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campus shooting

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech campus lockdown was lifted Thursday afternoon after a thorough police search for a person carrying a gun was not successful. The police released a press statement at 3:15pm about the Virginia Tech armed gun man.

Precisely the same Virginia Tech campus was the scene of the most harmful mass killing by a solitary gunman in U.S. history – the April 16, 2007, firing spree by Seung-Hui Cho which killed 33 individuals and injured 25 other people prior to the gunman committing suicide.

This time Virginia Tech responded extremely fast so as not to be criticized for reacting too slow, like it happened in the last case.

Possible gunman Virginia Tech Lockdown

Possible gunman Virginia Tech Lockdown

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Virginia Tech’s website posted  a warning at 9:37AM this morning warning to stay inside and call police for help.

“Person with gun reported near Dietrick. Stay inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help.”

“The campus alert is lifted. There will continue to be a large police presence on campus today,” the Virginia Tech News website said in a notice posted at 2:41 p.m. “Police have not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning.”

Police released this sketch of the man they believe might have been seen carrying a handgun on campus. (Source: Virginia Tech Website)

Police released this sketch of the man they believe might have been seen carrying a handgun on campus. (Source: Virginia Tech Website)

The 2,600-acre campus, was locked down completely at 9:37 a.m. after three teenage girls informed the law enforcement authorities they had spotted a suspect man wondering on campus carrying what appeared to be a weapon covered by a cloth or covering of some sort. The girs were attending a Higher Achievement Program camp on campus. [googlead tip=”patrat_mare”]

“He was walking fast in the direction of the volleyball courts. He was wearing a blue and white striped shirt (stripes were vertical), gray shorts and brown sandals. The subject had no facial hair or glasses.”, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Larry Hincker - associate VP for University Press Relations

Virginia Tech Lockdown - Larry Hincker - associate VP for University Press Relations

“Out of an abundance of caution,” as Larry Hincker, associate VP for University press relations, put it, the university asked students and employees to stay inside and secure doors. For the rest of the day classes were canceled.

Police officers checked the grounds and discovered nobody fitting that description.

“They gave us a good description. We felt it was best course of action to issue a campus alert,” Flinchum said.

“I think the girls believed what they reported. The officers believed they (the girls) believed what was reported and that’s the information they went with.”

Flinchum informed us the witnesses reported seeing the suspect near Dietrick Hall, a three-story dining facility. This facility is very close to the dorm where the mass shootings happened in 2007.

Richard Tagle, Higher Achievement CEO, mentioned several 9  to 14 teens were on campus for the camp and Thursday was the final day.

Flinchum commented that the police did not receive any additional sightings of the guy. [googlead tip=”lista_mare”]

Virginia Tech Lockdown Dietrich Hall

Virginia Tech Lockdown Dietrich Hall

Virginia Tech’s Website was very informative throughout the whole situation, continually updating people on campus. The University was fined by the federal authorities in Match after a court ruling that administrator violated campus safety laws by waiting too long to inform the employees and the students that there was a probable threat after the first two students were killed in 2007. The killings took place in West Ambler Johnston Hall, which is a dormitory facility near the dining hall.

Virginia Tech University waited more than two hours before sending out an email that day, at the same time Cho – the killer – was already chaining the door shut for a classroom building where he killed an additional 30 students and himself.

There was also an alert in 2008, when a cartridge coming from a nail gun made some sounds similar to gunfire, again near the dormitory. This was the first time the new alert system was activated after the shooting in 2007. This system includes sending text messages and emails as well as other methods to warn the students and faculty members of potential danger.

It’s not illegal to carry a gun on campus grounds. “A public university generally cannot prohibit open or concealed carry of a firearm on campus grounds,” Virginia attorney general’s office said. Any university can ban the carrying of guns inside campus buildings or at public events. Virginia Tech University and other universities cannot ban gun owners who have valid permits for carrying a concealed gun, even inside campus buildings.

Other references:
Police released a statement, attached in PDF format: Statement from Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum

Live webcams from the campus site:
Virginia Tech Lock-down campus web cam
More campus web cams


 [googlead tip=”patrat_mare”] Virginia Tech, the place of the worst campus shooting in U.S. history, is on lockdown today with reports of an armed man on the campus. Latest on today lock down at Virginia Tech.

“This campus experienced something terrible 4 years ago,”

Campus spokesman, Larry Hincker said at a press conference.

“Strictly as an abundance of caution we are going to keep the campus under alert status and ask people to stay indoors.”

9:09 a.m – Three students attending the “Higher Achievement” camp at the Blacksburg, VA, campus reported seeing a man holding what seems to be a handgun, according to Virgnia Tech Police Chief ,Wendell Flinchum.

Virginia Tech is on lockdown today with reports of an armed man on the campus

Virginia Tech is on lockdown today with reports of an armed man on the campus

 “The juveniles were interviewed…officers confirming that there information is credible and at that point we decided to issue the alert,” Flinchum said.

“We have not had any further reported sightings. We have not had any reports of anyone suspicious or anyone that fits this description.”

The man was described by police as 6” tall, light brown hair and was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals. He did not have facial hair or glasses. In addition, police said that the campers told them the man was shielding the gun with a cloth. Flinchum also said that the man was not pointing or shooting the weapon.

Virginia Tech on Lockdown Press Conference Video

Students received text messages and emails that an armed man is on the campus:

 [googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”]”Person with a gun reported near Dietrick. Stay inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help.”.

9:37 a.m.: A message was posted on the university’s web site alerting students that there was a gunman near Dietrick Hall. Dietrick Hall is a three floors building, more than 92,000 square foot dining facility on the campus. Students have been adviced to stay indoors.

“Even the construction zone has come to a halt. The whole construction crew is gone. There is no traffic, no movement, no anything,” Virginia Tech communications officer Lynn Davis told CNN soon after the alert was issued.

Some of the professors who were conducting classes at the time of alert have kept their students in their classrooms.

Virginia Tech police are working with several surrounding police units including the Virginia State Police, the Blacksburg Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for campus surveillance.

Summer classes are in session at the campus during this period. Campus spokesman Hincker estimated that a few thousand students are currently on the site. Students begin fall semester check-in on August 17 with fall classes starting August 22.

 [googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”] April 2007: student Seung-Hui Cho, 23 year-old, shot and killed 32 students.

He wounded 25 others in the shooting rampage and that was the worst school shooting in U.S. history.

Cho had alarmed professors with his writings and was ordered to see a university psychologist.

Prior to the rampage, Cho had sent a multimedia letters, pictures and video to NBC News detailing his violent intention and delusional thinking.

His rampage spanned hours and involved two separate attacks. The shooting sparked a debate about the university’s system to alert students. At the beginning of this year, Virginia Tech was fined $55,000 for violating a federal law by waiting too long to notify students that an armed man was on the campus during the 2007 shooting.