December 8th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

2 dead, including police officer, after Virginia Tech shooting incident

A Virginia Tech police officer was among two people killed Thursday on the school's campus, prompting a sweeping search and school-wide lockdown that lasted over four hours.

Around 4:30 p.m., the school in Blacksburg, Virginia, announced on its Twitter feed that "law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities."

Police said the incident started shortly after noon, when the police officer made a traffic stop in the Coliseum parking lot near McComas Hall. During that stop, a person who wasn't involved in the traffic stop approached and shot the officer, authorities said.

After witnesses told police that the shooter fled toward a nearby parking lot, an investigating officer saw a "suspicious person" alive in that lot. When the officer circled back to approach the person - described as a white male - that person was dead of a gunshot wound, police said.

A Virginia state police spokesman said that police didn't shoot the second person, and he wouldn't say whether the person was a suspect, or whether investigators still are looking for a shooter. But he said investigators feel "confident we located the person," and that "you can kind of read between the lines."

The incident comes more than four years after a shooting spree in which a Virginia Tech student, 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui, shot dead 32 people on the campus before killing himself in April 2007.

The following are running updates on Thursday's incident:

[Updated 5:15 p.m. ET] The Virginia Tech police officer who was fatally shot during a traffic stop in a campus parking lot shortly after 12:15 p.m. was shot by someone who wasn't involved in the traffic stop, police said at a news conference. The shooter allegedly walked up to the officer's vehicle and opened fire, police said.

[Updated 5:11 p.m. ET] Describing the death of the second person, authorities at a news conference said a police officer investigating the slain officer's death saw a "suspicious person" alive in a campus parking lot, and when the officer circled back the approach that person - a white male - he was dead from a gunshot wound.

Police declined to say whether that person shot himself, but a Virginia State Police spokesman told reporters that police did not shoot him.

The state police spokesman wouldn't comment on whether the second deceased person had been the person who killed the police officer. He declined to say whether investigators still are looking for a shooter, but investigators feel "confident we located the person."

"You can kind of read between the lines," he said.

The school's website noted that a weapon had been discovered near the second person - described as an "unknown male subject who was found deceased in a parking lot near the Duck Pond."

The school has said there is no longer a threat on campus, and that people could resume normal activities on campus.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/12/08/sot-va-tech-witness-revive.wdbj"%5D

[Updated 4:37 p.m. ET] A weapon was found at the location of the body of a second person killed on the campus, Virginia Tech says. That person, a male, was found in a parking lot, the school said.

[Updated 4:34 p.m. ET] Police have determined "there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place," Virginia Tech has said on its Twitter feed.

The posting told students and staff they could now "resume normal activities."

[Updated 3:48 p.m. ET] Several Virginia Tech administrators - including the head of campus police, Wendell Flinchum, and emergency management director Michael Mulhare - were in Washington Thursday at a federal court hearing on the 2007 shooting on the school's campus, U.S. Department of Education officials said, according to CNN's Sally Holland.

Flinchum and the school were criticized after that incident for not notifying students quickly enough that there was a danger on campus. The hearing was an appeal of the Department of Education's fine of $55,000 to Virginia Tech under the Clery Act, a federal law related to campus safety.

In April, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli called the case against Virginia Tech "Monday-morning quarterbacking at its very worst."

[Updated 3:45 p.m. ET] In a message on its website, the university knocked down what it called "unfounded" reports of additional gunshots reported heard since the original shooting, saying "there are no new substantiated reports of suspicious or criminal activity."

[Updated 3:07 p.m. ET] Students' final exams that were scheduled for Friday have been postponed, Virginia Tech said on its website. Friday would have been the first day of final exams for the semester.

"A decision regarding the final exam schedule will be made as soon as we have more information," the message said.

[Updated 2:46 p.m. ET] Tauhid Chappell, a student on campus, told CNN that he and other students were getting information through the school alert system, and through the web and radio.

Things felt "very quiet and still," he said. Classes for the semester ended Wednesday. Students were preparing Thursday for final exams.

[Updated 2:45 p.m. ET] A university spokesman says police have a description of a suspect and are searching “absolutely everywhere for the person who matches the description."

The campus is on lockdown, and people on campus are urged to "shelter in place," the spokesman said. The university is urging that no one visit campus, he said.

[Updated 2:10 p.m. ET] Six agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are at Virginia Tech to help with the response to Thursday's shooting, ATF spokesman Scot Thomasson said, according to CNN's Carol Cratty. Twenty additional agents are on standby, he added.

"The agents are very familiar with the campus and the buildings" because they have worked with Blacksburg police since the 2007 mass shooting on campus, Thomasson said.

[Updated 2:07 p.m. ET] The staff of the Collegiate Times newspaper has been evacuated from its offices in the Squires Student Center on the Virginia Tech campus, the paper's Twitter feed reports.

[Updated 1:56 p.m. ET] A Virginia Tech police officer has been shot and killed after making a traffic stop on the university's campus, Mark Owczarski, the university's director of news and information, said Thursday.

