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Bush orders study to prevent school shootings

This came after a student shot dead 33 people in the deadliest massacre in US history.

world Updated: Apr 23, 2007 16:25 IST

United States President George W Bush has ordered a nationwide study of how to prevent school shootings after a university student shot dead 33 people and himself in the deadliest massacre in modern US history.

Bush, in his first policy response to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute shootings, Friday directed top officials from the US education, justice and health departments to meet educators, mental health experts and local officials across the country and report back to him.

Monday's bloodshed raises the question of how US society handles "individuals whose mental health problems can make them a danger to themselves and to others," Bush said in his weekly radio address to the nation, due to air Saturday.

Based on the study, US health secretary Mike Leavitt will make recommendations "about how we can help to avoid such tragedies," Bush said.

Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech senior, killed 27 other students and five faculty members in the rampage before fatally shooting himself.