Thursday, December 08, 2011

Virginia Tech is on lockdown (7x UPDATED)

7th UPDATE: 9:24 p.m. EST: Tweet from @Collegiate Times: Slain Virginia Tech Police officer identified as Deriek Crouse, a 39 year old from Christiansburg. Previous tweet said 49.

The details, as they are known at this point, of the shootings at Virginia Tech -- a university police officer and another person were fatally shot today by a lone gunman who later turned up dead. Reuters picks up where the investigation is at this point.

Authorities declared the campus safe and lifted a lock-down after a nearly four-hour manhunt, seeming to lend credence to television news reports that a body found in a Virginia Tech parking lot was that of the shooter.

Police at a televised news conference declined to say whether they suspected a murder-suicide and offered no motive for the crime, citing an ongoing investigation.

"Today tragedy again struck Virginia Tech with a wanton act of violence where a police officer was murdered during a routine traffic stop," Virginia Tech President Charles Steger told reporters. "Words don't describe our feelings."

The place where the officer was shot is in a parking lot in the shadows of the Virginia Tech football stadium. Small groups of students stood nearby as police removed yellow tape from around the crime scene on Thursday evening.
6th UPDATE: 2:19 p.m. EST: Another tweet from @Collegiate Times: Virginia Tech is on lockdown, many conflicting reports about where suspect may be

5th UPDATE: 1:58 p.m. EST: From @CollegiateTimes (via Twitter): The shooter is at large

4th UPDATE: 1:56 p.m. EST: The Twitter account for the Va Tech student-run newspaper is @CollegiateTimes.

3rd UPDATE: 1:53 p.m. EST: Reuters is reporting that there are two dead as a result of the shooting at Virginia Tech.

2nd UPDATE: 1:48 p.m. EST: A tweet from the Philadelphia Inquirer: VA Tech campus paper says a suspect in shooting has surrendered

1st UPDATE: 1:31 p.m. EST: The Associated Press reports the shooting of a police officer prompted the university to take action.
Virginia Tech says a police officer has been shot and a possible second victim has been reported at a parking lot near the campus, where 32 students and faculty died in a 2007 rampage that was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Authorities are seeking a suspect. A campus-wide alert tells students and faculty to stay inside and lock doors.
A law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said initial reports indicated that the shooting occurred following a traffic stop.
ORIGINAL POST: The Los Angeles Times sent the following news alert at 1:14 p.m. EST:
Virginia Tech is on lockdown after reports of shots fired near the campus today. The university issued an alert on its website at 12:47 p.m. EST, describing the possible shooter as a white male, wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim, a maroon hoodie and backpack.

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