The suspect fled on foot toward another parking lot where a second person was also found dead, he said.

The shooter is still at large, he said.

[Updated 1:39 p.m. ET] Sirens were heard around the Virginia Tech campus Thursday, and rescue workers were trying to resuscitate a person who was on the ground, school employee Brian Walls told CNN. The school was on lockdown after shots were reported, and the school's website said a police officer was shot.

Follow the incident via the Twitter feed of the school's newspaper, the Collegiate Times. These reports have not been confirmed by CNN.

[Updated 1:16 p.m. ET] A police officer has been shot on or near the campus of Virginia Tech, the university's website says. A possible second victim is reported down in a parking lot and the suspect is at large, the website says.

Classes for the semester ended Wednesday. Students were preparing Thursday for final exams.

[Posted 1:01 p.m. ET] The campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg is on lockdown after a report of shots being fired on the campus.

The suspected shooter is described as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim and a maroon hoodie and carrying a backpack, according to the university's website.

Those on campus should seek shelter or stay where they are, the website says.

In April 2007, Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech student, shot dead 32 people on the campus before killing himself.

Are you on campus? Share your story, but please stay out of harm's way.

soundoff (1,084 Responses)
  1. Ivan

    just expressing how I honestly feel, don't mean to offend anyone 🙂

    December 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Justin

    Are you kidding me?!? This is horrible, but I hope all of the students are safe.

    As an aside, another horrible thing is the 30 second commercial they decided to play before showing me the video of this breaking news story. I guess it wasn't "breaking" or important enough not to fit in an ad.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chomama

    beef up dat sssscrtyyy

    December 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andy

    Bryan, you are a moron. I would love to see examples of your sense of humor after the 2007 massacre. Get a life.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nadine

    And this young man picking up the hateful spirit that is being spewed his parents. Listen to the hate rhetoric spewed day in and out by these bitter men who are hell bent on destroying American citizens.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dolce

    Oh no! Virginia Tech has endured so much heart ache already . . . I'm so so sorry to hear of this. (from Charlottesville, VA)

    December 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TriXen

    Deja Vu...

    December 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TriXen

    probably.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. easycome-easycho

    beefitup

    December 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. terre08

    No, you and your lice.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Note to all parents in the world, it's bordering now on child abuse if you send your kids to Virgiina Tech. TWO fatal shootings on ONE campus over a 4 year span. OMG! 99.9% of all colleges in there entire history have NEVER had a shooting of any klnd on there camous or God forbid a fatal shooting. That's a fact, not an opinion.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • concho-alt-delete

      OMG!

      December 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Lighting struck twice, and your explanation is "of course it did' ? I'm sure the victim's families appreciate your sympathy.

      December 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Read it

      Wrong! It's just that VT shootings get media atetntion coz it generates buzz. Rest shootings don't go beyond local news.

      December 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. micropenis

    It would have been funnier if more people died!

    December 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nc

    And to micropenis –I'm sure that your name fits.....your penis AND your brain size must be compatible.

    You DO know that it means small, right?

    December 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      Obviously Micropenis, you are not here to be taken seriously. There is nothing funny about the shooting, or you.

      December 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      Finding humor in murder doesn't progress us as society in any way. But I am sure, as a troll, you already knew that.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidman

      @Micropenis I sense a troll! As for this event. Ironic.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • micropenis

      Twirtzy, "murder" is a legal term. What we are dealing with are killings. The killings will become murders if/when the suspect is tried and covicted of "murder." Look up "legal positivism" and write me a five-page paper. It's for your own good. Your sloppy thinking IS holding us back.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • micropenis

      Sidman: How are these shootings "ironic"?

      December 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      Let me know when you are ready to stop trolling and tell us your real feelings. Are you really that bored?

      December 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • StopThis

      Hey Micro, stop this BS. Did you see your mom getting scored by milkman this morning? Stop trolling and get out of your mom's basement and do some positive work for the country.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • micropenis

      Yes, twirtzy, I AM that bored. I'm bored with people doing what "one" does following events like this. I'm bored with people jumping on political bandwagons. I'm bored with "occupy" zombies. I'm bored with the predictable comments. That's why I do what I do. Why do you even bother posting? The "generalized other" determines discourse, what is appropriate and what is "disgusting!" I'm sick of it! I refuse to find existential refuge in the "they."

      December 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      Well, why didn't you just say from the beginning that you struggle with reality because of a desire not to be included in reality??

      December 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • micropenis

      That's my point, twirtzy, it's not "reality," it's merely your "phenomenological reality." And next week, or next year you will reify a whole new set of absolutes, you'll find a whole new set of beliefs to absolutize. And, of course, you will use informal negative sanctions (e.g., insults) to try to get others to conform to your phenomenological reality.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vinny

    How is this not a "featured story" but something about Apple products is?

    December 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. twirtzy

    Looks like you have microbrain to go with that micropenis. You are one sick troll.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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