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. Nate

    Our prayers are with you Hokies.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nick Kandis

    People are fed up with this [stuff]. I wouldn't be surprised if that United 93 spirit took hold of some of the bystanders and, though I don't recommend it, started wailing on the gunman's [person].

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. mitsi

    oh my god, not again.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. lols finnisher

    But, carrying a gun on a Virginia university campus is illegal? How would they have ever overcome such high obstacles?!

    Clearly, we need more laws.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Exactly. If someone is going to commit a crime do you really think they care about gun laws? If someone is going to rob a store do you really think they will say oh wait I can't carry this type of gun because it's illegal?

      August 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Kungfumastah

      Sorry, VT is not a gated campus. Anyone can drive through or walk through. A ban on guns unfortunatey insures that the law abiding citizens are unarmed.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. kdflanagan

    Good job on lockdown. Hopefully its false alarm. Also hope its not hoax by someone trying to be funny

    August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dr


    August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |

    Just pray for a false alarm.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Huh

    At least get his name right. It's Seung-Hui Cho.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • neil

      The guy murdered 30+ people – who gives a damn if we get his name right.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • 2xhokiepapa

      No need to get it right!! My daughter was there and very close to that situation. She can tell you several other names he should be called!!
      VT our thoughts are with all of you!! Stay safe!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh

      It's called getting the basic facts straight. Everything doesn't have to be steeped in emotions, for goodness sake.

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

      I don't think his name should be remembered for such a horrific event. I'm certain his family wouldn't like it to be so. That action had to have a reason. If you want to blame the event on someone, look at the bigger picture, not just the gunman. Not saying that the gunman had no fault, he did, but others contributed indirectly to the event.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      The name IS right. Many asian countries (and their people) use their family name first and then their given name. He can be referred to as both and both are correct.
      This is a great example of media spitfire. There probably isn't a gun but campus had to act accordingly. VT is a great school with great people. There is no need to spread hate.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mitch

    You can legally open carry on Virginia campuses. This is a false alarm. I just left campus when I got the official email. Man spotted with what teen witnesses said might be a other witnesses.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Not true. My friend got his shotgun taken from the back window of his truck.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sound Off
      NOTE: Even if Legal, Students May be Subject to Academic Sanctions

      August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      You can't open carry a shotgun. You can open carry a handgun on a campus in virginia. If you attend the school then you'll probably be expelled. A townee can do it though.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • skematic

      Carrying a weapon on VA campus is illegal, this is directly from the Code of Virginia:

      8VAC35-60-20. Possession of weapons prohibited.

      Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police officer, is prohibited on university property in academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student residence buildings, dining facilities, or while attending sporting, entertainment or educational events. Entry upon the aforementioned university property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.

      Statutory Authority

      § 23-91.29 of the Code of Virginia.

      Historical Notes

      Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 1, eff. August 28, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. November 10, 2008.

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

      So not right. You cannot carry, open or otherwise.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Gun Control... pffff please.

    Everyone should have a gun. Someone gets out of line, everyone within firing distance can simply shoot the turd.

    Granted, you should have to go to gun safety and all that, but I guarantee you that most of the knuckleheads wouldn't think about hitting a crowded place when there's a potential 50:1 ratio of guns pointed back at you.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Savvy

      I have to say...I agree.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • israel

      anyone CAN have a gun if you go through the legal channels as directed by the state you live in, if you have a concealed weapon permit you are by law allowed to hold and hide a pistol on you at any time as long as you carry your permit, this isn't a very hard concept for example: in the state of NY anyone over the age of 18 can go into a gun store and buy a rifle, for whatever reason as long as the gun is classified as a rifle, they sell them at wal-marts ffs! if you want a pistol, you need to be 21, and you need to take a safety course which can be given by a company or by your local sheriffs office, then you must apply for the permit and shell out a couple hundred bucks and within 2 months you have your pistol permit, then you can go out and buy a pistol.....if you want a shotgun, you need to be 18+ and you can get a shotgun.....a gun store has the right to deny you a sale if they believe you will use these guns for any purpose other than hunting and/or self-defense....THAT is gun control

      August 4, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Most states have made it a crime to carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, on school property. Unfortunately those who have a permit to carry, such as myself, are not allowed to carry those weapons on school property. We would be just as defenseless as anyone else.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. hokiealum

    Let's hope it's a false alarm. We do have a Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech, and they do drill there.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jake

    Keep in mind the Second Amendment allows us to bear arms TO MAINTAIN A READY MILITIA. Just sayin.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • israel

      the right to keep and bear arms refers to both the INDIVIDUAL right to personally keep and bear arms as well as the right to maintain a formal militia in a time of need

      August 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. J

    Gun control doesn't work O. Anybody can get a gun illegally anytime. All you have to do is ask around. It's people like you that probaly make every normal law abiding gun owner look like a crazy physco killer

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • israel

      gun control isn't meant to prevent people from obtaining guns's meant to control the types of guns we are allowed to use and for what purpose.....ex: if the NRA had it's way we'd be hunting deer with ak47's and uzi's....instead you are limited to hunting deer with either a shotgun, a rifle or a pistol if you so can buy small arms that are semi-auto for self defense ONLY, fully auto guns are illegal in the USA.....that's gun control.....we all know anyone can get a gun illegally, it's the same as getting drugs, there are laws against it but it still happens anyway however that's not the point of gun control

      August 4, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • mhs2xs

      You do not know of what you speak of. Owning a Form (or Class) 3 firearm in the US is not illegal. Proper channels, starting with local law enforcement and extending through the ATF, must be followed and a background check done. Class 3 weapons range from from fully automatic weapons produced before 1986 (or the parts to convert) as well as destructive devices (some semi auto shotguns) and other things like suppressors. All of which are very expensive and the wait for the paperwork is about 4 to 6 months at present. From the tone of your "opinion", I'd venture to say you've never even fired a weapon much less know anything about the law, or the NRA for that matter.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. israel

    meanwhile the NRA is looking to lower gun law restrictions

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Em

    We don't need any more bloodshed in this world, hoping & praying its not a fatal problem

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
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