On February 2, Cho Seung-Hui bought a Walther .22 caliber pistol from the online retail store www.thegunsource.com. It was the first and only time he ever used this particular website. The CBS News investigative unit spoke with website owner Eric Thompson today, and he shared with us all the email exchanges his store had with Cho. The emails seem to indicate that Cho was eager about his new purchase and wanted to make sure it was brand new.
Cho places an order for the Walther P22 gun. $267.63 is charged to his credit card. He buys no ammo.
Cho sends an email to the web store. It reads: "The dealer that I chose don't fax their FFL. They only mail it. So I think I want my order put on hold and see if I can find another dealer."
An employee at www.thegunsource.com responds: "Ok we'll hold your order. Just call and update us."
Cho sends another email. It reads: "Is Walther P22 product 10632 second generation? What year was the assembly date?"
An employee at www.thegunsource.com responds to Cho's earlier email:
"All our firearms are the latest generation. We do not have access to actually assembly dates until one arrives from the respective manufacturer's distributor. We do not sell used firearms. It is possible, however, unlikely that a distributor could have an older generation to push out before new. 99% of the time a model goes out of stock before the following generation is introduced."
On this same day, the gun was shipped to JND Pawnbrokers in Blacksburg, where Cho picked up the gun twp days later. The federally-licensed store then did a background check. Thompson says he is in a "state of disbelief" about what happened. To honor those who lost their lives, he has placed a link on his website to the Virginia Tech memorial fund. He made a donation and is encouraging everyone to do so as well.