August 4th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Virginia Tech lifts alert after report of possible gunman

[Update 3:07 p.m.] Virginia Tech has lifted an alert on campus hours after three youths reported that someone may have had a gun there, according to a post on the school's website.

"There will continue to be a large police presence on campus today," the announcement said. "Police
have not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning.

"The university community may resume normal campus activity. Only Blacksburg campus classes have been cancelled today."

[Update 11:16 a.m.] Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum warned students and others to continue to stay indoors as police search for a person who may be carrying a weapon on campus.

Several people have been questioned but police have not apprehended anyone, Flinchum said.

[Update 11:09 a.m.] No one is in custody and the campus safety alert remains in effect, Virginia Tech's campus police chief says.

[Update 10:31 a.m.] Virginia Tech is in lockdown as authorities look for a man three youths said may have had a weapon, possibly a handgun.

The white male was described as having light brown hair and being 6 feet tall and was walking in the direction of a volleyball court. The man was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals. He had no glasses or facial hair, according to the report.

[Original post, 10:18 a.m.] Virginia Tech, the site of a 2007 massacre, has issued an alert saying someone is possibly carrying a weapon on campus.

Regular classes aren't in session at the moment, but there is summer school. The university in Blacksburg, Virginia, is asking people on campus to stay inside and secure doors. The person was spotted near Dietrick Dining Hall.

In April 2007, Cho Seung-Hui, 23, shot dead 32 people on campus before killing himself.

Are you on campus? Share your account, but please stay safe.

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Filed under: Crime • Virginia
soundoff (562 Responses)
  1. To ConcernedCitizn13

    Took the words right out of my mouth..
    Responsible CCW can save lives! even think about norway...! police cant be everywhere, but citizens can protect other citizens if they are equiped to do so. Norway doesnt allow weapons for their police to carry let alone citizens... Granted they are a very very peaceful nation (the USA isnt necessarily a peaceful nation AT ALL) but because no one could intervene that man killed 70+people with a firearm. We need to be equiped to intervene when necessary. I dont think everyone should have guns, but i think with rigerous background checks and psych evals people should be able to possess and carry weapons everywhere!

    August 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Heath

    If the people in the unviversity are armed they will be able to defend themselves from this individual with possible bad intentions. Criminals will always find a way to get hold of guns and this is what is so great about the second amendment that it grants the people right to bare arms.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    A man with a gun is different than a gunman. Plus, it isn't illegal to openly carry a gun in public in VA.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle H. Davis

      Not on a university campus, it is not.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle H. Davis

      Actually, you said it ISN'T illegal, so my comment should read "It IS, on a university campus... quite illegal"

      August 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The Virginia attorney general's office says "a public university generally cannot prohibit open or concealed carry of a firearm on campus grounds," even though a university can ban openly carried guns in campus buildings or at specified events. (MSNBC)

      August 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle H. Davis

      You are right, I stand corrected :)

      August 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jrod13206

    This is the stupidist story I have read on this site. Three teens probably fresh out of the mothers wombs claim they might have saw a man carring an object that was wrapped up and looked like a weapon. Who cares, unless he had it out and pointing it at people and threatening people this shouldn't have been a story. And the surronding aggencies really searched for the suspect?? The VA police just made it a bigger story then it had to be. Those three teen students need to lay off the pipe. Your causing a comotion over nothing.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tess

      You're right but there is the problem: if you wait for having a gun pointed on students it may be too late for doing anything ! After what happend in 2007, I think it's normal to worry.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • vthokie

      I actually feel that it is extremely rude to say that VA police are making this a bigger story than it needs to be. If any of your family or friends were on this campus, you would (hopefully) be at least somewht comforted by the response of the police departments in the area. The MEDIA is making this a bigger story than it needs to be. And, as a Virginia Tech student, I am extremely thankful and appreciative of the measures that the VA police, VTPD, etc have all taken to make sure campus is safe. We received alerts far before the media got a hold of the story and people started going crazy about a possible gunman.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • LEL MN

      If everybody carried a hand gun on VT's campus the students wouldn't have to worry about being slaughtered like defenseless sheep.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kyle H. Davis

