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.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    Another Second Amendment hero exercising his rights.

  2. Trumwill says:

    Because, naturally, the right to own firearms is indistinguishable from the right to kill people indiscriminately.

  3. ponce says:

    Because, naturally, the right to own firearms is indistinguishable from the right to kill people indiscriminately.

    That would seem to be the case for thousands and thousands of Americans.

  4. Trumwill says:

    I guess I miss the articles wherein defenders of the second amendment exalt people like the perpetrator in this case as heroes.

  5. ponce says:

    I guess I miss the articles wherein defenders of the second amendment exalt people like the perpetrator in this case as heroes.

    Their beliefs and political…bribary are what put guns in the hands of violent people like this, Trummy.

  6. @ponce:

    I admire your prescience and foresight to have determined the facts of this case before anyone else on the planet.

    Could you tell me who’s going to win the Super Bowl? I need to get a bet in.

  7. Ernieyeball says:

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

  8. Trumwill says:

    So, as a general rule, supporting a freedom makes you responsible for (supporter of, actually) anyone that breaks the law using said freedom? Is Kermit Gosnell thereby a hero of the pro-choice movement? That’s a pretty strong anti-freedom argument. Or does it only apply to freedoms that you do not support?

  9. ponce says:

    So, as a general rule, supporting a freedom makes you responsible for (supporter of, actually) anyone that breaks the law using said freedom?

    Yep.

  10. Trumwill says:

    I may have to reconsider my stance on immigration, then. It was people like me (or policies put into place by people like me) that let the 9/11 crew in, and I don’t want to be a supporter of terrorism…

  11. mantis says:

    So, as a general rule, supporting a freedom makes you responsible for (supporter of, actually) anyone that breaks the law using said freedom?

    Yep.

    This is just dumb, ponce.

    Do you support freedom of speech? Does that make you responsible for everyone who has committed libel?

    Do you support freedom of the religion? Does that make you responsible for the deaths of Christian Scientist children whose parents refuse to seek medical treatment for them?

    Do you support freedom of association? Does that make you responsible for discriminatory policies?

    A supporter of the freedom to bear arms is in no way responsible for crimes committed by those who avail themselves of that freedom, simply by virtue of his/her support of that freedom.

  12. ponce says:

    A supporter of the freedom to bear arms is in no way responsible for crimes committed by those who avail themselves of that freedom,

    B.S. mantis.

    The constant campaign to allow easy access to cheap and deadly weapons is exactly why dozens of Americas are gunned down every.single.day.

    And let’s note that the cop who was killed in the original post was most likely armed and quite skilled with his weapon.

  13. mantis says:

    B.S. mantis.

    It is most certainly not “B.S.” Your attempt to blame anyone who thinks we should have the right to own guns for murder is.

    The constant campaign to allow easy access to cheap and deadly weapons is exactly why dozens of Americas are gunned down every.single.day.

    The shooters bear no responsibility?

    And let’s note that the cop who was killed in the original post was most likely armed and quite skilled with his weapon.

    Ok, let’s note that. So what?

  14. Rob in CT says:

    15-yard penalty, loss of down. Just poor form, ponce. The others are absolutely right here.

  15. Tlaloc says:

    comparing a right to own deadly weapons and a right to express yourself is pure asinine. It’s the kind of thing college students do when there’s nobody around who knows better to correct them.

    The pro-2nd amendment lobby is absolutely to blame for America’s gun violence by the simple fact they they’ve fought so hard to prevent even the most timid clear headed restrictions, like say not selling to the mentally ill, from being enacted. They’ve glorified the idea of universal ownership of a weapon as being a good thing and then are just so shocked when a godly number of those people are utterly incompetent or homicidal. They shrug their shoulders and say “well who knew? Certainly not us!”

    Craven scum.

  16. ponce says:

    Without handguns’ ease
    Anger and greed just turns to
    Empty handed slaps

  17. matt says:

    Lets look at what is required for a purchase a gun in my home state of Illinois

    A buyer is required to show his Firearms Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) when purchasing any firearms or ammunition. Any seller is required to withhold delivery of any handgun for 72 hours, and of any rifle or shotgun for 24 hours, after the buyer and seller reach an agreement to purchase a firearm.

    The waiting period does not apply to a buyer who is a dealer, law enforcement officer, or a nonresident at a gun show recognized by the Illinois Department of State Police.

