virginia shooter 298.88 .
(photo credit: AP)
The family of Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho told The Associated Press on Friday that they feel "hopeless, helpless and lost," and "never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence."
"He has made the world weep. We are living a nightmare," said a statement issued by Cho's sister, Sun-Kyung Cho, on the family's behalf. It was the Chos' first public comment since the 23-year-old student killed 32 people and committed suicide Monday.
The family reached out to Raleigh, North Carolina, lawyer Wade Smith, who provided the statement to the AP. Smith said the family would not answer any questions.
"Our family is so very sorry for my brother's unspeakable actions. It is a terrible tragedy for all of us," said Sun-Kyung Cho, who works as a contractor for a State Department office that oversees American aid for Iraq.
"We pray for their families and loved ones who are experiencing so much excruciating grief. And we pray for those who were injured and for those whose lives are changed forever because of what they witnessed and experienced," she said. "Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act."
The statement was issued during a statewide day of mourning for the victims of the worst massacre in US history.
The family's whereabouts are unclear. But authorities said they are under law enforcement protection.
"We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost. This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel like I didn't know this person," she said.
"We have always been a close, peaceful and loving family. My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence."
She said her family will cooperate fully with investigators and "do whatever we can to help authorities understand why these senseless acts happened. We have many unanswered questions as well."