Shooting at Virginia Tech; Officer Reported Dead [Updated]
There's a breaking situation going on at Virginia Tech: An officer has been reported dead after reports of a shooting. The school's website includes this information about the suspected shooter, who remains at large, and the incident:
From VT Alerts (1:12 p.m.): Suspect remains at large. A police officer has been shot. A potential second victim is reported at the Cage lot. Stay indoors. Secure in place.
From VT Alerts (12:47 p.m.): Suspect described as white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backpack. On foot towards McComas. Call 911
This photo, tweeted by @LeroneNRV, shows what appears to be a body under a sheet.
The school's Twitter is @vtnews. Virginia Tech's paper, the Collegiate Times, is tweeting about the incident as well.
In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before committing suicide at Virginia Tech.
We'll update as we learn more.
Update: A person apparently surrendered, per the Collegiate Times, but that person is not under arrest. Students continue to report shots.
Reuters reports that a university spokesman says two have been killed in the shooting. The shooter remains at large.
According to the latest on VT's homepage, which is loading slowly/sporadically:
Police investigating shootings on campus; shooter's status unknown Shortly after noon today, a Virginia Tech police officer stopped a vehicle on campus during a routine traffic stop in the Coliseum parking lot near McComas Hall
During the traffic stop. the officer was shot and killed. There were witnesses to this shooting.
Witnesses reported to police the shooter fled on foot heading toward the Cage, a parking lot near Duck Pond Drive. At that parking lot, a second person was found. That person is also deceased.
Several law enforcement agencies have responded to assist. Virginia State Police has been requested to take lead in the investigation
The status of the shooter is unknown. The campus community should continue to shelter in place and visitors should not come to campus.
This is the Virginia Tech Police tip line: (540) 231-6411.
Collegiate Times continues to Tweet (check breaking news here...you can also check their Facebook page as the site is intermittent.) VT's homepage isn't loading at this time. There continue to be conflicting reports on the location of the suspect.
Police are reportedly interested in a maroon Mitsubishi, though it's unclear if that's the suspect's car. [WDBJ7, which has a live feed, reports "From police scanner: Police just issued "Be On Lookout for a Burgundy Mitsubishi License: kmp-1811"]
The Collegiate Times says, "Everyone should stay inside, but flurry of gunshot reports are not true. Two victims remain only victims at this point."
Some further updates, from the Washington Post (they quote several students): There are no classes today at the university, it's a reading day to prepare for finals. Also, Virginia Tech officials are in Washington today "to appeal a $55,000 federal penalty from the U.S. Department of Education over the university's response to the 2007 massacre."
Update from VT's homepage:
Media briefing to be held at Schott Media Room at 4:30 p.m. (Posted: 2:39 p.m.) Media are advised to stage and gather at the Schott Media Room in the west side South End Zone, lower level of Lane Stadium.
Parking will be in the Track Soccer Lot
The university is planning a 4:30 p.m. media briefing.
Update: Shooter's status remains unknown; visitors advised to stay away from campus (Posted: 2:20 p.m.) Numerous reports have been made recently of sounds identified as gunshots and suspicious activity on campus. These recent reports have been investigated and are unfounded. The suspect's status remains unknown. Several law enforcement agencies are on scene to assist. Please stay where you are and secure your surroundings.
Photos of law enforcement responding on campus from the Collegiate Times photo editor Daniel Lim are here.
VT says, "Exams scheduled for Friday (tomorrow) have been postponed." Also from VT:
There are no new substantiated reports of suspicious or criminal activity. Status of the shooter remains unknown. Police continue to ask the university community to stay where they are and secure in place.
Update: Alert remains active; stay where you are
(Posted: 3:09 p.m.) There are no new substantiated reports of suspicious or criminal activity. Status of the shooter remains unknown.
A press conference is scheduled to start at 4:30.
NBC is reporting that, per law enforcement officials, the second shooting victim may be the gunman who killed the campus policeman.
The latest on VT's homepage:
Update: Police remain on scene
(Posted: 4:19 p.m.)Virginia State Police and Virginia Tech Police remain on the scene of an officer-involved shooting on the Virginia Tech campus. At this time there are two confirmed deaths. One is a Virginia Tech Police Officer. The second is an unknown male subject who was found deceased in a parking lot near the Duck Pond. A weapon has been recovered at the location of the second individual. Reports of any additional shots being fired or any additional victims are unfounded.
As of 4:31, the threat has been lifted:
(Posted: 4:31 p.m.) Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities.
The officer killed has been identified as Derieck Crouse. The incident is now being classified as a murder-suicide, reports the Collegiate Times.
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