Moments ago at the press conference being held at VA Tech the identity of the gunman was released. According to the police spokesman the gunman was Cho Sun Li (spelling to be confirmed when available), a South Korean resident alien who was a student there.
There have been unconfirmed reports about the weapons he used. It appears everyone agrees that they were 9mm pistols but there are reports surfacing that the serial numbers on the guns were filed down or otherwise obscured. In the same breath, they’re reported as being purchased in Virginia. I’m not sure how they made that assessment yet, but as I said yesterday we need to gather more information.
Update: WTOP News has the information on the gunman, whose name is spelled “Cho Seung-Hui.” He’s been ID’ed as a legal resident alien, possessing a green card, and had been in the US since 1992. He lived in Centerville, VA. That’s not far from HoodaThunk? central, by the way.
Update 2: More details:
One law enforcement official said Cho’s backpack contained a receipt for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol. As a permanent legal resident of the United States, Cho was eligible to buy a handgun unless he had been convicted of a felony.
Investigators stopped short of saying Cho carried out both attacks. But ballistics tests show one gun was used in both, Virginia State Police said.
And two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been announced, said Cho’s fingerprints were found on the two guns used in the rampage. The serial numbers on the two weapons had been filed off, the officials said.
Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said it was reasonable to assume that Cho was the shooter in both attacks but that the link was not yet definitive. “There’s no evidence of any accomplice at either event, but we’re exploring the possibility,” he said
That explains how they know where the pistol was bought without having the serial #, I suppose. More detail as I get it and can get on-line.