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. Stephanie Smithgall

    I am going to be a senior at Virginia Tech this year and am currently living in Blacksburg. I just wanted to stress that I have never once felt threatened in the Blacksburg Community and have never questioned my decision in coming to Virginia Tech. The Hokie Community is one that cannot be described and there is not other place like it.  I wish that the media could see and feel the same things that every Hokie does, then they would understand. 
    Stephanie Smithgall  

    August 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    My question is how come you cant carry a gun to protect yourself? Isnt it a right?

    August 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mr. Safety says...

    Repeat after me.....NRA suck, NRA sucks....RIP Charly baby.....I hope the devil has enlisted your services by allowing you the privilege of inserting pineapples in Hitler's rectum...right alongside David Koresh......the wonder of Waco.......we need more steel, melt down guns.............Listen to Mr. Safety........:-)

    August 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Safety says...

      CALLING ALL IDIOTS (DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN)......listen to Mr. Safety......

      August 4, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • runswithscissors

      We need guns. There is a reason they are the 2nd ammendment right.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. guardrail

    @Yes – the guy (if even true) likely has a gun for defense. Maybe he simply doesn't wish to be a victum. But go ahead and juge him before you know anything about the situtation.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • b3lleville

      its illegal to have a gun on a college campus. if you graduated from one you would've known that

      August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • richromanceix

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      August 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Ellis

      agreed with b3llville-guardrail, you have no idea what you're talking about. I walk on this campus everyday and I feel safe–but if I were walking around knowing someone had a gun–even if it were supposedly to "prevent themselves from being a victim"? I wouldn't feel safe at all. because truth be told, everyone is still on edge from 2007.

      have you not heard of the phrase "fighting fire with fire?" IT DOESNT WORK!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • ap1819

      Most college campuses strictly prohibit firearms on their premises. He is breaking the law, that's why this guy is being judged.
      I'm not a strong anti-gun person... but this statement that an armed society is a polite society is the stupidest argument I've ever heard. Maybe the damage done by psychos on shooting sprees would be less, but so many more people would get injured or killed in the heat of the moment. Look back to the "wild" west back in the late 1800s/ early 1900s. Everyone and their mother were armed, and crime and shootouts were commonplace... made for great movies, but probably horrible to actually live in.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. texas1988

    So many ignorant comments, thoughts out to V Tech and let's pray this is false alarm. School campuses are meant to be safe haven of learning and knowledge.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. john

    Good luck VTech students faculity and other workers. Try to stay safe.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. jb80538

    Maybe it's time to eliminate the "Gun free zone" and allow students to protect themselves.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      You know what the solution to gun crime is? MORE GUNS!


      August 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • a o m

      you're an idiot...

      August 4, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      It does make sense. Your not going to attack a man with a gun are you? Are you going to rob a store when you know that the clerk and another customer also have a firearm? The answer-no because you don't have a deathwish do you.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ellis

    To all of those making stupid comments, this may not be happening to you, but even if it is a false alarm, anything like this really effects the people on this campus. If you were here during the 2007 shootings, you're always on edge about that sort of thing. Be understanding and wish for the best of others, because that is something you would want for yourself and your loved ones. To all of those making comments about gun control–I do NOT believe there should be guns allowed on campus. school is supposed to be a safe place, and when college students get drunk or angry, they do stupid things. having guns in their hands would make things even worse–at least with a knife, someone stands a chance with running. And i hate to say it, but I believe the shootings in 2007 would have happened either way. After that, people may have panicked and if these kids who spotted this guy were carrying weapons (i know they're minors, but you get my point), they could have panicked and shot him. then it shows up that it wasn't a gun? that would have been a mess. Again, we don't know what's going on right now, all we do know is that we are under lock down. Please wish us all the best and keep us in your thoughts as we await news–hopefully good news!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. empathetic123

    Wouldn't you think it's better to raise an alarm that might be false instead of waiting two hours to alert to CHILDREN that there is a man with a gun on campus and end up with 32 dead? I can only hope that this a false alarm and would be more than happy to have read these reports if it keeps more children and teachers alive.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Oh come on, they're not children, they're young adults. I don't believe in all the sensationalizing hysteria over children and/or their involvement.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • empathetic123

      Apparently you haven't read closely enough; it's a 4H program that's currently at Tech right now. That would include the 9-13 year old group...I think those are children.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. JOHN


    August 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      I'm in a frat at Vtech and this is bs. I hope you were joking.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hokielove

    The Hokie Nation really doesn't need this.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Indeed, the Hokie Nation isn't about guns, it's about a great education in a beautiful area. Of course, being a Hokie also means cheering for a great football team too.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Free Discussion

    Note that this statistic is homicides, which include justified use of force for defense, as well as murder, which is unlawful and unjustifed taking of life

    August 4, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. David

    If everyone on campus had a gun, then the students who are reporting that they saw someone with a gun could have just shot the person.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Limbaugh is a liberal

      And what if that person wasn't carrying that gun in malice? Is it really a good idea to have everyone armed and risk one of the pot-heads panicking and shoot someone because they got frightened by their gun?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lizard

    Hello everyone,
    Four years ago I lost a friend and a professor in the shootings in 2007, so one can only imagine my reaction this morning when I turned on CNN. However, I worked every summer at the university in some role, and I can't even begin to explain my disgust for the camps that are on campus every summer. The so-called counselors who are present let those kids run around rampant all over campus and could care less about the mayhem those brats cause. Due to past incidents, I would not be surprised if this is just a prank. I do commend the university for their response, and I do hope this is a hoax.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. HammerDoc

    How nice of you to notify us of the value of your opinion at the end of your name, Myopinion. That was a well-crafted example of sarcasm meant to comment on the idiocy of the media's hysteria of anything related to guns.

    BTW, WHO CARES if there is a man CARRYING a gun on campus? I HOPE THERE ARE MANY–GOOD PEOPLE–carrying guns to keep the "sheeple" safe from the very rare maniac who occasionally does something bad.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Dwan Savoie

      Maybe if more people were carrying guns, 32 people wouldn't have had to die during the Virgina Tech massacre. Get ahold of yourselves people.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • MyOpinion00

      Hammerdoc, my post was to an individual who was being very sarcastic about a magnet for their car. Lots of people care about someone carrying a gun on a campus.

      Anyway, I am not going to get into a petty "argument" over the internet with you. Have a blessed day.

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