Two Killed On Virginia Tech Campus, Shooter On The Loose
A disturbing flashback to 2007’s massacre is taking place in Blacksburg, Virginia right now:
A Virginia Tech police officer was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop on the Blacksburg campus and a second person was found slain in a nearby parking lot after the gunman fled, the university reports.
The shooter is still at large, the university said.
A campus-wide message advised students to “Stay indoors,” and warned. “Secure in place.”
There are no classes today at the university as students have a reading day to prepare for finals.
The university said it was a routine traffic stop that prompted the shootings.
Jermaine Holmes, director of academic support services for student athletes, said the shooting appeared to be a traffic stop gone awry.
“It’s right across from our building in the parking lot,” he said. “It didn’t appear to be just a kind of random shooting.”
Holmes said the parking lot had been cordoned off with yellow police tape, and the area was thick with officers. He said he and his colleagues felt safe, and he was impressed by the swiftness of the campus alert system.
“The facilities folks locked down the building immediately,” he said. “We’re not allowing any students or staff to leave.”
Virginia Tech, a public campus of about 30,000 students, has one of the nation’s most advanced security alert systems, installed after the nation’s worst campus shooting, a 2007 rampage by student Seung-Hui Cho that left 32 dead.
Fortunately, the advance warnings and lockdown procedures seem to be working at the moment so the students appear to be safe. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon.
Update: It’s just before 5:00pm and the lockdown has apparently been lifted. There is a suspicion, which police won’t confirm publicly, that the second victim may have be the shooter himself.