posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 06:08 PM
BLACKSBURG, Virginia (CNN) -- At least 33 people, including a gunman, were killed Monday during shootings in a dorm and a classroom building at
Virginia Tech, university officials said.
Two people were killed at a dormitory about 7:15 a.m., while another 30 people were killed about two hours later at Norris Hall -- the engineering
science and mechanics building -- university officials said.
University police Chief Wendell Flinchum said police were still investigating whether the two incidents are related. Investigators are not ruling out
a second shooter, Flinchum said. (Watch the police chief explain where bodies were found Video)
The death toll at Norris Hall makes the incident the deadliest school attack in U.S. history, surpassing attacks at Columbine High School in 1999 and
at the University of Texas in 1966.
The gunman at Norris Hall, who police say took his own life, was not carrying identification and has not been identified.
"Norris Hall is a tragic and a sorrowful crime scene, and we are in the process of identifying victims," university President Charles Steger
Asked why the campus, which has more than 26,000 students, was not shut down after the first shooting, Flinchum responded that police determined "it
was an isolated event to that building and the decision was made not to cancel classes at that time."
Steger added, "We had some reason to believe the shooter had left campus."
Spokespersons for hospitals in Roanoke, Christiansburg, Blacksburg and Salem told CNN they were treating a total of 29 injured people from the
Sharon Honaker with Carilion New River Medical Center in Christiansburg said one of the four gunshot victims being treated there was in critical
Scott Hill, a spokesman for Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, where 17 wounded students were taken, said he wasn't expecting any more
victims. (Map of Blacksburg)
The first reported shootings occurred at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a dormitory that houses 895 students. The dormitory, one of the largest residence
halls on the 2,600-acre campus, is located near the drill field and stadium. (Campus map)
Amie Steele, editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, said one of her reporters at the dormitory reported "mass chaos."
The reporter said there were "lots of students running around, going crazy, and the police officers were trying to settle everyone down and keep
everything under control," according to Steele. (Watch police, ambulances hustle to the scene Video)
Kristyn Heiser said she was in class about 9:30 a.m. when she and her classmates saw about six gun-wielding police officers run by a window,
apparently responding to the Norris Hall shooting.
"We were like, 'What's going on?' Because this definitely is a quaint town where stuff doesn't really happen. It's pretty boring here," said
Heiser during a phone interview as she sat on her classroom floor.
Another student, Tiffany Otey, said she and her classmates thought the gunshots were construction noise until they heard screaming and police officers
with bulletproof vests and machine guns entered her classroom.
"They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn't cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot," Otey said.
"I guess they were afraid, like us -- like the shooter was going to be among one of us."
It's truely disgusting how mangled a person's sense of reality can be, that he/she actually feels it necessary, or okay, to take anothers life.
I'm also baffled at how long it took to get him. 2 Hours after the shooting at the dormitories, he/she killed 30 more people in the engineering
Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.