Police: VaTech grad student knew suspected killer
By SUE LINDSEY, Associated Press Writer Sue Lindsey, Associated Press Writer Fri Jan 23, 1:49 am ET
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Alone and in a new country, graduate student Xin Yang reached out to other Chinese students at Virginia Tech when she arrived two weeks ago, trying to establish her life on campus.
She went to social events with international students, got in touch with the campus center that works to help them adjust and appeared to be making friends as she settled into her accounting program, those who had met her said.
But one of the friendships may have led to her death: Police say she was decapitated with a kitchen knife while having coffee with a Chinese doctoral student in a campus cafe Wednesday night.
The killing stunned a campus that still has vivid memories of the mass slayings in April 2007, when a student gunman shot 32 people and then took his own life. The stabbing was the first slaying on campus since then.
"An act of violence like this brings back memories of April 16," university President Charles Steger said. "I have no doubt that many of us feel especially distraught."
It appeared Yang, who was from Beijing, had met her accused attacker, 25-year-old Haiyang Zhu of Ningbo, China, only recently, said Kim Beisecker, the director of Cranwell International Center, which works with international students. Zhu, a doctoral student in agricultural and applied economics, had been assisting her in adjusting to life at Tech, something the 500 Chinese students often do for new members in their community, she said. They both attended functions for international students, she said.
"She was a very sweet young woman," she said. "He was known as a polite young man."
Though they apparently didn't know each other well, school records listed Zhu as one of her emergency contacts. Beisecker said that may have been because Yang knew few people on campus.
"As best we know, she had made a fair number of friends, but only in the last week," Beisecker said.
What led to the attack is also a mystery: About seven other people who were in the coffee shop told police that the two hadn't been arguing before the attack. Beisecker said there hadn't been previous signs of trouble between them.
However, a Chinese-language blog was written earlier this month under the name Haiyang Zhu, and displaying the same photo of Zhu by authorities in Virginia. The author expressed frustration over stock losses and other problems in the blog, dated Jan. 7.
"Big stock losses. Recently I've been so frustrated I think only of killing someone or committing suicide," the posting reads.
Police received two 911 calls shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday, and were on the scene in a little more than a minute to take Zhu into custody, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.
Zhu was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail. His attorney, Stephanie Cox, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.
Classes were held as usual Thursday and the sprawling 2,600-acre campus appeared normal, with students skateboarding, talking on cell phones and chatting with friends.
Tasha Lockhart, a sophomore from Ocean City, Md., went to her biology class in the Graduate Life Center's auditorium Thursday afternoon. Her instructor told students to be aware of exits that were away from the main entrance in case of trouble, she said.
After the arrest, a campus alert system put in place after the mass shootings by Seung-Hui Cho in 2007 sent out messages to 30,000 subscribers by e-mail, text messages and telephone voice mails Wednesday night, University spokesman Larry Hinckler said.
Because a suspect was in custody, the messages were sent out as notifications rather than as emergency alerts, he said. He said 60,000 messages were sent in about a half hour.
The school offered counseling to students, faculty and staff, and officials contacted students who were injured in the mass shootings as well as the families of victims.
"It was a very retraumatizing kind of experience," said Debbie Day, director of the Office of Recovery and Support
3 dead, 12 wounded in Belgian day care stabbings
By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press Writer 8 mins ago
DENDERMONDE, Belgium – A man went on a rampage at a Belgian day care center Friday, stabbing two young children and a female worker to death and slashing 12 others all over their bodies, officials said.
Sobbing parents rushed to the scene and to hospitals, and medical workers sprung into action, performing emergency operations to save the 10 children and two adults who were badly wounded.
The attack caused widespread panic in the town 20 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Brussels. The day care center serves up to 30 children on a residential street.
"An act of great brutality has happened here against our weakest citizens," said mayor Buyse Piet. "The whole city is united in support for the parents who are in deep grief."
Prosecutor Christian Du Four said the man rode his bike to the Fabeltjesland day care center, entered about 10 a.m. and immediately began slashing a knife around. The dead included two children — ranging in age up to 3 — and a woman working in the center.
Du Four said in the mayhem that ensued the attacker simply walked out and got back on his bicycle before being arrested in a nearby supermarket shortly afterward.
Dr. Ignace Demeyer, director of the local hospital, said 10 children arrived at his hospital with very serious stab wounds, all required surgery, and all were now in stable condition.
"This was a particularly violent attack. All the kids had multiple stab wounds on their legs, arms and all over their bodies," he said.
He said two adults also required surgery and also were in stable condition.
Demeyer said 21 children were at the center at the time of the attack, and nine were unharmed.
Du Four did not immediately identify the suspect, who was injured as police detained him and taken to a nearby hospital. Local residents told The Associated Press the suspect had a history of mental illness.
Du Four said police had to show distraught parents digital photographs of those taken to the hospital, asking them to identify their children.
"People are totally in shock," said Leene Du Bois, a spokeswoman for the regional government of Flanders. "Nobody would have imagined anyone could do so much harm. There is much grief."
She said the perpetrator had no connection to the day care center.
The city opened up a nearby community center to provide psychological counseling to family members and witnesses of the stabbings, and police cordoned off the area.
Veerle Heeren, the social welfare minister for the regional Flemish government, said she would be investigating security measures at the center
2 shot outside kindergarten in Norway
By DOUG MELLGREN, Associated Press Writer Doug Mellgren, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 32 mins ago
OSLO, Norway – An off-duty police officer in northern Norway shot and killed his ex-girlfriend with another officer's service pistol, then critically wounded himself Friday outside the elementary school where she was a student teacher, police said. No children were injured.
The shooting happened in the snowy parking lot between the Slettaelva elementary school and a kindergarten in Tromsoe, the main city in the Norwegian Arctic, police said. Photographs on the Web sites of major Norwegian news media showed a body covered in a tarpaulin in the snow.
Police initially said both victims had died, but Tromsoe Police Chief Truls Fyhn later corrected that information, saying the 53-year-old man was in "extremely critical condition" at a local hospital. He said the officer had more than 20 years' service with the police.
Fyhn told a news conference broadcast on national radio that the woman, who was in her early 40s, had been living with the police officer until they broke up last week. He said he could not release their names, pending notification of next of kin.
Norwegian police are normally unarmed, but can have access to weapons at their headquarters or in their car depending on their district, police said.
Tromsoe Police officer Annette Kjoerli said by telephone that the man had taken and used a pistol that was issued to another officer. She said she did not have details so she could not confirm reports in Norwegian news media that the officer stole the pistol from the police station weapons room.
Johan Martin Welhaven, deputy chief of the national unit for internal police investigations, said by telephone that Tromsoe police will investigate the case, since the shooting took place when the officer was off duty.
However, he said, the internal affairs unit would check to see how he obtained the service weapon.
Welhaven said he could not recall a similar case involving a Norwegian police officer.
Police said it was not clear how many children were nearby when the shooting occurred, but it was likely that at least some were in the vicinity. The shooting was reported to police at about 8:30 a.m. (0730 GMT).
Tromsoe is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle.
I am posting three disturbing stories i read on the net today and as the tittle says the Wolrd is going to hell. The violence involving Children and outside of kindergarden is just plain crazy. Then the beheading what the fuck is that.....