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.

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[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. Francois04

    If you choose to go to VT, then you choose to put you and your family in the most extreme danger possibly known to mankind. Except for maybe a roving black hole.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      You dont know what extreme means do you? There are billions of places that are more dangerous than VT. Or perhaps you believe a school with occasional shootings is more dangerous than a war zone or a live volcano?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • VT mom

      Well, my thought to you is this: Many other places are more dangerous than Blacksburg VA (except on game day at Lane, if you're the opposing team) maybe you'd like to send your students off to a college where guns are around every day. Unfortunately, this school has had more than its share of this stuff...but remember, this crazy crap happens everywhere, not exclusive to VT...

      December 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quagmire

      lane stadium? unless you're clemson right?

      December 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff in Oregon

    Another gun crime placed at the feet of the gun nuts in this country. Republicans and conservatives call themselves mostly Christian. Sad how they celebrate and support the use of these weapons in our streets, but turn their heads to the murder and mayhem they create for so many others. Does not seem like a Christian thing to do. Republicans and conservatives are such a horrible, intolerant and violent part of our country/society. How long before we see another innocent American or group of innocent Americans lose their life? Such a sad and unnecessary blight to have as a norm in our country. Intolerant and hateful people with easy and quick access to guns kill people. Republicans pave the way for them.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Krauthammer

      Cool story bro. Needs more goblins

      December 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • usgiorgi

      What makes you think that the criminal wouldn't have a gun if it was illegal? People like you are so stupid! Think rationally for a second. Are hard drugs illegal? Yes! Yet, millions of people buy them every day! Now please go happily insert something large in yourself.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evalina

      If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBiz

      I keep these guns to protect myself from the government.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4H

      You are a mental midget

      December 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fernando

      You, sir, are an idiot!

      December 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Jeff in Oregon, you're an idiot. Already with the partisan bullcrap? It wasn't even two hours ago. Let's find out the facts first.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • greenterror22

      Only idiotic buffoons blame gun laws for the actions of crazy people

      December 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronjon

      You can't even get on a campus these days unless you show your – I voted for Obama sticker. Think Eric Holdler is a conservative? He gives guns to Cartels. Maybe he has widened the program to include College campuses.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      This is not about gun control and the government. This is about treating other human beings with enough respect not to shoot them dead. Instead of talking about our problems and issues with those around us, we resort to guns and bullying to take care of our problems. As a society we do not talk anymore. We are rude to one another and have no respect for others. This is not about our government. It's about how we as a society have lost respect for human life and those around us.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christine in TX

      This is such a gross over generalization. You cannot seriously believe that Republicans are to blame for violence in this country when there is so much more wrong with our society beyond the stereotypical beliefs of our political parties. Get a grip.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      ......Jeff......I am a dem and I own a small arsonal of weapons. There are hundreds of millions of guns in this country. We are an armed sociaty. You can not and should not mess with the fourth cog in our system. Excutive, legislative, judicial and we all have guns so you better do the other three right. My guns are to protect me from crime and to hunt. I also have some that are just to kill people. I am saving these for the republican uprising after Obama gets re-elected.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Why is being a Christian being placed as the blame? Clearly the liberal, who knows nothing of crime, did not take note that the shooter is trying to escape justice for some other crime than being stopped by police. During his escape he shoots another. How is this a Republican or Democrat matter?
      Clearly there is more hate in his comments. Let's try not to divide at this time and see if you can relate to the facts that you know.Good fiction writers are only needed at Barnes and Noble.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jpalm

      Nice job of getting straight to the politics. I guess this incident never happened and must be a fake report because the law prohibits guns on campus and therefore this incident could not possibly have happened. The magic force field of that gun law should have prevented this crime from happening, right? I think you're the intolerant one because you don't respect my view that I should be able to protect myself and my family. Watch out, your hypocrisy is showing.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim boom

      Jeff, it's not the anyones fault besides the lunatic that did it. its not like the republicans were like here is a gun go shoot something. thats one of the dumbest arguemnets i have ever heard

      December 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff in Oregon

      Come on everyone. Don't you see what this nation does every time this type gun violence takes place? You could almost match word for word the responses from this incident to the last, then the one before that and the one before that...... We do nothing as a nation to to reduce the violence, to help the victims, to head in a different direction. But we do repeat the same old tired guns don't kill people, I need guns for when the government comes, only criminals will have guns........Blah, blah, blah.

      That tells me we like this as a nation. We like to see the killings, the blood, the mayhem, the loss of Dad, Mom, sister, a little 8 year old from AZ while getting a pop at Safeway.

      Many in the nation like it. If they didn't, they would do something about it.

