U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy

NCJ Number
Michael O. Leavitt
Date Published
June 2007
26 pages
Based on conversations with educators, mental health experts, law enforcement officials, and State and local officials across the Nation, Secretaries Michael Leavitt (Department of Health and Human Services), Margaret Spellings (Department of Education), and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (Department of Justice) present findings and recommendations on issues raised by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007.
The findings found that education officials, health-care providers, law enforcement personnel, and others were not sharing critical information on individuals who were likely to be a danger to themselves or others. Further, State laws and practices do not uniformly ensure that information on persons prohibited from possessing firearms is appropriately collected and made available for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Also, parents, students, and teachers are not sufficiently informed about the warning signs for potentially severe violent behavior and how to intervene appropriately for the person's benefit. The resources and accessibility of mental health services for mentally ill persons living in communities are often insufficient in providing care, privacy, and safety. Recommendations pertinent to each of the aforementioned findings are divided into those to be implemented by State and local institutions and Federal institutions. The recommendations focus on interagency, intergovernmental, and public-private cooperation in integrating preventive and intervention services as well as information-sharing. Attention is given to integrated planning and implementation of plans through practice and effective communication. 14 notes