincidence.