New information emerged Thursday on how Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui acquired one of the guns used in the attack and a military knife seen in photos he sent to NBC News.
Eric Thompson, owner of Thegunsource.com in Green Bay, Wis., told NBC News that he processed an order from Cho on Feb. 2 for a Walther P-22, a .22-caliber handgun. The site shipped the gun to a licensed weapons dealer in Virginia, where Cho picked it up on Feb. 9, Thompson said.
“It is 100 percent legal,” he said. “We never ship guns directly to a customer. They have to go through a licensed dealer.”
Thompson, who said he sells about 400 weapons a month through the Web site, said there was nothing unusual about Cho’s order or two subsequent e-mails making arrangements for the shipping. He only realized that the weapon was used in the Virginia Tech attack when ATF agents inquired at his shop.
“I’m just sick to my stomach,” Thompson said. “The only thing I can honestly think about is what those families must be going through.”
Meanwhile, a knife that Cho was seen holding in several photos he sent to NBC News -- along with videotaped rants and a disjointed manifesto -- also has been identified.
The weapon is a Smith and Wesson S.W.A.T Knife, which retails for about $35. The knife was designed to be used by police departments' special operations units.
There is no information indicating that Cho ever used the knife to harm anyone, either at Virginia Tech or elsewhere.
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As officials, students and families struggle to come to terms with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, a team of MSNBC.com reporters and editors and NBC News producers and correspondents is on the scene.