Missing mental health records indicate that Virginia Tech shooter Seung hui-Cho told medical personnel at a campus clinic that statements he made indicating he wanted to kill himself were “a joke.”
The statements, reported to university officials by Cho’s roommate, were the basis for Cho to be evaluated by mental health officials with the campus’s Cook Counseling Center three times in November and December 2005.
“He denies suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts,” reads a triage report dated Dec. 14, 2005. “Said the comment he made was a joke. Said he has no reason to harm himself & would never do it.”
A Post-It note affixed to the report adds, “I met with student for almost 30 min. — he denied any suicidal or homicidal ideation.”
The university posted 23 pages of Cho’s health records that disappeared after Dr. Robert Miller, the director of the Cook Counseling Center, left the facility in early 2006 — more than a year before the April 2007 shooting in which Cho killed 32 people and himself.
Dr. Miller has said that he accidentally took the records with him when he left the center.
“These records indicate that the professional staff of Cook Counseling Center acted appropriately in their evaluation of Cho, documented the interactions, and offered to provide treatment to him while he was enrolled at Virginia Tech,” Virginia Tech spokesman Mark
Owczarski said in a statement posted online with the records.
Mr. Owczarski said the records were made public with the consent of Cho’s family.
“We will never fully comprehend what led Seung Hui Cho to carry out his assault on his fellow students and instructors. His actions were by nature inexplicable, and I don’t expect the questions surrounding the tragedy will ever really end,” Gov. Tim Kaine said. “However, we remain committed to openness around the events at Virginia Tech and it is important that the public have legal access to these records. I am pleased the Cho family also wanted these records released to the public.”