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. NoFear

    Fear Mongering of guns...that's all this is. Prob someone covering food and trying to get some where with it. We need to stop fearing guns so much as a gun just can't get up on its own and do damage!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • SkekLach

      It's not the gun people are afraid. It's the crazy person who would walk around a college campus with one in sight...

      August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mead

      Thank you SkekLach. Its a shame that guns aren't permitted on campus even if you have a license.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      "...a gun just can't get up on its own and do damage!"

      Neither can a hand grenade. They should be legal too.

      All you have to do is show it to the mugger. He knows that if he shoots you, he dies too. You don't even need Marksmanship 101 with a hand grenade.

      As in the sport of horseshoes, you just need to get in the general vicinity of your target.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fritz

    Marksmanship 101. Teach it and live.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • UPLANES

      I like that!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. koober

    People who argue against gun control are neanderthalic simpletons. A gun's sole purpose is to injure or kill. A car's main purpose is for travel.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      That debate is over. You're beating a dead horse. The Supreme Court has ruled decisively, and it would now take a repeal or modification of the 2nd Amendment to take your guns away.

      Personally I don't think anybody knows how the Founding Fathers who wrote the 2nd Amendment would have felt about private ownership of the kind of weapon of mass destruction that Cho Seung-Hui used at Virginia Tech, and that it is a violation of Original Intent to apply their words to that.

      But nobody listened to me.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Sorry, koober, I misread your post. But my main point remains.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • stlouis jake

      people who argue for gun control are neanderthalic simpletons. if you took all the guns away from law-abiding citizens, criminals and crazies would still get guns. just look at the few places in the u.s. where guns are banned or tightly controlled – how's that gun ban working out in new york?

      August 4, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      "how's that gun ban working out in new york?"

      Since 2005 New York City has had the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest U.S. cities.

      Aren't you glad you asked ?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kungfumastah

    This being SWVA, lots of local folks around here exercising their 2nd amendment rights. After Cho, I can't say I really blame them for not wanting to be a helpless target. Hopefully it is one of those and not some homicidal nut job.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Amber

    Please Let this be a false alarm...Virginia can't handle this again...

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Va Resident

    Growing up in South Western Va and knowing how slack the gun laws are there, the first one didn't surprise me and neither does this. No bring on the NRA rednecks complaining about taking away their rights.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • NotARedneck

      The problem is, even with strict gun laws, a criminal with intent to do harm is going to find a way to get guns. That's why those who respect the right to bear arms get upset when things like this happen and people start calling for banning guns. Taking away everyone's right to protection will not stop the people we need protection from. Sure, if there were no guns, we would be safer... but since guns do exist, it's not logical to prevent responsible citizens from obtaining them.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nick

    How will gun control help? Drugs are illegal too, but people still get them. Why takes guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens who use them for their own protection? If a criminal wants to get a gun, legal or not, he will. I'd rather keep my rights, and keep my concealed firearm in case I ever run in to a criminal putting my life in danger

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cade

    Stay safe guys. Hook 'em Hokies. Literally if the chance presents its self.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. idb

    Interestingly enough, Virginia Tech is a so called "gun free" zone. It is clear those fools still haven't figured out that this attracts nut cases who want to shoot a lot of people without risk. Makes one wonder how good their education is.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      A lot of people carry guns in inner city Detroit, legally or otherwise. It hasn't made the place any safer.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Marie

    Guns should be allowed on campus, by licensed carriers. Then the bad men who come to take out their aggression won't just find you all like little scared bunnies in a cage waiting to be mowed down.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bulldawg

    Gasp...a gun!

    The reaction of these academics is ridiculous. If concealed carry were allowed then there would be guns all over campus and it would make it a safer place. But instead just the crazies will be armed. Sigh.

    Guns don't kill people, people do.

    Like the example above, we all use a deadly weapon every single day and if a crazy wants to kill someone then they will find a way. For example driving that deadly weapon into a crowd on the sidewalk.

    Again, allow concealed carry on campus. I have my permit do you?

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • vert2013

      If students were allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus, it would be so easy for someone who wasn't allowed to sneak one on and act like they were allowed. There is no way they could check every student's permit everyday.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kidding Me

    Was the last part about Cho REALLY necessary?! Do you not think the students, families and staff have heard about this enough? This is one instance of a person with a gun being seen on campus- we do not know his intent nor how valid the witness' accounts are. Do NOT compare this to a MASSACRE that occurred 4 years ago. Perhaps one sentence about the incident would have been fine, but please focus on the subject at hand. Thank you.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      You're an idiot.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Unneccessary

      I'm with KiddingMe. I refer to CNN for journalism, not theatrics. No one from Virginia has ever appreciated it being referred to as a massacre. Focus on the present, don't make this into something bigger than it is.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Larry

    Rednecks. Neanderthals. I'm glad the left has resorted to logic and checked their stereotypical namecalling at the door.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Michelle

    C'mon, CNN. Isn't it kind of premature to take over your newscast solely with this story? Doesn't your news judgment tell you that it's highly probable (especially given the VERY detailed description of the suspect, down to the type and color of his shoes) that a bunch of kids made up this story?

    August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Super Jesus

    Super Jesus to the rescue! Da da da daaaaaaa...

    August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
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