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33 Dead in Virginia Tech Shootings, At Least 24 Injured

Discussion in 'Off Topic - Anything' started by EastEndMotorSports, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. EastEndMotorSports

    EastEndMotorSports New Member

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    Aug 27, 2006
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    33 Dead in Virginia Tech Shootings, At Least 24 Injured

    Thirty-three people were killed and at least 30 injured during a shooting rampage this morning at Virginia Tech, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

    The unidentified shooter was among the dead. Law enforcement authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the shooter used two 9mm pistols. They also said that the shooter was not carrying identification and his head wounds were so severe that authorities could not immediately identify him.

    The shootings, which included both students and staff members, took place at West Ambler Johnston, a dormitory, and Norris Hall, which houses the College of Engineering, at opposite ends of the sprawling campus. Authorities said the first shooting was reported shortly after 7 a.m. at the dorm and the second about two hours later at Norris Hall.

    Trey Perkins, who was sitting in room 207 in Norris Hall, said the gunman barged into the room at about 9:50 a.m. and opened fire for about a minute and a half. "Some 30 shots in all," said Perkins, who was seated in the back of the room.

    It was a German class, Perkins said, and there were about 15 students in the room. The gunman, who was holding two pistols, Perkins said, first shot the professor in the head and kept on shooting at the students. Perkins said the student was of Asian descent, "around 19," and had "very serious but very calm look on his face."

    "Everyone hit the floor at that moment," said Perkins, 20, of Yorktown, Va., a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, who sounded shaken on the phone. "And the shots seemed like it lasted forever."

    Charles Steger, president of the university, said at a later afternoon news conference that 31 people, including the gunman were killed at Norris Hall and two others died at the dorm. He said there was no connection between the two shootings, however, law enforcement sources told The Washington Post that a single shooter was responsible for both incidents. He said a list of the dead was not likely to be released until tomorrow.

    During the news conference, Steger and Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said the shooter at Norris Hall chained the doors to the building from the inside.

    Steger was questioned repeatedly about university officials' decision not to lock down the campus after the initial shooting, in which a man and a woman were killed in a dormitory room. He said that at the time, about 7:15 a.m., officials thought the incident was contained, and also said that it might not have been effective because many students would already have been in transit to their 8 a.m. classes.

    "Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," Steger said at an earlier news conference. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified that this would befall us."

    President Bush, in an afternoon news conference, said the shooting affected the entire country.

    "Schools should be a place of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community," he said. "Today our nation grieves for those who have lost loved ones."

    Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who was just beginning a two-week trade mission to Asia, said he was notified of the shootings at Virginia Tech around midnight Tokyo time. He later talked to Bush, who pledged federal support if Virginia needs it.

    Kaine, noting that students were terrorized last summer by reports of an armed escaped prisoner who was caught near the campus, in addition to today's massacre, told CNN that the Blacksburg community "has been through a lot. It's a tight community with a great deal of spirit."

    The governor said he would fly to Blacksburg overnight so he can attend a planned convocation today at the school. He also declared a state of emergency and ordered that the commonwealth flag be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims.

    University officials, who have been inundated with calls from worried parents, urged students on the school website to contact their parents as soon as possible.

    The shooting at Virginia Tech comes just four days before the anniversary of the Columbine High School slaying, in which 12 students and a teacher were gunned down by two students who spent months plotting the attack. The shooters killed themselves.

    The worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred Oct. 16, 1991, at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. George Hennard rammed his truck into the cafeteria and opened fire on the lunchtime crowd, killing 22 people before turning his gun on himself and taking his own life.

    Area hospitals treating the wounded have reported at least 10 people are in critical condition and several are in surgery.

    Earlier in the day, university officials confirmed a lower number of fatalities.

    Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum, speaking at a news conference today, said he did not know whether the shooter was a student. Some of those killed were students in a classroom at Norris Hall, he said.

    On the first day of the school year last August, Virginia Tech was shut down because of concerns that a gunman was on campus. The man, an escaped inmate accused of killing a sheriff's deputy and a security guard, was later captured near the school grounds.

    The 2,600-acre campus, about four hours southwest of Washington, was shut down for the day. Families trying to find students are advised to meet them at the Inn at Virginia Tech. The university, founded in 1872, has more than 25,000 fulltime students.

    Counseling has been set up in the Merriman Center for employees and students. A convocation has been scheduled for noon tomorrow so the campus could begin healing.

    CNN showed a video taken by a student using a camera phone in which dozens of shots could be heard. It was unclear whether the gunman or police fired the shots.

