Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting

Forwarded by Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

CNN) -- A lone gunman is dead after police said he killed at least 21 people Monday during shootings in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech -- the deadliest school attack in U.S. history.

Government officials told The Associated Press that the death toll had grown to 31, including the gunman. CNN is working to confirm the report.

It was not clear if the gunman was killed by police or if he took his own life.

"Some victims were shot in a classroom," university police Chief Wendell Flinchum said during a news conference in Blacksburg.

Police believe there was only one gunman, Flinchum said. (Watch the police chief explain where bodies were found Video)

Spokespersons for hospitals in Roanoke, Christiansburg, Blacksburg and Salem told CNN that they were treating 29 people from the shootings.

Sharon Honaker with Carilion New River Medical Center in Christiansburg said one of the four gunshot victims being treated there was in critical condition.

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said university President Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified." (Map of Blacksburg)

The killings mark the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, surpassing attacks at Columbine High School in 1999 and at the University of Texas in 1966.

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, the engineering science and mechanics building, resulted in multiple casualties, the university reported. (Campus map)

The first reported shooting occurred at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a coed dormitory that houses 895 students. The dormitory, one of the largest residence halls on the 2,600-acre campus, is located near the drill field and stadium.

Amie Steele, editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, said one of her reporters at the dormitory reported "mass chaos."

The reporter said there were "lots of students running around, going crazy, and the police officers were trying to settle everyone down and keep everything under control," according to Steele. (Watch police, ambulances hustle to the scene Video)

Kristyn Heiser said she was in class about 9:30 a.m. when she and her classmates saw about six gun-wielding police officers run by a window.

"We were like, 'What's going on?' Because this definitely is a quaint town where stuff doesn't really happen. It's pretty boring here," said Heiser during a phone interview as she sat on her classroom floor.

  

Student reports 'mayhem'

Student Matt Waldron said he did not hear the gunshots because he was listening to music, but he heard police sirens and saw officers hiding behind trees with their guns drawn.

"They told us to get out of there so we ran across the drill field as quick as we could," he said.

Waldron described the scene on campus as "mayhem." (Watch a student's recording of police responding to loud bangs Video)

"It was kind of scary," he said. "These two kids I guess had panicked and jumped out of the top-story window and the one kid broke his ankle and the other girl was not in good shape just lying on the ground."

Madison Van Duyne said she and her classmates in a media writing class were on "lockdown" in their classrooms. They were huddled in the middle of the classroom, writing stories about the shootings and posting them online.

The university is updating its more than 26,000 students through e-mails, and an Internet webcam is broadcasting live pictures of the campus.

The shootings came three days after a bomb threat Friday forced the cancellation of classes in three buildings, WDBJ in Roanoke reported. Also, the 100,000-square-foot Torgersen Hall was evacuated April 2 after police received a written bomb threat, The Roanoke Times reported.

Last August, the first day of classes was cut short by a manhunt after an escaped prisoner was accused of killing a security guard at a Blacksburg hospital and a sheriff's deputy.

After the Monday shootings, students were instructed to stay indoors and away from windows, police at the university said.

"Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where they are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus," a statement on the university Web site said.

The university has scheduled a convocation for 2 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Before Monday, the deadliest school shootings came in 1966 and 1999.

In the former, Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25-year-old ex-Marine, killed 13 people on the University of Texas campus. He was killed by police.

In 1999, 17-year-old Dylan Klebold and 18-year-old Eric Harris -- armed with guns and pipe bombs -- killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Planet1899 posted on 04-16-2007, 14:17:42 PM
This is crazy...man....This must the worst campus shooting in US history. May their souls rest in peace.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Naijaninja posted on 04-17-2007, 04:05:44 AM
Phew! 31 killed in one day? meen! this is worse than campus cults.how come the thread is this short? Ooops o forgot. ..This is supposed to be Nigeria yabis square.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
BabaAgba posted on 04-17-2007, 05:27:48 AM
This is the news of the day worldwide. Every country with its own wahala! The problem of shootings in US's schools and campuses continues.l
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Godwin posted on 04-17-2007, 09:02:52 AM
QUOTE:
Phew! 31 killed in one day? meen! this is worse than campus cults.how come the thread is this short? Ooops o forgot. ..This is supposed to be Nigeria yabis square.


Terrible News!

George W. Bush should declare State of Emergency in Virginia State.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Afeni posted on 04-17-2007, 10:23:13 AM
The man just wasted his life. He should instead have saved himself for one of the PDP exec meeting before he decided to go on a rampage. Hopefully he would have been wise enough to take out father of modern Nigeria, Anenih, leader of Ebeano and Ali must go.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Afeni posted on 04-17-2007, 10:25:23 AM
QUOTE:
Terrible News!

George W. Bush should declare State of Emergency in Virginia State.



Declare a State of Emergency as a result of an isolated incident that is not likely to trigger violent responses?

Please, don't get anwhere close to government. You know nothing about public policy. This is America we are talking about. People are not going to go on a rampage, killing all asians, because an Asian student shoots 31 people. You must mistaking Virginia for Gombe.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Mikky jaga posted on 04-17-2007, 11:20:25 AM
Just 31 and it is headline news already. Close to a hundred have died in just one election in Naija and nobody is making noise about it. Those Americans must be allergic to dead bodies. We are used to seeing such here. Only Iraq can beat us when it comes to body count.
Re: Breaking News: 31 dead in Virginia Tech shooting
Godwin posted on 04-17-2007, 12:12:38 PM
QUOTE:
Declare a State of Emergency as a result of an isolated incident that is not likely to trigger violent responses?

Please, don't get anwhere close to government. You know nothing about public policy. This is America we are talking about. People are not going to go on a rampage, killing all asians, because an Asian student shoots 31 people. You must mistaking Virginia for Gombe.


Read between the Lines.

I'm only alluding to the Nigerian Situation.
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