America's North Shore Journal

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Breaking News – Shooting at Virginia Tech

Slain Virginia Tech officer identified
Latest news at the top of the article.
The campus hotline for information for parents and students is 540-231-3787.

View Events during shootings on Virginia Tech’s campus on December 8 in a larger map

Burruss Hall at Virginia Tech. Photo taken on February 16, 2005 by Ben Schumin

Burruss Hall at Virginia Tech. Photo taken by Ben Schumin

4:59 pm EST UPDATE: The officer’s immediate family has been notified. His identification is being withheld until the extended family is notified.

4:59 pm EST UPDATE: First VT officer killed in the line of duty. Shooting motive being investigated.
VT police – technology to warn community did not exist in 2007. VT alert notice issued 12:36 pm, followed by 5 others through the lifting of the shelter order.
VT president – Counseling being put in place for community. Technology functioned very well.

4:55 pm EST UPDATE: 80 police and staff in VT dept. A lot of information cannot be released yet as the investigation is continuing.

4:50 pm EST UPDATE: PAO not identifying second person. Cannot comment if he is the shooter. Cannot comment if he was a suicide but he was not shot by police.
VT police – Witnesses at first shooting reported suspect fled along Washington towards I lot, the Cage. Officer saw suspect, turned around to contact him. Found him deceased from a gun shot.
VT police – Officer was NOT shot by the driver he had stopped. The suspect, a third party, came up to him and shot the officer.

4:45 pm EST UPDATE: Press conference by Virginia Tech.
Virginia State Police PAO – 12:16 resp. VT officer was a 4 year veteran, not being identified. White male found shot in I lot. Will not reveal weapon details.

4:40 pm EST UPDATE: Press conference by Virginia Tech.
Larry Hinker, VT assoc VP, speaking.
VT president – Dr. Steger – police officer murdered during routine traffic stop.
VT police 2nd in command – 12:15 traffic stop in traffic stop. Lost contact. 12:30 call reporting shooting. Local, state and federal law enforcement responded. About 1 pm, in I lot off Duck Pond Road, found deceased suspect, gunshot. No other threats since then despite many, many calls.

4:30 pm EST UPDATE: Virginia Tech announcement:

Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities.

4:28 pm EST UPDATE: WDBJ reporting that a weapon was recovered with the second victim, a male, in the Cage parking lot.

4:24 pm EST UPDATE: NBC is reporting that unnamed law enforcement officials have told them that the second victim is the shooter.

4:09 pm EST UPDATE: New River Community College has reportedly canceled classes for tonight. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has issued a statement.
3:56 pm EST UPDATE: Montgomery County Schools announce that students are being released with a 50-90 minute delay for bus riders.

3:54 pm EST UPDATE: Large number of students sheltered in the Squires Student Center. Water has been distributed. Students being escorted to bathrooms.

3:30 pm EST UPDATE: Rapidly created website by Jamie Chung of the Collegiate Times with links to photos from this incident. Be patient if it is quirky for a few minutes.

3:23 pm EST UPDATE: Incident summary. Virginia Tech campus police officer made a traffic stop shortly after noon on campus. He was shot. The suspect fled west on campus. A second fatality has been found in the Cage parking lot, near the duck pond. No other incidents have been discovered.

Campus is sheltering in place. Suspect remains at large. The description is that of a white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backpack. The campus police officer has not yet been identified. No information has been released about the victim in the Cage lot.

Multiple police agencies are on campus. Several people matching the suspect’s description have been questioned by police but none arrested. Several buildings have been searched.
3:09 pm EST UPDATE: Virginia Tech statement on Twitter

There are no new substantiated reports of suspicious or criminal activity. Status of the shooter remains unknown.

3:06 pm EST UPDATE: Statement from the Montgomery County Schools:

All schools in Montgomery County remain in lockdown after reports of a shooting near the Virginia Tech campus. All students are safe in classrooms. For student safety, at this time, only emergency personnel are allowed in the school buildings.

“Student safety is and continues to be our first priority,” said Brenda Blackburn, division superintendent. “We are in contact with local law enforcement authorities and will work with them to determine the safest ways to dismiss schools.”

Updates are being sent to parents via the division’s automatic telephone notification system. Additional information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

3:03 pm EST UPDATE: VT has postponed exams scheduled for tomorrow.

2:45 pm EST UPDATE: Quick press conference by VT. Emphasized everyone on campus to stay where they are. Next press briefing scheduled for 4:30 pm EST. More live coverage on WDBJ 7.

2:27 pm EST UPDATE: None of the reports of recent gun shots are true. Lots of rumors and conflicting reports.

2:27 pm EST UPDATE: Montgomery County VA public schools in lockdown. Daniel Lin, photo editor of Collegiate Times, has pictures of the Cage on Flickr.

2:24 pm EST UPDATE: VT statement

Shortly after noon today, a Virginia Tech police officer stopped a vehicle on campus during a routine traffic stop in the Coliseum parking lot near McComas Hall

During the traffic stop. the officer was shot and killed. There were witnesses to this shooting.

Witnesses reported to police the shooter fled on foot heading toward the Cage, a parking lot near Duck Pond Drive. At that parking lot, a second person was found. That person is also deceased.

Several law enforcement agencies have responded to assist. Virginia State Police has been requested to take lead in the investigation

The status of the shooter is unknown. The campus community should continue to shelter in place and visitors should not come to campus.

2:20 pm EST UPDATE: Campus remains in lockdown. Alert system in use.

UPDATE: NBC 4 reports bucket trucks being used to provide police a higher vantage point. They report VT says no one in custody. Suspect at large.

UPDATE: VT president and campus police chief were in Washington, appealing fine from previous shooting, at Department of Education.

UPDATE: Nick Cafferky monitoring police scanner. Reports shots fired outside Johnson Hall.

UPDATE: Virginia Tech confirming campus police officer killed. Second fatality in Cage parking lot. Per live coverage on NBC 4 Washington.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports of shots near Torgerson Hall.

UPDATE: No confirmation if police officer was campus police or not. Police activity reported at Cage parking lot.

UPDATE: Suspect, reported by Collegiate Times, being apprehended on steps of performing arts building on College Avenue. Police searching building for any additional suspects. Suspect wearing similar clothes to description.

About 12:40 a police officer stopped a car in the southern part of the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg VA. There was a shooting and there is a body visible to bystanders.

The shooting is reported by Virginia Tech as occurring at the Cassell Coliseum Parking lot. The suspect fled the scene on foot towards McComas. The suspect’s description is given as a white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backpack. VT also reports that a second victim may be at the Cage lot.

Virginia Tech is on a study day between classes and finals. Blacksburg Transit service is suspended at this time. The campus hotline for information for parents and students is 540-231-3787.

In April 2007, Virginia Tech was the site of a rampage that resulted in the deaths of 33 people.

Virginia Tech News on Twitter

Collegiate Times on Twitter

Nick Cafferky, onscene reporter on Twitter

Zach Crizer, onscene reporter on Twitter

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