      But all the gun lovers talk about is their love and need for their guns. Nothing about the loss, nothing about the violence, nothing about the nation's violent slide and decay.

      I am sure we will have the opportunity to discuss again real soon. Just wait a day or so.

      December 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeffrey

    The man being a student, im sure you know what he was going for, people. Thanks to his actions he has elicited fear

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • boooner

      only in the great USA

      December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LiberalDisease

    Why of course his race is plastered everywhere when he's a white guy.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don_J

      Please give it a rest... everyone know the last person to shoot up Va-Tech was Asian... Korean I think... besides, if you or someone was shot and killed what difference does it make what race the person was who did it, unless of course you're racist yourself?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe M

      Hey whiny genius, they plastered everywhere that the last gunman was Asian, specifically Korean. Why are many of you Republicans so whiny and crybabies? Man up fool.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rearden Mettle

      I'm a conservative, but I have to say that people like you–with usernames like "liberal disease"–give us a bad name. When Cho Seung-Hui terrorized the school 4 years ago, his race was likewise no secret. I'm sorry, but I think you're exhibiting a bit of paranoid disillusionment by thinking that "whites" are being singled-out here.

      Also, don't you think that it's important for there to be as complete a description as possible of the suspect out there? I think the intent was to make sure this guy is caught as quickly as possible–not to offend your delicate, yet somehow also intolerant sensibilities.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. linda

    Idiot; Have you no compassion?

    December 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. &

    Something tells me this was orchestrated by outside forces.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • &

      ...a pretext to rollback gun rights, perhaps.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • cariouslesions

      Were you abused as a child?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. adfadfa

    +1 internets anon

    December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Amy

    gee let's sell more guns to people. It works well! We should get rid of all the guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • true freedom

      thats right. Guns for all to fuel the impending class war!

      December 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Don't be stupid Amy. It's not the guns that kill people.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken


      December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • dang..

      how sad...this is horrible...

      December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Myra

      If they cared what the laws were, they woudn't be shooting people to begin with. Why don't we wait until we see how everyone is doing, and everyone can argue out laws and politics later.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Guns aren't killing the people. The guy in the sweatpants is. If he had a knife should we take away all knives?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      Hundreds of millions of guns. Just get rid of em. how extremly nieve

      December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy Hangley

      You are an idiot. Taking guns from everyone is impossible. Only the bad guys will end up with them. Do we need to outlaw knives too?

      December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rearden Mettle

      The majority of gun control bills aim (no pun intended) to control and restrict legal gun sales, whereas the majority of guns used in violent crimes are obtained illegally. This is a tragedy, no doubt, but the bad acts of a few shouldn't be cause for restricting the rights of the majority–in much the same way that extremism and terrorism by a minority of a relgious population shouldn't be grounds for unabashed profiling. I find it incongruent for liberals to argue for the former point while arguing against the latter.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CNN is like the railroads of News

    Old, outdated, and behind. Why isn't this on the front page and where are the reports? They'd rather talk about what it's like to be gay in america or how hard it is to be a muslim in new york.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ptran

      I would assume we don't want to glorify these acts on campus so others in like minds don't see it as a way to be famous.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • LC in NJ

      If you're so unhappy with CNN, then why are you here? Strangely enough, we both know you'll be back on CNN later today, tomorrow, and the day after that. Yet another troll, with no life, just looking to spread misery to all. Why not just stay on the Faux news site? I'm sure some people are practicing their ABCs or something over there. Bye bye.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Terry

    Thank goodness Congress doesn't lose their heads after these shootings and enact some kind of meaningful gun control. Hopefully Congress will pass this new law to take away our rights to not be locked up for as long as they want under the umbrella of terrorism. We should all have the right to carry UZIs. ( sarcasm in case you can't tell ) )

    December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ninja Food

    what is Manchurian Candidate? It's propaganda machine or code that is design to brainwash people into a kill machine for wartime. For example. A subliminal messages on SAT or College Exams. People who are born to read subliminal message and break the code and turn into mind control killing machine by accident. As soon as turn themselves in. The investigator will put the shooter Interrogation. The Shooter's minds will wake up and have not idea why he did it.

    Government should spend money developing real life "MINORITY REPORT" technology from prevent it.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      If you are aren't good at t...if really need help.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John Doe

    Can we stop saying 'shot dead?' Does anyone ever say 'stabbed dead' or 'poisoned dead'? Can we say 'shot to death?' This is more of the dumbing down of America.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. us1776

    Must be too many PCB's in the water there.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joel

    We do not have to look too far to find homegrown terrorists right in our backyard.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      Before George Bush we called them criminals

      December 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. a

    wow, you disgust me.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
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