April 16, 2007
Police are saying there are at least 33 people dead in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history after two shooting incidents at Virginia Tech Monday. Officials say the gunmen is among the dead, officials saying he committed suicide. At this time, it is not clear whether he was a student because he wasn't carrying any identification.
Virginia Tech president Charles Steger defended the university's handling of the situation after students complained that there was no public address after the first incident of gunfire.
Students say the first word of danger from the university was in an email more than two hours into the rampage, around the time the gunman struck again.
Steger said that they relied on email and other electronic means of communication, but with 11,000 people driving onto campus Monday morning, it was difficult to get the word out.
Steger says that they believed that the first incident was a domestic dispute and that the suspect had fled from the campus.
Virginia Tech officials canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday and say that they believe the campus is now secure.
School officials say the first shooting happened early Monday morning around 7:15 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston Hall, one of the largest dorms on campus. It houses nearly 900 students.
Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said two people were killed in the dormitory and 31 others were killed later in a shooting at Norris Hall, an academic building. He wouldn't say how many weapons the gunmen carried but one officer, on condition of anonymity, said the gunman had two pistols and multiple clips of ammunition.
The shooting incident was the second at the school in less than one year. Last August, the campus was closed when an escaped jail inmate allegedly killed a hospital guard and a sheriff's deputy involved in a massive manhunt.
We are continuing to follow this story and will have the latest as it becomes available.
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