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. nick

    that's why guns should be illegal

    shame on everyone who supports the use of guns in public places

    December 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ltcoljpm

      This might win the 'most stupid post of the year' award.

      Why not make it illegal to kill someone...oh wait....

      Criminals do NOT obey the laws.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • duh

      yeah cause we know that will keep them out of criminals hands cause they will obey that law.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      That's right–shooting people on campus is not illegal. Therefore, if guns were illegal, the perpetrator would not have performed this heinous act.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      it would be difficult for them to find weapons
      if weapons were illegal in the first place

      so I don't see the stupidity here

      December 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Difficult =/= impossible. Where there's a will, there's a way. See: marijuana.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Nick,

      Oh to live the serene life of a knee jerk reactionary! Did the gun shoot the individuals in question? No, a person used the gun as a tool to shoot those people. Along the lines of your reasoning, automobiles should also be banned as they are responsible for more deaths than guns [excluding military ops].

      December 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorthTxLady

      Nick, if you believe shootings would stop if guns were outlawed, you are very naive.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Nick has a point here. Just look how hard it is to get illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Azzy

      Drugs are illegal, and you never see them on campus. Ever. Nu-uh.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • gotacomment

      My dear Nick, do you really for one moment imagine that the miscreants and psychopaths who obtain guns illegally are going to apply for permits for them? If you can't come up with something approximating an answer to this problem, be quiet and stop embarrassing yourself.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • oyvey

      This why your logic is wrong.

      http://jpfo. org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm#chart

      space between dot and org

      December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • silver

      You're so right, drugs are illegal and it's almost impossible to find those...........

      December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Merkat

      Look in the mirror.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Normandy

      lol... what a dumbo

      December 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Diffcult for a criminal to find weapons ? Are you kidding ? It just makes it more diffcult for law abiding citizens to defend themselves.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      This has to be the most amazingly ignorant statement I have seen in at least a week... what rock did you crawl out from under? The criminal element has no regard for law, thus making guns illegal is a ridiculously ludacris argument. If you want to make guns illegal, follow it with fried food, automobiles, and the sun... you know the sun can give you cancer adn kill you... These three things alone kill more people than guns on a yearly basis.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • mbdc

      The legality of guns is not the issue – the issue is whether legal or illegal, this person would have gotten what it wanted to use one way or another. How about praying for the victims right now – the person is committing illegal acts with a gun.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      "My dear Nick, do you really for one moment imagine that the miscreants and psychopaths who obtain guns illegally are going to apply for permits for them"

      guns should be used by military forces only

      when I say illegal I mean it, no permits, nothing, only in military

      how many of the murderers would get a permit to enter the military, take a gun outside of the military and shoot people down just for the fun of it?

      you don't get my point, there's no point in having access to any weapon outside of military

      December 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      There are already laws on the books that deny guns to felons, the mentally ill, and other members of society who have demostrated the inability to use them responsibly, and guess what? People who aren't supposed to have them still get them. What if one person during the previous Va. Tech shooting had had a gun? Would 32 people have died? I don't think so. As it was however, the only person on the campus with a weapon that day was the mentally unstable criminal who shouldn't have been able to get one under current laws. The rest is history.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • kb

      A police officer was shot on campus. Campus is a supposed "safe place" yet not only is someone attacked, the person happens to be a trained law enforcement officer? What makes you think any of you are "safe" when criminals are gunning down police, YOU are a much easier target next time. Protect yourself, carry a weapon of your own. Let students protect themselves too, allow concealed carry on campuses for TRAINED and QUALIFIED students. Don't just give it to anyone, but if they went through the legal process of getting a concealed carry permit, and received the training from a qualified instructor, and passed the background check at a gunstore for a handgun... then why should anyone be precluded from defending themselves?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. snowdogg

    What is wrong with Virginia Tech ???

    December 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stay safe vt

      Sad to see your ingnorace on the web. It has nothing to do with the school of vt as its one of the elite schools in many thing in the nation. It could happen to anyones school at any time.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      Nothing is wrong with Tech this could happen anywhere.... Virginia Tech was the best thing that has ever happened to me. So upset that disturbed people have given it such a bad reputation. neVer forgeT ❤

      December 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      This is a valid question. Why is there so much more violence here as opposed to other schools?

