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. Jack

    AGAIN ?

    December 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike

    it s time for gun control folks

    December 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Hope

      how about, no. thanks for playing.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • gburg

      We can't have gun control, if we did intelligent people like say all of Europe wouldn't have anyone to laugh at.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      We already have gun control, but if you mean confiscation, won't happen but keep trying.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Gun control? So because some crazy person shoots and kills a small amount of people, believe me, I want the guy brought to justice, and not just in court, but you want them to be more "secure" on gun control? What about the thousands of hit and runs, and people being ran over by cars? Its all about personal responsibility.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      You mean we should make guns double illegal on college campuses? And if someone has one on campus, we put them on double secret probation?

      What gun law would have helped here? It was illegal for him to have the gun on campus. It was illegal for him to brandish the weapon. It was illegal for him to point it at the officer. It was illegal for him to fire it at the officer. It was illegal for him to fire it at all in that location. If you know of an additional law that would have somehow stopped this from happening, when all those others didn't, by all means, share with the rest of the class.

      December 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pullyourkidsoutofvirginiatech

    What's more dangerous ? Downtown Detroit at 2 am or Virginia Tech in the daytime ?

    December 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      You – and the shocking amount of other crass, insensitive idiots with internet access – are the reason why comment sections should be disabled. You don't know the school at all, do you? The mass shooting there was essentially a terrorist attack by a man who literally lost his mind. That's NOT a reflection of the university. And has it ever occurred to you that any violence post the massacre might be the attempts of copycats? You make me sick.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      I'd stroll down MLD drive in Detroit at night before anytime at VT. Those students are a menace to society.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fiskenmann

    Maybe the killer was actually looking for this article writer who published the time line from bottom to top!

    December 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Craig

    He's probably just mad that VT made it to the Sugar Bowl somehow like everyone else.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack watters

      I agree VT sucks

      December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quagmire

      cuzt vt wvu clemson and mich shouldn't be in either bowl lol, my guess though the guy probly wasn't even a student.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Davis

    Our hearts go out to the families who lost their loved ones today. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We grieve with you on
    your loss. God Bless Both Families!

    December 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pullyourkidsoutofvirginiatech

    Nothing but animals attend that school.BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    December 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jessica

    I went to Virginia Tech for a year, and my choice to change schools was the hardest choice I ever had to make. I love it there and all of the people there. The thought of someone being in that environment and being able to kill another is truly sickening, and the thought of people commenting on here saying that Virginia Tech is a terrible place is almost as sickening. Virginia Tech and being a Hokie is a way of life. Someone from the outside looking in has no clue what it is life, and someone from the inside looking out has no clue how to explain it. Just because two people made the choice to kill others doesn't have any reflection on the school itself. Honestly people, show some respect and compassion; you would want others to do the same for you.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ninja Food

    Why VT is Good school? Because there's career and good wages... Students go their don't know if they were exorcist, captured by Ghosts, Demons, devils, satan, evil lord, etc. Once the ghosts enters the student's body. he becomes a killer.

    sCary... but good school with engineering, science, etc.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Whynot11

    Yes, because gun control keeps guns out of the hands of innocent people. That should stop those guys who illegally obtain guns.

    How does one LEGALLY stop one from ILLEGALLY obtaining a gun?

    What we need is stiffer LAWS concerning guns. Like making it hard for delinquents like this guy from getting them, in addition to doubling or tripling the sentence for improperly using a gun.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mott the Hoople

    Maybe it's time to check what is in the drinking water at Virginia Tech.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kc8yho

    ok an obvious take is this a campus pd cop "security" more then likely used a campus police car to pull over a car not on campus property such as a major road that if it is on a road it is not campus property and campus pd "security " can not pull over anyone on it as it falls under state laws and campus pd may NOT PULL OVER ANY VEHICLE ON A STATE ROAD for any reason regardless of police affiliation, and the driver took in his defense his weapon if he was legally allowed to carry it a person impersonating a cop and armed and shot him which in reality is legal as if it was a public road then it is not college owned and the college campus pd "security " is impersonating a officer on a state governed roadway at that point he was armed and pulling over illegally a vehicle so in legality sense if all the above is case it in sense would be justifiable however not the parking lot, and for the media it is pretty pathetic you are making a huge riot out of something that has nothing to do with the college at all . you may want to take up a better hobby in this case maybe car show reporting ? no offense VT students,faculty but reality for most part is it has nothing to do with VT except a campus security guard probably did something pretty dumb and is now dead because of it this is why police wear bullet proof vest as well.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Orenthal J Simpson

