Relatives of the Virginia Tech shooting victims are disappointed in the quality of the commonwealth’s review of the 2007 massacre and are asking Gov. Tim Kaine to reconvene the panel.
Family members of 33 victims released a strongly worded statement Tuesday criticizing the commonwealth’s report for “grave errors, misinformation and glaring omissions.”
The statement also expressed skepticism at the revelation last week that Seung-hui Cho’s missing mental health records were found at the home of a former campus doctor, Dr. Robert Miller.
“We cannot comprehend that Dr. Miller, knowing the intensity of the search for these records, did not recall taking files home with him in 2006 when he left the Cook Counseling Center,” the statement said. “If Dr. Miller inadvertently removed the files as he claims, we find it telling that it took legal action to force him to produce the records.”
The records, which document treatment Cho received at Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center, were returned to authorities by Dr. Miller.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the investigation is ongoing and declined to provide further details. It is illegal for personal information to be removed from the counseling center.
Dr. Miller’s attorney, Edward J. McNelis, said last week that the records were inadvertently put in a box when the doctor left his job over a year before the April 2007 rampage. He declined to comment Tuesday on the statement issued by the victims’ families.
The statement said the families had asked state police about the missing records during what they described as the first and only briefing they received, in October 2008.
The statement came on the same day Mr. Kaine said he would ensure that the report released by the Virginia Tech Review Panel two years ago is updated and corrected.
“I have made a commitment to the families of those who were injured and killed at Virginia Tech that the report that was done under my direction, that was done very quickly because we wanted to get recommendations for legal improvements that we’ve made, that we are going to reopen the factual narrative of that report and look at any information that has come in since the report was done in September 2007 to see if corrections need to be made,” Mr. Kaine said on WTOP Radio’s “Ask the Governor” program. “And yes, the contents of this file are going to be examined very carefully to see if their contents suggest that the report needs to be corrected.”
Mr. Kaine also noted that staff members, who researched and wrote the original report for the panel, are continuing their work. The panel, he said, was composed of volunteers, which presents a challenge to reconvening it.
Mr. Kaine also said the commonwealth is in talks with Cho’s family about making the records public.