Prof says she pleaded with Cho to get help

Posted: Tuesday, April 17 at 05:36 pm ET by NBC News

 A Virginia Tech professor said Tuesday that she pleaded with gunman Cho Seung-Hui to see university counselors when it became apparent he was sinking into depression, but couldn’t persuade him to seek help.

“I kept saying, ‘Please go to counseling; I will take you to counseling,’ because he was so depressed,” said Lucinda Roy, director of creative writing in Virginia Tech’s English Department. “… I was told (by the counselors) that you can’t force anybody to go … so their hands were tied too.”

Roy said that Cho exhibited a strangeness that caused concern for her and his classmates.

“There would be sometimes as long as a 20-second pause before he would respond … so people were concerned about that," she said. "… And, also, he always wore sunglasses, even inside.”

Suspect's writing described as "macabre," "twisted"

Roy said that despite her attempts to connect to her student, she was unable to bridge the chasm separating professor and student.

“We didn’t built up a rapport because he wasn’t the kind of student who would permit that.”

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As officials, students and families struggle to come to terms with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, a team of reporters and editors and NBC News producers and correspondents is on the scene.