Monday, April 16, 2007

29 now dead at Virginia Tech, number expected to rise

Massacre at Virginia Tech

29 Confirmed Dead

Fatalities Expected to Rise; Suspected Gunman Among the Dead

Apr. 16, 2007— - At least 25 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass killing on a college campus in American history -- and the death toll may rise.

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

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said that one person was killed in the first shooting, which occurred just after 7 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a large dormitory. Flinchum said that at least 20 more people were killed in a later shooting at Norris Hall, an academic building.

The gunman, whose identity has not been released, is among the dead. Flinchum wouldn't say whether the shooter had killed himself.

ABC News has confirmed that there were two separate bomb threats last week at Virginia Tech that targeted engineering buildings. The first was directed at Torgersen Hall, while the second was directed at multiple engineering buildings. Students and staff were evacuated, and the university had offered a $5,000 reward for information into the threats.

Not all the students involved in the shootings are dead. Two local hospitals have reported treating 21 people.

University president Charles Steger said that police have not officially tied together the two shootings.

Steger described today's events as an incident of "tragic proportions" and said, "the university is shocked and horrified that this would befall us."

The campus is closed today and classed are canceled today and tomorrow. Families seeking to reunite with their children have been directed by the university to the Inn at Virginia Tech.

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