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.

Follow CNN's continuing coverage
Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Virginia
soundoff (562 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Let me guess, some students carrying sporting equipment were walking to athletic fields to play volleyball or tennis, and people from a distance thought they were carrying weapons.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. tom

    My suggestion for the authority is that don't capture them if they really want to harm innocent people but kill them not to injure others before they do such criminal acts or harm others. It will save time and money for a lot of layers to take this as their opppotunity to make money from trouble makers, and to warn others that it is wrong to harm to others so that anyone whose mind or have potential to harm others then they really recognize what is the consequence that they have to face.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. TechGrad

    CNN, Please dont make my school look bad before you know whats going on. Those of us who were there the first time dont like reliving that through false alarms.
    This story is the product of a very slow news day, and a chance to rile up an old story.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. ConcernedCitizn13

    Non news. Hope it is a false alarm, because God knows that you can't defend yourself in a "gun-free zone" when the criminals are the only ones with guns 😦

    August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Maverick

    Start the stupid run and hide drills. If students were allowed to carry their own firearms to defend themselves like they should be, there would be a helluva lot less of this crap.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • HFC

      If there were no handguns there would be even less of this crap.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Comrade

      Police need to be disbanded as well. We need Communism & a new law enforcement system.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      If students were allowed to carry guns, you'd have students accidentally shooting other students.

      .

      August 4, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Kayla

      That doesn't make any sense. How would another student carrying a gun solve the problem of a student carrying a gun? There would be a shoot out and more people would get hurt. That's literally like fighting fire with fire.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Rajiv

      Maverick, firs tof all let me say that u are a total @$$. Even if every one gets a weapon, it really takes guts to aim and shoot a gunman who is lose..
      moreover, many a times we have suicidal thoughts due to the way life goes.. so what will a person do when he has a gun in his pocket? I dont know why you uneducated morons want people to be allowed to have guns..
      Again, when a gunman is lose...no one has the guts to aim and bring the person down.. or is your father going to pay to train all individuals how to aim a moving/running mad man?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      Really? Give a bunch of College Kids the right to carry guns? Ok.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedCitizn13

      The ignorance is overwhelming. Law abiding citizens that arm themselves legally don't go shooting up places and respect life. Comments like "There would be a shoot out and more people would get hurt" and "you'd have students accidentally shooting other students" are foolish. There are many "free" states that allow CCW and they have some of the lowest murder and crime rates. Check your facts and stop spreading false information.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedCitizn13

      "Wow
      Really? Give a bunch of College Kids the right to carry guns? Ok."

      Do you feel safer letting them drive at 18? Why don't we hear about drunk students barreling into crowds of students with a 2600 lb bullet at 100 mph? By your logic, we should.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. CNN420

    If you're carrying a gun on campus, at least don't wear sandals. You really think you could efficiently run away from the cops? smh

    August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. shaw

    I could kill somebody with my own hands . guns in the wrong hands kill people. As for rights if you dont believe in them Then Your very UnAmerican jump on the ship you came here on and in back to Europe. As a former soldier having to fight for someone who says F our rights , suit up , i will make sure you take point with no weapon you might think twice Fool. about what you said.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • fake

      Hulk smash

      August 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Educated

      Well put, aside from the fact that you have not ever been a member of our Armed Forces, since they are able to read and write in coherent sentences I agree with the point you are never going to be able to make. However as an active member of the Armed Forces myself I can tell you that no matter what people say it is my job to defend their right to say it. You don't have to agree, and you don't have to listen.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • HFC

      As a former ten-year member of the Armed Forces, I have to agree with Educated. The defense of rights isn't limited to only certain rights, it includes all of them. That includes the right for people to protest against handguns.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hammerdsteel

      who r u...SUPERTURD???

      August 4, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I believe in your right to carry a slow loading musket that can fire no faster than 2 RPM. Nothing else.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • HFC

      Well played, Dan. Well played.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. joey c

    in some states you can carry a gun on college campuses, i dont think viriginia is one of those states.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. sew

    im on tech campus in lockdown and im hungry. someone please bring me some food. in all seriousness i havent seen a soul outside in over 2 hours im not sure but if they cant find him hes probably left campus and is in the town of blacksburg.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      It'd be nice if they'd at least send a pizza guy to you guys. Good luck with your situation hope you get fed soon.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • RichieP

      guns a pretty loud. If he fired this supposed weapon, you would definitely know.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • lawlzeys

      Eat dick.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kiran F

    My heart and prayers are with you guys at Tech. 2007 is never far from our hearts and minds and nobody should live with that kind of shadow.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. me

    This probably wont turn out to be anything, but VTech has a real anger issue. So many students at VT are angry and unhappy with life, and people treat each other like dirt. There is a lot of ignorance there, and I bet this does happen again before long at VT.

