UPDATE: Virginia Tech Shooter Believed to be Dead
The Associated Press is reporting that the gunman who fled after killing a police officer on the Virginia Tech campus is believed to be dead. After the officer was shot at around noon today, authorities found a second body in the same campus parking lot that the shooter fled towards. It was not immediately clear if that second body the gunman, although the possibility was alluded to by officials during a press conference this afternoon.
Not much more information was provided in the conference. The identities of those involved were not revealed, and very few details of the attack were given. Officials did say the officer was not shot by the person he pulled over, but by a third party who had seemingly no connection to the traffic stop.
Police tracking dogs were at the scene and were used in the investigation. There was little information released about the body found in the parking lot, however it was confirmed the deceased was a male. The shooter was described as a white male in grey sweat pants, wearing a hat with a neon band.
The shooting triggered a campus-wide lock-down which lasted several hours. It was lifted at around 3:30 Thursday. In 2007 the campus was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Tech Chancellor Kent Hance and President Guy Bailey both expressed their sorrow and extended their support to the Virginia Tech community and families of the victims. Their comments are below.
Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance:
The Texas Tech University System is saddened to learn of the tragic events which unfolded on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, today. Devastating situations like these impact us all, and we extend our support and sympathy to the town, community and Virginia Tech family. They all will be in our thoughts and prayers.”
Texas Tech University President Guy Bailey:
On behalf of Texas Tech University, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Virginia Tech community. Loss of life is always tragic, and our heartfelt support goes out to our colleagues and fellow students in Blacksburg. Our thoughts also are with the families and friends of the victims.