By KRISTEN GELINEAU
A mentally ill student who killed 32 people and himself during the April 16 shooting spree at Virginia Tech had 'some interaction' with the campus counseling center, the chairman of a governor's panel studying the killings said Saturday.
But it remains unclear whether Seung-Hui Cho actually received treatment at Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center, panel chairman Gerald Massengill said in a telephone interview Saturday.
'We know he had some interaction with the Cook center,' Massengill said. 'The records we got did not have the detail that would tell us the level of counseling _ if any _ so that's something yet to be determined. I think eventually we'll get there.'
Panel members obtained Cho's university mental health records in mid-June after weeks of negotiation with his family.
Cho was involuntarily sent to Carilion St. Albans Behavioral Center near Radford for an overnight stay and mental evaluation in December 2005, after police received a report that he was suicidal. A special justice found him to be a danger to himself, but not to others, and ordered him to receive outpatient treatment.
After a nearly 15-hour stay at St. Albans, Cho made an appointment with the Cook Counseling Center. But whether he underwent counseling at the center is still unclear.
Les Saltzberg, director of the New River Valley Community Services Board _ the agency that delivers mental health services in the Blacksburg area _ said Saturday that he knows Cho was referred to the Cook center, but that he had 'no direct knowledge' of whether Cho was treated there.
'I don't know if he went,' Saltzberg said.
Massengill said the records the panel has received do list when Cho interacted with the counseling center, but patient privacy laws prevent him from publicly releasing such information.
The review panel has one more public meeting scheduled for July 18 in Charlottesville. It is expected to produce a report in August.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
By KRISTEN GELINEAU
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