If the tension between humanity in God’s image and humanity’s sin is indeed the only paradigm by which to comprehend what happened at VTech on April 16th (see previous post), then it is also a chilling reminder of how our sin has repercussions that go far beyond even the original intentions of an act. There is actually never such a thing as a private sin – everything has an impact because every act (even if done in private or even simply in the mind) affects the perpetrator – who will then affect the wider community in some way. It is crucial that we understand that people are both victims of sin as well as perpetrators of sin (and Cho is a clear example of both) – but the former can never be a justification of the latter, and nor should the truth of the latter hide the reality of the former. (To see more on this point, i developed some of this theme in the article on the Beginning with Moses site – Shedding of Blood for a Sin-Ravaged World).


Cho’s abominable crime obviously had many victims – the murdered, the wounded, the grieving families and friends. But i wonder if he ever considered a moment those victims who actually did love him even when few others seemed to – his own family. Not only have they lost a son and brother – they also have to face the implications of what he did.


The statement by Sun-Kyung Cho, sister of Seung-Hui Cho, breaks the heart – what else could she have said?

On behalf of our family, we are so deeply sorry for the devastation my brother has caused. No words can express our sadness that 32 innocent people lost their lives this week in such a terrible, senseless tragedy. We are heartbroken. We grieve alongside the families, the Virginia Tech community, our State of Virginia, and the rest of the nation. And, the world.

Every day since April 16, my father, mother and I pray for students Ross Abdallah Alameddine, Brian Roy Bluhm, Ryan Christopher Clark, Austin Michelle Cloyd, Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, Caitlin Millar Hammaren, Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, Rachael Elizabeth Hill, Emily Jane Hilscher, Jarrett Lee Lane, Matthew Joseph La Porte, Henry J. Lee, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, Lauren Ashley McCain, Daniel Patrick O’Neil, J. Ortiz-Ortiz, Minal Hiralal Panchal, Daniel Alejandro Perez, Erin Nicole Peterson, Michael Steven Pohle, Jr., Julia Kathleen Pryde, Mary Karen Read, Reema Joseph Samaha, Waleed Mohamed Shaalan, Leslie Geraldine Sherman, Maxine Shelly Turner, Nicole White, Instructor Christopher James Bishop, and Professors Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Kevin P. Granata, Liviu Librescu and G.V. Loganathan.

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 because of what they witnessed and experienced. Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act.

We are humbledby this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost. This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel like I didn’t know this person. We have always been a close, peaceful and loving family. My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence. He has made the world weep. We are living a nightmare.

There is much justified anger and disbelief at what my brother did, and a lot of questions are left unanswered. Our family will continue to cooperate fully and do whatever we can to help authorities understand why these senseless acts happened. We have many unanswered questions as well. Our family is so very sorry for my brother’s unspeakable actions. It is a terrible tragedy for all of us.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Francis Meynell

    This is a beautiful, pain-wrought and loving response by Seung-Hui Cho’s sister to my mind.

    The sentence that sticks out for me concerns her brother’s capability ‘of so much violence’. It makes me think about the relative ‘ease’ and ‘extent of impact’ with which a deeply disturbed soul can vent their pathology by the small squeeze of a gun’s trigger – as opposed to a wielding fist, knife, spade etc. And my limited perspective is that this aspect is rarely considered in debates around state weapons control; access is discussed, yes, but not ergonomics (which the arms industry invests a great deal in).

    Again, your brother x

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