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The Worst Times the Media Blamed the Wrong People For Mass Murder
Shake that ass

4. The wrong Virginia Tech shooter

In 2007, Seung-Hi Cho killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech, but it turned out he wasn’t the only Asian student at the school who shot guns. A man named Wayne Chiang, as he told MTV News at the time, was superficially similar enough to Cho that he immediately assumed people might think he was the killer:

“I was five for five,” Chiang said, referring to the descriptions of the killer being reported in the hours immediately following the killings. “I’m Asian. I went to [Virginia] Tech. I used to live in the dorm [where the first shootings occurred]. There’s the infamous pictures of me with my guns.” Chiang also had written on his LiveJournal blog last week that he had broken up with his girlfriend.

“It sure sounds like me,” he said evenly. “I joked about it with a friend online. I didn’t think it would go anywhere — but obviously, it did.”

Despite Chiang’s apparent acceptance that he sure seemed like a mass murderer, just assuming any Asian dude who posed with guns is the same guy who killed nearly three dozen people is pretty classically racist. And wouldn’t you know, look who picked the story up:

At around 10:30 p.m., after hours of online silence, Chiang finally posted on his LiveJournal page. “This situation has now spiraled out of control,” he wrote. “I am now confirming that I am not the shooter.”

At around the same time, though, on the Fox Network, Geraldo Rivera broadcast Chiang’s Facebook page — though not his name — stating, “people might suspect that this might have been the perpetrator.” Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly then explained how, upon discovery of Chiang’s profile, the channel searched for him.


Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed identified Chiang as the shooter by name, in a column that has long since been completely disappeared from the internet.


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