Campus Gunman Was Permanent Legal Immigrant

Tuesday, April 17th 2007, 10:45 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Virginia Tech student identified as the assailant in Monday's deadly gun rampage was a South Korean immigrant who had been in the United States since 1992 and who held a green card signifying his status as a legal permanent U.S. resident, federal officials said Tuesday.

Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was listed with a home address in Centreville, Va, a suburb of Washington, D.C., not far from Dulles International Airport.

Immigration records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security show that Cho was born in South Korea on Jan. 18, 1984 and entered the United States through Detroit on Sept. 2, 1992. He had last renewed his green card on Oct. 27, 2003.

University officials said he lived in a dormitory on the Virginia Tech campus, but could shed no light on a motive for the shooting spree that left 33 dead. ``He was a loner, and we're having difficulty finding information about him,'' said Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker.

Cho was found with a backpack containing a receipt for a Glock 9mm pistol that he had bought in March. Ballistics tests by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms showed that one gun was used in Monday's two separate campus attacks that were two hours apart. Cho's fingerprints were found on the two handguns used in both shootings, said two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced. The serial numbers on the two weapons had been filed off, the officials said.

As a permanent legal resident of the United States, Cho was eligible to buy a handgun unless he had been convicted of any felony criminal charges, a federal immigration official said.

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