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. Ryan

    As a current student at Virginia Tech, I'm appreciative for the text message alert and email even if some people consider it "overreacting." Let's not turn this into a gun control debate.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Stay safe!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Fog

      Yes, by all means. Lets not turn this into a gun conrol debate. That includes the idiots who would attempt to use this as leverage for further gun "control".

      August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Rei

      Too late...people already went there...

      I hope that you and everyone else who may be on the campus is safe and being kept informed! Let us hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to this no matter what the case may be

      August 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • GoVols

      Me, all my brothers and my cous we owns multiple guns. All legal of course. We don;t live too far from VA Tech. An arm society is a polite society. All them pansy liberal politicians should start allowing the good law abiding folks to start carry their weapons to keep everyone save. It won;t take me nothing but 20 minutes to get to VA tech and keep the students save. If I were at VA Tech back then I would have killed that chinese fella before he even got a chance to fire off a round.
      As far as I'm concern I think every patriotic American should be well armed and given CCW permits.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • !!!

      Good for you.

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

    Coming from someone who has A) attended Virginia Tech for the last 4 years and B) is currently in Blacksburg right now, we have every reason to be on our guard when there's a possibility of a gun or gunman in the area. No, I was not here when the shootings happened but I saw what it did to our community and the very small fear of it happening again is always present in the back of our minds. It could've happened anywhere, but it happened at Virginia Tech. Those who own firearms should respect our community and not cause us any further grief than we've already experienced. It may be your right to carry a firearm, but out of respect for us you should refrain doing it in a place where one person and his guns caused so much heartache. It doesn't matter that it happened 4 years ago, it just matters that it happened. Try to put yourself in our shoes, and the shoes of the people who lost their loved ones and friends. Have some respect.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • vert2013

      I hope you and all your classmates stay safe. My thoughts are with you guys.

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

      awwww, sorry to cause you 'heartache'

      deal with it. I had a gunman on my campus 3 months ago and no one cared.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • VTHokie

      To lols finnisher, you have NO IDEA what this community has gone through. Losing 32 people is not just heartache, it's hell for people in the community and the families whose children attended this college. Some of them lost their spouses, sons, daughters, friends, teachers, coworkers, etc. Nobody "cared" on your campus because they've probably never experienced a situation quite like ours; I don't know who wouldn't "care" if a gunman was on their campus. Your obvious lack of knowledge regarding this specific matter and lack of respect for the people involved disgusts me.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • JP

      I'm a VT Alum that was a student in Blacksburg when April 16 happened. I lost multiple people that infamous day. Do not down play the pain we felt then and continue to feel now. I now work in Blacksburg. I care about what is happening and hope that it doesn't end badly.

      Just because you didn't care or worry doesn't mean everyone feels that way.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. LiveFREENH

    Give the teachers and students guns. That will fix this problem real quick. Gun Free zones are criminal safe zones.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • epsilon

      Yeah. So that if someone go spontaneus nuts (not planned it like "satan" himself, aka Anders Breivik), they can do sooooo much more damaged than with a knife! yay

      August 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • joe bob

      Yeah LiveFree, that's all we need, is everybody shooting at everybody else. That would be real safe too.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Rei

      I don't know about that...The UK has a very low gun ownership level and has 4x's less homicide rate than the US. Just some food for thought...

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

      What if these kids who reported it were mistaken and carrying weapons? Then there'd be a dead man in a blue and white shirt who's completely innocent.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      Yes, that way we don't only have to worry about criminals, but drunken or simply angry students and faculty. And of course there is always that wonderful scenario that almost played out when Rep. Giffords was shot... shooting the good guy who has the actual criminal down on the ground and covered with his own gun by mistake.

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

    wow...all you guys think about in a situation like this is how it affects YOU as AMERICAN citizens and your rights to carry arms! There is a possible "real" situation at VT....let's show show some respect to thpse that were affected back then and now....wake up!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Rei

      Seconded! Everyone needs to show some compassion and understanding!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jennifer

    There is nobody with a gun! I bet one of these children overheard mommy or daddy talking about the incident on campus where their child was going to camp. Then one child told another and that's where children's imagination's run wild. Either way, obviously the campus cannot take any chances.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      Oh is that what happened? Tell us more about the conversation you mind reading idiot.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      You're not speaking about children. These young men and women are in college. Your comment was ignorant.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Keith Shelton

    What happened at the campus when that LUNATIC went on his shooting spree was obscene. To tell people they must be SHEEPLE and depend on 'GUN FREE ZONES' to keep themselves safe is ABSURD. I maintain that if people who have Gun Carry Permits, and are Properly Vetted by the State, Idiots like HUI would be less likely to target large groups of people.This is so like the left leaning CNN staff to look so hard and POUNCE on any story about guns. Anything, anything that can be used to fan the flames of gun control is amplified X10.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Who Me

      I read nothing in the article about gun control. I did see it in your post. I didn't see anything in your post about lives.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Rei

      This...has no relevance to this blog posting...there is nothing about gun control. Only the safety of the people on a campus and how VT has taken steps to ensure their safety.

      So...you are the sheeple

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

    Gun Free Zones are Criminal Safe Zones.... Ron Paul 2012!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • NCSouthernBelle

      Schools are gun free zones....wanna rethink that statement?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mallory

    "WELL THERE ARE OVER 40,000 KILLED EACH YEARS JUST IN AUTOMOBILES...WOW..I DONT HEAR ANYONE TALKING ABOUT HOW DANGEROUS AUTOMOBILES ARE???????? "

    Really? You never hear about how dangerous cars are? Really?

    Also use of caps-lock automatically makes me dismiss any facts you could have stated or any intelligence you may have.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lulz

    Hoax, called it first.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Well......

    Gun control–the law should be that everyone should have a gun at all times, there would be less crimes involving deadly weapons.

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

      Really...everyone!!?? So any drunk that gets sslammed can carry one ....I feel real safe!!!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    This is a total Non-Story. Based on the stellar eye witness accounts of some kids who may have seen something, which looked like it was under a cloth.....I get it becuase its VT that the campus needed to go on lockdown, but Kudos to you CNN and the other news agencies who jumped at the chance to get out totally unfounded and unbacked accounts from some kids, and stir up the very hurtful echos from 2007. Perhaps would be beneficial to make sure your posts are based on something concrete instead of racing to get them up first. Perception is reality unfortunately for most, and this certainly won't help VT's perception.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. ch

    Yes – VT campus would be much safer if everyone on campus were carrying a gun and had reason to believe that someone of the amazingly accurate and unique description of "white male with light brown hair...feet tall and... wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals" were dangerous and carrying a weapon.

    You couldn't have more than a few dozen students that fit that description...so surely less than a couple would get shot or shot at by some trigger happy vigilante.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. NetNinja

    My God what have we become. 😦 Cowards who feel a need to kill innocent people because of insecurity.

    Be safe everyone.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Korey

    My guess is that it's someone with a legal carry permit who mistakenly brought it on campus. I'm (maybe naively) hoping that it's completely benign. Unfortunately, if that's the case, this kid will get expelled.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. !!!

    As a college student, the idea of people owning/bringing guns on campus is just disturbing.

    Besides, there are other phallic-shaped, compensation items, men can carry around if they so desire...

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
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