    Let's just set the record strait... Guns have nothing to do with this. Take, for example, a nation in which firearm ownership is not allowed – China.
    The 2004 “Jia QingYou” (Bus Driver) case, in ShanDong. 27 primary school students stabbed.
    The 2005 “Yang GuoZhu” case, in JiangSu. 28 kindergarten students stabbed.
    The 2006 “Bai NingyYang” case, in HeNan. 3 kindergarten students killed, 14 others wounded; Locked into the classroom and burned.
    The 2005 “Liu ShiBing” case, in AnHui. 18 middle school students SHOT WITH SIX RIFLES.
    The 2006 “Abduhalik Muzht” case, in XinJiang. 2 middle school students killed, 3 others wounded; by sword.
    The 2005 “Xu HePing” (Janitor) case, in BeiJing. 1 kindergarten student killed, 14 wounded; by knife.
    The 2005 “Yan YanMing” (Student) case, in HeNan. 9 high school students killed, 4 wounded; by knife.
    The 2004 “Liu HongWen” (Teacher) case, in HuNan. 4 primary school students killed, 12 wounded; with a meat cleaver.
    The 2005 “Ma JiaJue” (Student) case, in YuNan. 4 university students beaten to death with a blunt object.

    And that list does not even include the several attacks on primary schools in 2010 that covered western news.

    As long as people keep focusing on the instrument used to perpetrate these crimes, the crimes will continue regardless of what they use.

    I'm sick and tired of people bickering over inanimate objects, when it is the ANIMATE object you should be focusing on.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bigdhavingSOB

    I've never understood the argument that you need guns to protect yourself from the government. I mean, do you have any respect for how powerful and skilled our military is? The argument seems a lot more suited to a different era of warfare, an era of force of numbers rather than sophisticated tactics and technology. I would think that a squad of SEALs would make short work of an entire platoon of citizen soldiers, and I don't care how long you yourself were in the military or how skilled you are with a weapon. Those guys are REALLY good, unimaginably well-trained, and infinitely better equipped than even the most ardent gun enthusiast. Any full-scale citizen rebellion in this hypothetical would need a significant portion of the military to defect to their cause, and that in my mind has very little to do with owning any kind of gun at this point.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      The argument has always been that the military would never fire on American citizens in the event of an uprising.

      The argument is ironically made by South Will Rise Again types, who apparently can wear the memory of a domestic war on their sleeve without actually remembering that Americans killed Americans in that domestic war.

      In other words, these are INCREDIBLY stupid people, and you'll never get anywhere arguing with them.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vang

      "...do you have any respect for how powerful and skilled our military is?"

      I imagine the same question was posed back in 1776 when a bunch of rag-tag Continental Militia faced a military superpower from across the pond.

      And even today, we are asking the same question vis a vis the Middle East. How is it that a rag-tag bunch of 7th century tribal fanatics is able to resist – for TEN YEARS mind you – the most tech-savy well-trained military in history?

      Do not underestimate the power of insurgency. Insurgents always have a support network of friends, family, and neighbors.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio )

    They need some type of psychological screening to filter these people out.
    Judging by physical appearances don't ever work. These idiots try to look like the norm.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mahmster

    I hate to say this but does VA Tech seem to have an inordinate amount of armed-weirdness going on there? I may have my dates wrong but in 2007, the Chinese man that killed 32 then himself, I'm quite sure there may have been a murder in 2008, in 2009 that Chinese man that decapitated the Chinese girl that had JUST come to the US two weeks before to study there (wth?)... Has anyone looked into why it seems VA Tech HAS so much of this violent potential/actuality? I surely wouldn't want to send MY child there.

    August 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
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    Beim KFZ Chiptuning werden Reserven von Motor, Kupplung und Getriebe, welche der Hersteller immer mit einplant, mehr oder weniger schnell aufgebraucht, im Einzelfall auch teilweise stark überschritten! Wir betrachten dabei anhand von VW-Dieselmotoren wie sich das Tuning auf den Motor auswirkt.

    April 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 17, 2012 at 4:32 am | Report abuse |
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