Virginia Tech On Alert After Report Of Shots, Two Deaths Reported

There’s a tense situation happening now on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., where shots have been fired, a suspect is still at large and a police officer has apparently been shot.

The school has advised everyone on campus to “seek shelter or stay where you are” because of reports about shots being fired there.

It adds that:

“[A] suspect described as white male, gray sweat pants, gray hat w/neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backback” was seen “on foot towards McComas” — the university’s athletics facility.

The university was the site of mass shooting in April 2007, during which a student killed 32 other people before taking his own life. We’ll be updating this post as the story develops, so be sure to hit your “refresh” button. And as always in situations where things are happening quickly, there will be conflicting reports. We’ll try to sort through the confusion and only pass along the best reporting based on reliable sources and outlets.

Update at 1:58 p.m. ET. The Latest Statement From The University:

“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.”

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. Began As “Routine Traffic Stop”:

The university has also reported, WDBJ-TV says, that the incident began with a “routine traffic stop.”

Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. Two People Killed:

WDBJ-TV reports that the university says the police officer was killed and that a second person has been found dead nearby in a parking lot.

Update at 1:47 p.m. ET. That Person Wasn’t Arrested:

Collegiate Times updates to say the man it posted about a few minutes ago “is not under arrest.”

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. Suspect Possibly Caught?

The student-run Collegiate Times is reporting that a man who may be the suspect may have been apprehended. Collegiate TimesTwitter page is here.

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET. Traffic Stop?

Local WSLS-TV writes that “NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting that there was a traffic stop, and gun shots were fired during that traffic stop.”

Update at 1:20 p.m. ET. Webcast:

WDBJ-TV is streaming its coverage here. It says the first report of shots came around 12:30 p.m. ET.

Update at 1:16 p.m. ET. Officer And Possibly A Second Person Shot:

The university’s website now says:

“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.”

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Officer Reportedly Shot:

WDBJ-TV in Roanoke says its reporter Karen Kiley says “a police officer is the one who has been shot.”

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