'We are so sorry, we feel helpless and lost'

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'We are so sorry, we feel helpless and lost'

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Killer's family

<b>Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and Ed Pilkington in New York
Saturday April 21, 2007</b>
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062501,00.html">The Guardian</a>

The family of Cho Seung-hui, who shot 32 people dead before turning his gun on himself, made their first public comments yesterday about his actions, saying they had "made the world weep".
In a statement put out by his sister, Sun-kyung Cho, through a lawyer in North Carolina, the family said they were living a nightmare, and apologised to his victims.

"Our family is so very sorry for my brother&#39;s unspeakable actions. It is a terrible tragedy for all of us. We pray for their families and loved ones, who are experiencing so much excruciating grief. And we pray for those who were injured, and for those whose lives are changed forever."

The statement, released to the Associated Press, came on the day Americans held a collective day of mourning for the victims, with church services and vigils from Capitol Hill to California.

Yesterday&#39;s solemnities were centred on a moment of silence for the dead across Virginia at noon after the governor, Tim Kaine, declared a day of mourning. Forty other states also held vigils for the dead. "This has touched the globe," Mr Kaine told a memorial service.

"The universality that we all suffer, we all grieve, has touched hearts around the world."

The sombreness of the day was deepened by the knowledge that it was the anniversary of another school shooting - of 13 students and one teacher at Colorado&#39;s Columbine high school in 1999.

The Cho family said that it had been "humbled by this darkness". The gunman&#39;s sister said: "We feel hopeless, helpless, and lost. This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel I didn&#39;t know this person."

She said that, though her brother had been quiet and reserved, "we never could have envisioned he was capable of so much violence". The family, staying in an undisclosed location, said it would cooperate fully with the police investigation.

During the day of mourning, church bells tolled on the grassy expanse called the Drill Field at the heart of Virginia Tech campus, just outside Norris Hall, where Cho killed all but two of his victims.

Almost all the mourners wore the school colours of orange and maroon, as they drew close to the makeshift memorial on the grass, a semi-circle of stones surrounding large placards with handwritten tributes to the dead, large wreaths, and humble bouquets of flowers.

Elsewhere in Virginia, bells chimed for each of Cho&#39;s victims at an interfaith memorial at Virginia Commonwealth University. "The thing that matters most today is to remember the friends and families of those who lost loved ones," Virginia&#39;s lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, said.

The first of Cho&#39;s victims was also buried yesterday in the Israeli town of Raanana, not far from Tel Aviv. Liviu Librescu, 76, was an expert on aerospace engineering who had taught at the university for more than 20 years. As a child in Romania, the professor had survived the Holocaust. On Monday, he was shot while shielding students from the gunman.

<B>On Guardian Unlimited</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/virginiashooting/">Full coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/0,,182056,00.html">Gun violence in the US</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/0,,178412,00.html">Gun violence in Britain</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/0,,759893,00.html">Full US coverage</A><BR><BR><B>Related articles</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2059217,00.html">Virginia massacre gunman named</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2059103,00.html">Unofficial list of shooting victims emerges</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2058887,00.html">Massacre on campus</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2059250,00.html">Q&A: US gun laws</A><BR><BR><B>World news guide</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldnewsguide/northamerica/0,,618255,00.html">North American Media</A><BR><BR><B>Media</B><BR><A HREF="http://edition.cnn.com/">CNN</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/">New York Times</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/">Washington Post</A><BR><BR><B>Government</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.state.va.us/cmsportal2/">Virginia state government portal</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.usa.gov/">US government portal</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.whitehouse.gov/">White House</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/">Senate</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.house.gov/">House of Representatives</A>

Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2007.
--
Original Source:<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062501,00.html">http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062501,00.html</a>


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Staff:Suzanne Goldenberg,Washington and Ed Pilkington

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2007-08-10

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Adriana Seagle

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In consideration of the fee of GBP 0.00 ("the Fee") Guardian News & Media Limited ("GNM") grants the Licensee the right to: publish on its website for 10 years.

Contact info: Eve Thompson; permissions.syndication@guardian.co.uk

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Staff:Suzanne Goldenberg,Washington and Ed Pilkington, "&#39;We are so sorry, we feel helpless and lost&#39;," in The April 16 Archive, Item #990, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/990 (accessed August 1, 2014).