Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Campus Remains Closed After Shootings, Victim Toll Rises (Second Update)

Death Toll Reaches Thirty-Three
2nd Update
From Virginia Tech University Website
04.16.2007, Updated 9:15 p.m. Eastern Time

Two shooting incidents on campus today have left 33 dead. Thirty-one, including the gunman, died at Norris Hall; two died at West Ambler Johnston Hall. Fifteen other victims from Norris are being treated at area hospitals.

Officials are in the process of identifying victims and notifying next-of-kin. Names will not be released until that process is complete.

The university will remain closed Tuesday. Essential personnel are to report for work. Classes are canceled.

A public gathering will be held Tuesday at Cassell Coliseum at 2 p.m.

Statements by President Charles W. Steger

April 16, 2007 | 4:30 p.m.

With me today is the Secretary of Public Safety for the Commonwealth of Virginia, John Marshall and the Superintendent of Virginia State Police, Steve Flaherty. Also present if the Mayor of Blacksburg, Ron Rordham; the chief of Blacksburg PD, Kim Crannis; the chief of Virginia Tech Police, Wendell Flinchum.

I want to repeat my horror, disbelief, and profound sorrow at the events of today. People from around the world have expressed their shock and sorrow and endless sadness that has transpired today. I am at a loss for words to explain or understand the camage that visited our campus.

I know no other way to speak about this than to tell you what we know.

It is now confirmed that we have 31 deaths from Norris Hall, including the gunman. 15 other victims are being treated at local hospitals in the Roanoke and New River Valleys. There are two confirmed deaths from the shooting in Ambler Johnston Dormitory in addition to the 31 in Norris.

We have not confirmed his identity of the gunman because he carried no identification on his person. We are in the process of attempting identification.

Norris Hall is a tragic and sorrowful crime scene. We are in the process of identifying victims and in the process of notifying next of kin. This may take a while. We will not release any names until we are positive of this notification. We anticipate being able to release a list sometime tomorrow.

We are asking students to contact their parents to let them know their status.

Our investigation continues into whether there is a connection between the first and second incidents.

We know that parents will want to embrace their children. We are not suggesting that you come to campus. However, if parents feel that they must come to campus, we are locating counselors at The Inn and Skelton Conference Center.

As you can imagine, security, investigation, operational, and counseling resources are very taxed at the moment. However, we are getting assistance from the state police, the FBI, ATF, local jurisdictions, and the Red Cross. And we understand the desire, indeed the compelling need to get information on the part of family, students, and loved ones, but unfortunately this is all the information we have at the time.


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