Bonnie Petrie

Virginia Tech Commemorates Fifth Anniversary of Shootings

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TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(BLACKSBURG, Va.) — Five years ago on April 16, 2007, a Virginia Tech student went on a shooting rampage throughout the campus, killing 32 people before taking his own life.  It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

On Monday, the university and Virginia mark the fifth anniversary of the tragedy with a statewide moment of silence at 9:43 a.m. ET, the time of the shooting in the classroom building.

Monday is also the first time in five years that classes will be held on April 16.

Gunman Seung-Hui Cho first shot two people dead in a dorm before heading to the classroom building where 30 others were gunned down.  He then committed suicide before he could be taken into custody.

After all this time, the motivations of Cho, who showed signs of being unstable before the shootings, remain unknown.

Last month, a jury ruled that Virginia Tech was negligent in how it failed to initially warn students about the shootings on its campus, awarding two families that sued $4 million each, although the judge said the awards should be capped at $100,000.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech and other universities across the country have since created or improved emergency notification systems to alert students of danger through emails, text messages and social media.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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