Rachel DePompa – bio | email
You mean to tell me, the former director of Virginia Tech’s mental health facility just happened to have Seung Hui Cho’s medical records in his house for 2 1/2 years!!!! You’ve got to be kidding me?!?! How could those records never have surfaced during the state’s investigation into the massacre? Was the former director ever interviewed? Why did he have student records at home? And why did he STILL have them after leaving office? Seriously, this is ludicrous! I know I usually just write about Richmond, but this story really gets to me. As many of you may know, I was at Virginia Tech the morning of the shooting working as a journalist for WDBJ. I heard the frantic calls by police for help. I heard the shooting in the background on my police scanner. I witnessed the faces of everyone in the room when VT President Charles Steger first addressed the world and said “20 fatalities and that was a ballpark figure.” I was on that campus for 72 hours reporting non-stop. I saw the faces of countless family members as they learned what happened to their loved ones. I met many of them personally. I will never, EVER forget. And to hear that Cho’s missing medical records were in a house and never reported to police for the last 2 and 1/2 years??!!?! It makes me wonder what else was missed? What else is out there? What else we can learn from this terrible event?
April 16th still gets me. (That cold, breezy Monday.) Even now.
By Rachel DePompa – bio | email
Sorry, for the writing lag last week. The station sent me back to Blacksburg, Virginia for the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. I was happy to go to see all my old friends. (I worked for the CBS affiliate in Roanoke for 4 years) But going back is also terribly difficult. I was in my office the morning of April 16th 2007 and heard the most panicked voices I’ve ever heard in my life. They were police officers yelling for ambulances. “We need ambulances. We need a lot of ambulances.” I ran out the door, jumped in my news car and drove about 90 miles down route 460. I was being passed left and right by state police and sheriff’s deputies. I got the VT Drillfield, jumped out of my vehicle, (left it running with the door open) and started running across the field. Police officers were on either side of me with semi-automatic rifles. They were crouched behind trees. They were yelling at me to get back. I don’t know what I was thinking. I knew there was a shooter.. but I just wanted to be able to tell people what was going on. The day got progressively worse. It’s a story I don’t tell often. But feel free to ask me about it. I know this is a blog about Richmond politics, but I just wanted to say I remember the 32. I know all of their names. I’ve met many of the loved ones they left behind. And I wanted to solute their bravery and sacrifice. I hope the world never forgets.