Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Virginia Tech campus gunman 'dead'

Police officers block a road on the Virginia Tech campus after a gunman killed a police officer (AP)
A police officer secures the scene where a gunman killed an officer and another person after a traffic stop at Virginia Tech (AP)

A gunman shot dead a police officer and then apparently killed himself at Virginia Tech today, US police and school officials said.

The incident was the first involving gunfire on the campus since 33 people were killed there in 2007 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

A law enforcement official said the gunman was believed to be dead.

Virginia Tech officials said on the school's website that a weapon was recovered near the second body found in a campus car park. It was not immediately clear if the second body was that of the gunman.

School officials also said there was no longer an active threat and that normal activities could resume following a lockdown lasting several hours.

The school applied lessons learned nearly five years ago, closing down the campus and warning students and faculty members via email and text message to stay indoors.

The shootings came as Virginia Tech was appealing against a 55,000 (£35,200) fine by the US Education Department in connection with the university's response to the 2007 incident.

The campus swarmed with heavily armed police. Students hid in buildings, a day before final exams were to begin.

"A lot of people, especially toward the beginning were scared," said Jared Brumfield, a 19-year-old freshman who was locked in the Squires Student Centre since around 1.30pm. "A lot of people are loosening up now. I guess we're just waiting it out, waiting for it to be over."

The school said a police officer pulled someone over for a traffic stop and was shot and killed. The gunman ran towards a nearby car park, where a second person was found dead.

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