BLACKSBURG, Va. – The gunman who carried out the massacre at Virginia Tech fired more than 170 rounds in nine minutes and died with a bullet to his head in a classroom surrounded by his victims, authorities said Wednesday.
Police provided new details about the case at a news conference on the Virginia Tech campus, but they said investigators still don’t know what set the gunman off.
He said investigators had compiled 500 piece of evidence from Norris Hall alone.
Seung-Hui Cho chained shut three public entrances to Norris Hall before starting his rampage through the classrooms where he killed 30 students and teachers, police said. Two hours earlier, he had gunned down his first victims in a dormitory across campus.
Computer files, cell phone records and e-mails have yielded no evidence about what triggered the last week, or whether he singled out any of his 32 victims.
Flaherty, who is overseeing the investigative team looking at the shootings, said police also have been unable to answer one of the case’s most vexing questions: Why the spree began at the West Ambler Johnston dorm, and why 18-year-old freshman Emily Hilscher was the first victim.
Police searched Hilscher’s e-mails and phone records looking for a link. While Flaherty would not discuss exactly what police found, he said neither Cho’s nor Hilscher’s records have revealed a connection.
Flaherty cautioned that it could be months before the case is closed. The investigation will begin slowing down as authorities examine evidence, he said.