THE GUNMAN

No Abnormalities Found in Cho's Brain

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By Philip Rucker and Jackie Spinner
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, April 23, 2007

An initial autopsy of the Virginia Tech gunman found no brain function abnormalities that could explain the rampage that left 32 people dead at the Blacksburg university, a state medical examiner said yesterday.

Brain tissue has been retained for additional microscopic examination, but the body of Seung Hui Cho has been cleared for release to his family, said William Massello, an assistant state medical examiner.

"As to whether I found any other abnormalities in the brain, the answer is not on gross pathology examination," he said. "There will be microscopic examinations, but I do not anticipate finding anything."

Massello said autopsies of Cho's 32 victims revealed that he fired "more than 100" bullets into them.

"Some were hit once; some were hit several times, more than once. We had two, three, four, maybe even as high as six." Massello, one of four state officials who conducted the autopsies, said in a telephone interview.

The autopsies show that many victims suffered so-called defensive wounds, Massello said, meaning the victims were trying to protect themselves when killed.

"A lot of times, the bullet will go through the leg or arm before it actually enters the head, and that's an indication that the person was trying to block the bullet and had their hand or leg up in a defensive nature," Massello said.

Cho fired an as-yet undetermined number of shots in addition to the estimated 100 that struck those killed. About 30 people were injured, some from gunshot wounds and others while trying to flee.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Saturday that Cho purchased two empty cartridge clips March 22 from the Internet auction site eBay. The clips were designed for one of the two types of guns Cho used, the news service reported.

EBay spokeswoman Hani Durzy said that the purchase of the two clips from an Idaho seller were legal and that the company has cooperated with authorities, according to AP.

Cho, 23, used the handle "blazers5505" to buy the clips. He also used the Web site to sell tickets to Virginia Tech football games and books from a Contemporary Horror class on the eBay-affiliated Web site Half.com.

All postings related to the shooter had been removed as of yesterday afternoon.


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