He is an Asian-American student at Virginia Tech University, whose personal blogs reveal a recently wounded heart and an eye-opening gun fetish.
But Wayne Chiang – the subject of fevered speculation on the internet – is not the man responsible for this morning’s massacre at the southern US university.
Rumours that Chiang, 23, was the mass murderer spread across the world after links to his various blogs were posted on social networking website Facebook and similar sites. Many noted the similarities between Chiang and the person described in accounts of the Virginia Tech tragedy as the shooter.
More than 80,000 people visited Chiang’s sites. The sites are decorated with photos of Chiang posing with semi-automatic weapons and Russian rifles. His last post before the killings showed him proudly standing alongside 14 Russian Mosin Nagant M44 weapons.
The sites also suggested a recent break-up, quoting maudlin love songs by Justin Timberlake and Katie Melua and quoting an “American proverb”: “There are plenty of fish in the sea”. One of the blogs was titled “Those who love at first sight are traitors at every glance”.
At 10.29pm US Eastern time, Chiang finally sought to clear up the confusion.
“Coming out,” his post said. “I am not the shooter. Through this experience, I have received numerous death threats, slanderous accusations, and my phone is out of charge from the barrage of calls. Local police have been notified of the situation.”
Later, he sent his condolences to the families of those killed in Virginia, signing off with the slogan, “Go Hokies.”
In an interview with American ABC, Chiang said: “Right now pretty much the internet thinks it is me . . . I am just interested in trying to clear my name.
“It was five for five. I was Asian, I lived in (the dorm), I go to V Tech, I recently broke up with my girlfriend and I collect guns.”
Chiang believes that guns should be allowed on the Virginia Tech campus.
“I am a firm believer that if Virginia Tech students were allowed to conceal carry, this situation could have ended sooner.”