    At least four area hospitals are treating the wounded.

    At the White House, Dana Perino's, deputy press secretary, said: "The president was made aware of the Virginia Tech shootings. He was horrified. And his immediate reaction was one of deep concern for the families of the victims, the victims themselves, the students, the professors and all the people of Virginia who have dealt with this shocking incident. And his thoughts and prayers are with them."

    Carol Chappell, spokeswoman for Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem and Montgomery Regional in Blacksburg, said five of the injured were being treated at Lewis-Gale, which is a 521-bed facility. She said some of the injured at Lewis-Gale were referred from Montgomery Medical. Of the five patients admitted, four were students and one was a faculty member, she said. Two of the most critical were in surgery at 3 p.m.

    She said 18 students are being treated at Montgomery Regional. Four of the most critical were in surgery in the middle of the afternoon. All were being treated for gunshot wounds and other unspecified injuries.

    "It's so overwhelming," she said.

    Eric Earnhart, spokesman for the Carilion New River Hospital near Radford and the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital said four people were being treated at New River, which is about 20 minutes from Blacksburg. Three are in stable condition and one is in critical condition, he said.

    Roanoke Memorial, 45 minutes from Blacksburg and part of Carilion's 10-hospital system in western Virginia, is treating 3 of the injured, all in critical condition, Earnhart said. All seven of the injured at the two hospitals were inflicted with gunshot wounds.

    Earnhart confirmed that the four hospitals treating patients involved in the shooting were Memorial Regional, New River, Roanoke Memorial, a Level 1 Trauma Center, and Lewis-Gale.

    Students and staff were notified by e-mail and automated voicemails that a gunman was on the loose and that everyone should stay in their buildings and "away from windows."

    All across campus, people were trying to figure out what was happening, with cell phones sometimes working and sometimes not, the university Web site sometimes working and sometimes not, and the sound of sirens everywhere. Many watched from inside dorm rooms or offices, trading rumors and bad news. The co-ed West Ambler Johnston dorm is one of the largest residence halls on campus, housing 895 residents.

    Wayne Neu, a professor of ocean engineering, was in his office across from Norris Hall when he heard shots, including what sounded like a police shotgun. "I saw one faculty member who was shot in the arm apparently being led away," he said. "I've been here 25 years I've never seen something like this happen."

    Matteo del Ninno, a junior from Alexandria, had overslept and was rushing to his 10:10 a.m. class in Norris 200, when his girlfriend text-messaged him to see if he was OK. He hadn't heard anything about shootings but noticed the ambulances around; after her warning he went back to his house next to campus and checked all his messages. He's worried about his friends, engineering students who always meet before class in the hall.

    Staff and students contacted by telephone said the morning's events were unnerving.

    One woman who answered the phone in the school's Entomology Department said that about 9:45, they were notified that everyone was to remain in their offices and not venture out but were not given any other details. "There's cop cars everywhere," said the woman.

    Another worker at the university, who also did not wish to be identified, said that there has been a dearth of information, except what could be gleaned from news reports.

    "We're all just staying put," said the second woman.

    Staff writer Bill Brubaker, Susan Kinzie, Howard Schneider and Jose Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.

  2. EastEndMotorSports

    EastEndMotorSports New Member

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    Aug 27, 2006
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    How Virginia Tech Notified Students of Shooting

    Here is the official e-mail communication between Virginia Tech University officials and students, faculty, parents and others signed up on the school's list serve. The first 911 call was made at 7:15 a.m. to the university police department. Classes start at 8 a.m.

    9:26 a.m.

    Subject: Shooting on campus.

    A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning.

    Police are on the scene and are investigating.

    The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411 Stay attuned to the www.vt.edu. We will post as soon as we have more information.

    9:50 a.m.

    Subject: Please stay put

    A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.

    10:16 a.m.

    Subject: All Classes Canceled; Stay where you are

    Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where there are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.

    10:52 a.m.

    Subject: Second Shooting Reported; Police have one gunman in custody

    In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.

    Police and EMS are on the scene.

    Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.

    All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.

    All entrances to campus are closed.



    OK guys, this is a huge deal. This is the worst shooting in American history. I have friends that go to VTech and, thank god, they are ok. My room mate's cousin was in the class room that the second shooting took place, he luckily escaped with his life. A friend of my friend's was sitting next to a kid who got shot. I go to school about 2 hours east of VTech and it definitely is on everyones minds. I'm just so saddened by all of this.


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