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Victims’ Families Call for New Investigation of Va Tech Shooting

RICHMOND, Va.- The following statement was released this morning from family members of shooting victims from the tragedy at Virginia Tech University on April 16, 2007:

“On April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech our loved ones were killed and injured in a shooting rampage by a fellow student. We still suffer emotional pain dealing with the impenetrable layers of bureaucracy in our simple quest for answers. An accurate, complete and thorough accounting of what happened before, during and after April 16th, 2007 is the legacy we seek on behalf of those who died and those who survived.

“As family members of the deceased and the survivors, we must make our concerns known about the recent disclosure that the medical records of Seung Hui Cho have been found in the home of the former director of Cook Counseling Center, Dr. Robert C. Miller.

“We cannot comprehend that Dr. Miller, knowing the intensity of the search for these records, did not recall taking files home with him in 2006 when he left the Cook Counseling Center. If Dr. Miller inadvertently removed the files as he claims, we find it telling that it took legal action to force him to produce the records. We also wonder if state police questioned him in April 2007, or only Virginia Tech officials. As announced by the Governor, the state police are investigating how and when someone (presumably Miller) removed the records from Cook Counseling Center. In October 2008, during the first and only formal police briefing we received, we requested that state police again look into the case of the missing files. The state police still have not told us what action (if any) they took on our request.

“The families have learned or discovered much in the past twenty-eight months - from police briefings in October 2008; through investigative reporting of the media; by our own review of the archives; at the meeting with the Virginia Tech administration; and not least via many family members’ own dogged search for the truth. All of this information should have been available to the Virginia Tech Review Panel at the time of their investigation.

“While we appreciate the hard work of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, the report issued by the Panel contains grave errors, misinformation, and glaring omissions.

“We believe the panel needs to be reconvened, due to several factors: The time constraint the Panel worked under; the information withheld from the Panel; the erroneous information given to the panel; the information newly discovered by family members; the recent “discovery” of the missing files; and the panel’s failure to interview Dr. Miller.

“For us, the Panel’s report serves two purposes: Acting as the official account of what happened before, during and after the largest school shooting in the history of the United States; and serving as a guideline for America’s higher education institutions in planning, implementing & responding to a variety of health, safety & security concerns. We feel an incomplete and inaccurate report does not respect our loved ones, or us, and is potentially harmful to the public.

We respectfully ask that Governor Kaine re-convene the panel. We consider the panel’s report extremely valuable, and we cannot accept that the Commonwealth allows it to stand with errors of any kind.

“With that in mind, we ask any person with pertinent information or material facts to come forward to provide the panel the means to complete a thorough investigation. We also ask, as written in Governor Kaine’s original Executive Order #53, that the panel ‘offer the families of the deceased (and injured) the opportunity to provide input to the Panel publicly or privately and to offer those families who so desire an opportunity to be apprised periodically of the Panel’s progress.'"


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