'In Our Backyards': Cho's Hometown Stunned


The dreams, she said, are "not even at Virginia Tech, just having dreams that people that I'm with and I are being shot at, just things like that. Half the time, I don't even remember them, just wake up feeling upset."

Identified With a Killer?

The area around Centreville has a significant Korean-American population that already feels it may somehow be identified with Cho and his crime, a feeling complicated by what some members of the community told us was a sense of shame that he came from among them.

But vigils held this week have made clear the community's shock and outrage, and people like businessman Rye Park have argued forcefully that Cho's guilt is his alone.

"The shooter could have been any nationality," he said. "He could have been anybody. The shooter is just a sick man with some mental problems. I really don't know why the word 'Korean' is going through the entire town."

DeFluri, whose friends are mostly of Asian descent, was adamant on a similar point about the killer.

"I've known him since high school, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he's Asian. I can honestly say that with no doubt," she said.

She worried about her Asian neighbors being tarred by the massacre, and also about her school's good name.

"It's just so sad to me," she said, "because now Columbine to me is now just so synonymous with violence and death, and I don't want that to happen to Virginia Tech. Because honestly, it's been the best four years of my life spent there, and it's such an amazing school, and I don't want it to be defined by this."

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