    The seller must retain for 10 years a record of the transfer, including a description of the firearm (including serial number), the identity of the buyer, and the buyer’s FOID number.

    A federally licensed dealer must contact the Department of State Police for a background check, for which there is a $2.00 fee. Any sales at gun shows, including dealers and private parties, must contact the state police for a background check.

    Private parties selling firearms at gun shows must ensure the buyer has a FOID card and the buyer must undergo a background check. It is unlawful to sell or give any handgun to a person under 18, or any firearm to a person who is not eligible to obtain a FOID.

    Okay so lets see what is required to get a FOID card to buy a gun.

    Is over 21 years of age. If under 21, he must have the written consent of his parent or guardian. In such case, the guardian himself must not be ineligible for a FOID, and the applicant must never have been convicted of a misdemeanor or adjudged a delinquent.

    Has never been convicted of a felony.

    Is not a narcotics addict.

    Has not been a patient in a mental hospital in the preceding five years.

    Is not mentally retarded.

    Is not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.

    Is not subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting the possession of a firearm.

    Has not been convicted within the past 5 years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction, in which a firearm was used or possessed.

    Has not been convicted of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed on or after January 1, 1998.

    Has not been convicted within the past five years of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed before January 1, 1998.

    An applicant for a FOID must consent to the Department using the applicant's digital driver's license or Illinois ID card photograph, if available, and signature on the FOID, and must furnish the Department with his driver's license or Illinois ID card number.

    The Department must approve or deny the FOID within 30 days and is authorized to deny the FOID only if the applicant does not meet the listed qualifications. The FOID is valid for five years from the date of issuance. The Department shall forward to each FOID holder, a notice of expiration and a renewal notice application, 60 days prior to expiration.

    A FOID may be revoked and seized if the holder made a false statement on the application, is no longer eligible, or whose mental condition poses a clear and present danger to self, others, or community.

    Hmm interesting quite a few requirements. I guess this high level of entry is required so you can carry your guy anywhere anytime?

    It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person, except on one's land or or fixed place of business.

    It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm on any public street or other public lands within the corporate limits of a city, village, or incorporated town, except when: an invitee thereon or therein, for the purpose of the display of firearms or the lawful commerce in firearms.

    Exceptions are persons using their firearms on established target ranges; licensed hunters, trappers, or fishermen while engaged in their licensed activity; transportation of firearms that are broken down in a non-functioning state or are not immediately accessible, and transportation, carrying, or possession of a firearm which is unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container, by the possessor of a valid FOID.

    Under the Wildlife Code, it is unlawful to have or carry any firearm in or on any vehicle or conveyance unless unloaded and enclosed in a case.

    It is unlawful for any person to store or leave a firearm if the person knows or has reason to believe that a minor under the age of 14 years who does not have a FOID is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, and the minor causes death or great bodily harm with the firearm, unless the firearm is:

    1. Secured by a device or mechanism, other than the firearm safety, designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable, or

    2. Placed in a securely locked box or container, or

    3. Placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor.

    Yes Tlaloc clearly the second amendment lobby is responsible for the horrible gun crime rate in Chicago because they have “prevented even the most timid clear headed restrictions, like say not selling to the mentally ill, from being enacted.”

    Oh BTW in Chicago handguns are illegal and even long guns are mostly illegal yet somehow people are still killing each other. Hell in England guns are pretty much universally banned and somehow on an island nation people are still killing each other. At this point the government in England has been investigating the possibility of mandating that knives be “stab proof” while already outlawing swords…

    So yeah keep telling yourself if it wasn’t for those mean gun owners that murder would be gone…

  18. matt says:

    @ponce: It turns into a stabbing or a multple beat down which has been just as fatal here time and time again. In Texas where I live right now despite having lesser requirements for gun ownership there’s still a lot of fatal stabbings (knives don’t leave behind bullets or much in the way of evidence and are incredibly deadly)..

  19. mantis says:

    @matt:

    Yeah, I’ve been through that process. It’s absurd to believe there are no restrictions on gun ownership, at least in many states.

    Oh BTW in Chicago handguns are illegal and even long guns are mostly illegal

    Not anymore, after Heller.

  20. matt says:

    @mantis: Awesome I somehow missed Heller.