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Monday, April 16, 2007

Carnage at Virginia campus

The cable news networks, including CNN, are reporting that the shootings at Virginia Tech are far more horrible than first reported:
The Virginia Tech Police Chief said at least 20 people were killed in twin shootings on the Blacksburg campus Monday morning.

"Some victims were shot in a classroom," Chief Wendell Flinchum said, adding that the gunman was dead.

President Charles Steger called the shootings "a tragedy of monumental proportions."

A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press that 17 Virginia Tech students were being treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries. Sharon Honaker at the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center told CNN that four patients had been transported there, one in critical condition.

One person was killed and others were wounded at multiple locations inside a dormitory about 7:15 a.m., Flinchum said. Two hours later, another shooting at Norris Hall, an engineering building, resulted in multiple casualties, the university reported.
Terrible. There are hardly words to describe these sorts of massacres, which are far too common in our society.

UPDATE, 10:50 AM: Various media outlets, including, are reporting at least 22 dead:
At least 22 people were shot and killed this morning at Virginia Tech in an incident that the school's president, Charles Steger, called a "tragedy of monumental proportions."

"The university is shocked and indeed horrified," he said.

The shootings, which started shortly after 7:30 a.m., occurred in at least two places, Norris and West Ambler-Johnston halls. The gunman, who police believe acted alone at this point, is dead, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Authorities are in the process of notifying next-of-kin of the victims, he said.

Twenty of the victims were shot in Norris Hall, a classroom building, Flinchum said. One was shot early this morning in West Ambler-Johnston, a residence hall. A second person was shot in West Ambler-Johnston but survived.

Authorities are not releasing the name of the suspect or saying whether he killed himself or was killed by authorities.
UPDATE II, 11:05 AM A Virginia television station reports on the wounded:
At Montgomery Regional Hospital 17 patients - 4 patients critical and in surgery
At New River Valley Medical Center 5 patients - 4 stable, 1 critical
At Carilion Roanoke Memorial - 3 patients, all critical
At Lewis Gale Hospital - 5 patients, including one faculty member.
UPDATE III, 11:17 AM: ABC News puts the death toll at 29.
At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass shooting in American history — and the death toll may rise.

At least 17 injured students were admitted to local hospitals.

Police at Virginia Tech, in Blaksburg, Va., said that the shootings happened at a dormitory and a classroom on opposite sides of the university campus.

Law enforcement sources tell ABC News the shooting may have been set off by an off-campus incident. Details were unclear.
FINAL UPDATE FOR THIS POST, 12:07 PM: MSNBC says the death toll is at least 31. (The headline says 31 and other outlets are also reporting that number, while the MSNBC lede here says at least 30. It could be as high as 33.)
A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at a college in Virginia on Monday, killing at least 30 people in the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history. The gunman also was killed, and more than a dozen other people were injured.

“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions,” said Charles Steger, president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, in southwest Virginia. “The university is shocked and indeed horrified.”

The shootings spread panic and confusion at the college, which is popularly known as Virginia Tech. Witnesses reporting students jumping out the windows of a classroom building to escape the gunfire.

Authorities said the gunman was dead after he shot nearly 50 people at two locations on campus. Twenty-one were confirmed dead, NBC News reported. At least 28 others were injured, at least four of whom were in critical condition, NBC affiliate WSLS-TV in nearby Roanoke reported, quoting local hospital officials.
Traditional media outlets are reporting that this is the worst shooting rampage anywhere in US history. It's certainly a very sad day for our country. Let's keep the Virginia Tech families and students in our thoughts and prayers.

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