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2007 Virginia Tech shooting revisited

The horror of the 2007 shooting spree that killed 32 people at Virginia Tech came fresh into the minds of a lot of people today. Authorities at the school just a few hours southwest of us here in Silver Spring shut the place down this morning after receiving reports of a man who may have been carrying a gun on the campus.

It all started when three youngsters attending a camp said they spotted a white man carrying something covered by a cloth. They thought it looked like a gun. Police immediately issued alerts and called for a campus lockdown, keeping everyone indoors. This seems to reflect policy changes in the wake of criticism the school faced after the deadly massacre in 2007. The U.S. Department of Education announced earlier this year that it plans to fine Virginia Tech $55,000 for failing to act for more than two hours when the 2007 shooting began. But it also seems to respond to concerns that are often associated in instances like this related to premises liability.

Word from police described the man as being 6 feet tall and having light brown hair. He was said to have been walking fast in the direction of some athletic courts. As of the writing of this blog entry officials said they hadn't found any sign of the man, but they were continuing to look.

There are construction zones on the campus that were also shut down as a result of the reported threat. Officials say everything was halted pending the lifting of the alerts.

Source: Reuters.com, "Gun scare at Virginia Tech, scene of 2007 massacre," Deborah Charles, Aug. 4, 2001

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