      December 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Sorry, but VT is not an "elite" school for really....anything. Great public university overall, but not the top 10. I'm not a basher, I went there for a year even, but its most certainly not close to ivy league.

      Though I will agree that it has very little to do with VT. A school can only do so much and its sad to see a second event, in recent times, for this to happen. Hopefully this man can be taken down hard and swiftly.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      @John, actually VT is one of the top programs in the country for both their school of engineering and their school of architecture.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cj7

    Suspect has been apprehended. Prayers go out to the family of the officer's family.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • cj7

      Sorry that should read -Suspect has been apprehended. Prayers go out to the officer's family.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hokie Dad

    My son is a senior at VT and just called to say he is OK and campus on lockdown. He also said police officer killed and another person wounded at "Cage"off campus parking. Sad to see some of the comments from those who truly are not connected to VT/Blacksubrg/Hokies. Where is the compassion anymore for fellow human beings regardless of what school you go to/or what part of the country you live in?

    December 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      ..because a large percentage of people who post on these blogs are morons.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mbdc

      gald your son is ok

      December 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • mbdc

      hokie dad – typo – meant to say glad your son is ok

      December 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Really?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpjUqTPVliw&w=560&h=315]

    December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marie

    Unfortunately (and I don't know every schools code) guns are not allowed on any campus, but you can keep one in your car (it can't leave your car) as long as you have a permit even if you are a resident on campus which means your car is on campus, it's a loophole. That's how it is at the University I go to anyway......

    December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      The beginning came out wrong the "unfortunately" meant that you can have a gun in your car with a permit on campus......

      December 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sirned

    Police are put in jepordy daily with so many guns in the hands of angry nut jobs that listen to right wing talk radio. Scary

    Hang in there Hokies, millions of Americans are praying the police get the suspect.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • wat

      why are you blaming politics?

      December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeffrey

    People need to stop stating the obvious and acting surprised to acts like this happening at all. What one should concentrate on in this kind of situation if one is in the environment where it is happening in is trying to secure yourself as best as possible, try to stay informed if possible, and create a plan for dealing with these kinds of plans.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat

    We are seeing more of these deadly sprees. Our penchant for guns & violence increases. Wars, violent games based on 'Kill ' skill emulating wars, constant political messages of more wars, bombing runs & raids.
    Even on blogs one comes across slogans of " bomb them", " nuke them' & such.
    I am afraid that in these times of economic & financial crunch, unemployment, bleak outlook and stress we'll continue witnessing such incidents. Hope they remain aberrations.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Krauthammer

      Not a cool story bro. Needs more aliens

      December 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ddaniels

    An officer, was shot and killed, he has family, he has friends, he is a man just doing his job to make a living, Grow up, and quite joking around about someone whom was murdered on the job protecting your stupid
    asses... This is not a joke, someone is missing their brother or sister, or aunt or uncle, father, grandfather etc for the rest of their lives, not to mention dinner tonight or Xmas or the New Year.. Please quite the game, do not make polito comments and respect this mans family whom will or won't read your idiotic posts ....

    December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. George Bush

    Pray that school lets out for early happy hour.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Awiles

    Word from a friend on campus is that a suspect has been apprehended, but that there is another at large.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Awiles

      Campus newspaper twitterfeed reports that the person who surrendered in front of the performing arts building may not have been the gunman. Gunman status unknown, and a second victim is reported dead (in addition to the police officer).

      December 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. free thinking man

    >2011
    >praying
    >believing in hell
    >believing in the right to bare arms

    i seriously hope you guys dont do this.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Krauthammer

      cool story bro...I'm pretty sure baring your arms isn't a right. Bearing arms however is.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeffrey

    fdsfsadf are you happy or just dumb?

    December 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike and Mike in the Morning

    Hmm slow news day huh? This is a regular occurrence at VT, no?

    December 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hokie girl

      Actually is not. Thanks for your ignorance and disrespect.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
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