    What an animal.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Swag Swag

    Breaking news: Virginia Tech shooting NOT A BIG DEAL
    Playing off of the reputation of VTech's infamous shooting in previous years, news outlets across the country are hyping up the shooting to mass proportions. Opposed to the 57 casualties in 2007's massacre, this year's has managed to get up to the unbelievable number of TWO, one of which was a cop! Not really a huge story by any means, but mass media sure does have a way to manipulate the minds of America!

    December 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRH

      Excuse me!??!!?? Two dead human beings is "no big deal"? You don't know either of them, and you're not part of the VT community, are you? I hope neither you nor any of your family or friends are ever killed in gun violence. But if they are, I bet you'll think *that's* a big deal, eh? How utterly insensitive and juvenile.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas

      What's the deal with VT anyway? Something in the water?

      December 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paige

      We can never be too careful, so you need to stop with your snide remarks. You don't know what it is like to be there on lockdown without information and have loved ones on campus. And get your facts correct. 32 people died on the day of April 16, 2007, and you owe them some respect.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • rod

      A cop and a student were murdered on a college campus and the shooter is at large. This is in no way being blown out of proportion. You are a sick person.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheva

      I'm sure it was a big deal to the cop and his/her loved ones. Just because the numbers aren't larger doesn't mean this isn't still a tragedy. Also think there will probably be trama for the person the cop had stopped as they probably witnesses the shooting – and then, of course, the shooter's loved ones will probably also be devastated. On top of this, for those who were around for the 'big deal" 4 years ago, this will bring back some painful memories. This effects many more people than you might realize.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • VT Alum

      Let me just say that first of all, it IS a big deal. Any loss of life is a big deal. Two casualties is not "better" than what happened in 2007. I will say, however, that the media portrays VT as a broken, tragedy-ridden place. It's not the truth. These tragedies happen every day on every campus, and those are NOT okay either. The difference is that the world wants to point to VT as the problem, and that's ignorant an inaccurate. No, this is not as BIG as 2007. But let's keep perspective here, and report in proportion to what's happening. Just a note from a recent VT graduate.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael J.

      Let me be the first to say it, Swag: You're a moron.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quagmire

      this sort of thing happens alot. this just happend to be on college campus where people are supposed to be safe.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • willow oak

      You don't have too many brain cells firing , do you?

      December 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      It's always a huge deal when shootings happen at schools. I don't know what planet you are from or what's in that pipe you are smoling...

      December 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Though the comment was certainly too offhand, the poster does have a point. This shooting bears no resemblance to the past incident and would have been quickly buried as regional news if it had not been at VT. It certainly would not have gone world wide so quickly nor have been as hyped nationally.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • White Lotus

      This is a big deal. Anytime a police officer is shot it makes headline news even though they are at greater risk than the general public. The fact that it's happening at Virginia Tech makes it more significant. In 2007 30+ people were killed by a crazed gunman. In 2009 a student had her head cut off in the school cafeteria. Now in 2011 two people, including a policeman were killed. If you were a student attending Virginia Tech in 2007 and stayed for 4 years, you would have witnessed all these crimes. These are not everyday crimes, we don't always get 30+ people killed and getting your head cut off on a school campus is definitely NOT a normal thing.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kc8yho

    don't get me wrong its bad the campus security/pd officer got shot and killed maybe it was a good stop etc i dont know it all about this but i can say my condolences to his friends,family,loved ones etc and hope they catch the person involved in it but again for everyone else including the media if you took the above away and had a bad taste in your mouth think of what you are putting out there before you do it as obviously the rest of the world has the same taste but when you make everyone call their loved ones and panic and wonder if they are ok or even alive because of what you decide to blabble on that isn't fact or written in a way that will make them read it to scare the shiat out of them and make them read it to see if their friends or family are ok ? maybe you should all rethink before you post to this or write the news .

    December 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
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