    Remember how a student literally beheaded another student a few months after the shooting? And a student was beaten to death around that time, too?

    VT needs help, soon.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      and you know this anger issue to be true because...? youre probably projecting buddy. general statements like yours carry no weight. VT for lifeeee

      August 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • connor

      I got to VT, and I'm pretty happy with life... 🙂

      August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hokie for life

      you have obviously never set foot on the virginia tech campus. you are an idiot. tragedy isn't exclusive to our campus.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      I'm a student at Tech, and you could not be more wrong about the culture there. Aside from the two isolated incidences, crime there is literally a joke. I could not feel safer at Virginia Tech, and everyone I know agrees with me. Walking around on or off campus at night is perfectly safe. The town is nice, the people are very nice, and honestly I'm insulted that you would generalize the people there as being angry. Places like the University of Miami and the University of Maryland deal with constant violent crimes right off campus. I feel safer at Tech than I have felt anywhere.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      After all this, why would anyone want to claim a degree from there, anyway? The diploma's should read "survivor" rather than "graduate".

      August 4, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • proud hokie

      I graduated from Tech in 2008 and couldn't be more proud!!! Everyone that I have known that has gone there has LOVED it!!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • kbmland

      VT is cursed. Don't forget about the VT student that went to a concert @ UVA, went missing, and found dead months later.

      Pretty sure there were a few suicides as well. Point is it wasn't just "2 isolated incidents"

      August 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • VT Alum

      Tech is the safest place I have ever lived, and the happiest atmosphere I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I was there in '07 and I graduated in '08, and I am grateful for every second I got to be a part of that school and that area. I have lived in a lot of places since Tech that never would have shown the strength and unity that we showed after the tragic events of April 16th, and I think that says a lot about any place. Tech is under a microscope because of the events of that day, so (understandably) everything is still reported on, no matter how benign. I attended graduate school at another university where the entire campus was shut down for a day due to reports of a gunman on campus, and that never made it past local news. Within a week, 2 students were kidnapped at gunpoint, there was a bomb alert, and a man was stabbed to death on campus at this school, but none of these events made national headlines. Unfortunately, bad things happen everywhere, even the safest of places. Just because they're reported on at a larger scale for Tech, doesn't mean that they're exclusive to that school. Not by a long shot.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Comrade

    "Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum warned students and others to continue to stay indoors as they search for a person who may be carrying a weapon on campus."

    Ya, the bourgeois serving system known as the police. Better watch out. Might be 2 threats on campus. The gunman and... the other gunmen. Can't trust cops. Viva la Communism!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Yes, your saviors the cops want you to run in fear and to depend on them to keep you safe–when in reality they can't. It is just a ploy they use to strip even more rights from you.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Get help.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jon

    People by and large are such spineless, cowardly individuals who hide and shake every time this godless, miserable government or one of the state governments issues a "security alert"...If people would TAKE BACK the responsibility that is THEIRS to begin with instead of standing idly by and allowing a government that couldn't care less about you to strip your rights from you--then I dare say that the massacre at VA Tech in 2007 would NOT have been as bad as it was.

    People you have allowed your government to virtually turn you into victims in waiting–how much more are you willing to take?

    August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Tonyr62

      Right now, moany of the people on the VT campus are children at athletic camps. Do you suggesting arming these children and telling them to shoot to kill?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. derrick

    Now the gunman vanished without a trace. He must have been reading too much stories on DB Cooper

    August 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • RichieP

      "Muslim" is not a skin color, idiot. And they would have said his race, no matter what it was, because they are giving a description for people to watch for. They even listed his hair color and clothing.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • RichieP

      oops. hit the wrong button. That was supposed to be a reply to George, two commenters down.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. FT

    From the recent track record, this school seems to be seriously messed up.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • hammerdsteel

      Agree! Must be a lot of crazies going to school there! Something in the beer, probably!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16