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. Zander_SIG

    On the news yesterday it was reported that a man beat his wife to death with a rock on her daughter's front lawn. Witnesses on scene tried to help but he attacked them too. The police were delayed by a passing train so the man continued smashing her head in until she died. If the government would ban rocks, this type of tragedy can be prevented from happening again.

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


      August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DW

      Sorry, that was wrong of me. Ignorant, very. Better.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tommy

    Are guns not allowed on campus? I didn't see where this guy was menacing anyone. Most campuses allow concealed carry with a permit. Is it possible that this guy is just carrying to protect himself from someone like the nutjob that shot up the campus before? Need more info!

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

      Actually, most campuses do not allow weapons of any kind on campus. Bringing a gun on campus can usually result in suspension or expulsion.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Concerned CNNitizen

    CNN!!!??? Wow.. this comment tool is worse than the other AJAX one, on the Police Beating story today. You can't even sort by most popular or latest post. You show the oldest posts first, which confuses users who just posted...

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Call2Action

    In my state, it isn't a crime to carry a gun on a University Campus. People here open carry all the time.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      My state's OK with guns on campus. Police can't be everywhere. I must have missed something when I read the article.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jorge washinsen

    I think all judgment should be withheld until Nancy gets a case together for tonight. I am surprised the DB Cooper person has not been on the show.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TRISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey, will you guys visit HelpFaye.ORG , a friend of mine with 2 babies is fighting for her life... Thank you

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Shes got 2 babies now? shes still obviously getting some despite fighting for her life for these past few years apparently.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mark G.

    Here is what the headline should read: " Gunman reported at Virginia tech: A gunman has been reported seen at Virginia tech. There is concerns for his safety snce there are orders to shoot to kill on sight by the many newly armed students."

    August 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jorge washinsen

    If trying to figure why things happen is the purpose,it is a lost cause to post this type of story here.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Korky Kathman

    Well shoot, I dunno what the big deal is. Our Rick Perry-led folks passed a law to ALLOW guns on campus here on ANY university. Git yer Cowboy Hat and side arms and c'mon over to the wild wild west!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BranBran

    I truly hope and pray nothing bad happens today.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • NIU Student

      I agree. I attend Northern Illinois University and I know it would be a sad day for those students to have to relive the events of 2007. I specifically remember the day the shooting at my school took place and it was incredibly scary and tense. You were scared to walk out your front door for days, not a good feeling.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin

    I understand that all this is a precaution because of what happened in 07, but should it really be in the national headlines?

    August 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • HFC


      August 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kal


      August 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • VT_Grad


      August 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tmd440


      August 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • VTAlumni05

      No. Not for "something under a cloth"

      August 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      People have children at camp at VT right now. Students are in class. Yes it should be national news. You never know who's kid is there and people need to know about it.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • shane

      Im stuck in the lockdown and it shouldn't be til u know for sure

      August 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joseph Durocher

    Let me guess. We're dealing with another Christian fundamentalist. Even if there is no culprit found, we will hear that this no-good-nik is of the same ilk as the guy in Norway.

    Meanwhile, members of the religion of peace will continue plotting their nefarious deeds.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      The Norwegian terrorist was not a Christian. Christian means 'little christ' – what part of the man's acts bore any resemblance to the life and ministry of Christ?

      August 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Joseph, I think those are dangerous and baseless assumptions to be making. Ever since 9/11, I have been saying that you cannot judge all Muslims by the actions of a few fanatics. Neither can you judge the entire Christian religion by the actions of that wackjob in Norway. I am an atheist, so I am not really standing up for religion here, just other people's right to have different beliefs and to not be unfairly labeled as a result. Religious fanatics are usually radical because of some underlying issues in their personal lives, not because religion made them that way. These fanatics use religion to excuse their actions but any rational human being can see through that. There are lunatics from all different backgrounds, religious and otherwise. Let us all hope that the man seen with a gun on the VT campus today was just a dumb kid wanting to show off his "cool" gun and not someone with malicious intent. Let us also hope that members of different religious groups can realize that though it might tempt them to generalize a whole group of people as the enemy based on the actions of a few, they won't like it when the tables are turned and it is their group being judged. As an atheist, I don't appreciate small-minded assumptions that I am a devil-worshipper, or that I am immoral or a bad person. Bearing that in mind, I never assume things about anyone and I am hopeful that you said what you said out of frustration and not because you really think all Christians are "nefarious".

      August 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WoI Admin

    Better safe than sorry.

    If someone calls in a bomb threat you can't afford to assume it's fake.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Name*Gman

    It won't turn out to be anything

    August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    Why is this news? Thanks to the NRA’s strenuous efforts to allow anyone to get a gun whenever they want one, basically dropping barriers to hand gun possession, these stories are common, and often the outcome is mass murder.

    THANKS, nra!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • tards

      Are you retarded mike? Yes, its all the NRA. They sercetly recruit these mass murders and personally hand them a pistol with extended clips and say here go for it. They are all about sabotging their own cause...which oh is the 2nd amendment. Gun control will only cause MORE guns to become a black market item, which I don't know if you live under a rock but the black market is very accessable to anyone on the street a kid, a mental patient you know....whats funny is there are countries in the world that have laws requiring EVERY one keep a gun (and serve two years in the military) and how many home invanisons do they have per year? grow a brain tard.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      Nice, look at the name-calling tough guy. Why don't you go read what the 2nd amendment actually says before citing it incorrectly (like most pro-gun advocates). Who's the tard now?

      August 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • herpityderpity

      While not saying that I support the NRA, or strict or lenient gun laws, I will say that if someone wants a gun, they will find a way to get it. Legally or otherwise. Laws don't always stop criminals.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr.Bright tard

      Did you only see one thing that I posted there? Are you a moron like mike, I think so. You see, little lamb, my point was NOTHING YOU CAN DO WILL STOP GUNS EVER IN THIS COUNTRY...but thats right you only read oh the 2nd amendment..yes I know what it said, however they left it open for intrupitaion, dumb a**

      August 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evan

      lol yeah sure Mike. Taking away people's right to defend themselves is the hallmark of totalitarianism. As others have said, it's not law abiding citizens carrying guns we need to worry about, and that's who gun laws affect.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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