Police Talked to Cho in 2005

Officials say they didn't have grounds to arrest, mandate treatment
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2007 1:50 PM CDT
Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Police questioned Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui twice in 2005, after two women accused him of accused making unwanted contact, the Virginia Tech police department said this morning. The same semester, poetry professor Nikki Giovanni had him removed from her class. But since Cho made no direct threats, the police could not legally take action against him, they say.

After the second woman asked police to intervene, a friend reported that Cho seemed suicidal, which led to a voluntary psychiatric evaluation and hospital stay. Police say they had no grounds on which to mandate continued psychiatric treatment, setting off a barrage of questions about how campuses nationwide handle mental illness.