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 Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia State Shooting: At Least 22 Dead.

  UPDATE: Read here for more

At least 33 confirmed killed.

A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Tech dorm and then, two hours later, shot up a classroom building across campus Monday, killing 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

The gunman committed suicide, bringing the death toll to 33. At least 26 people were injured, authorities said. Their conditions were not disclosed. Students bitterly complained that there were no public-address announcements on campus after the first burst of gunfire.

Many said the first word they received from the university was an e-mail more than two hours into the rampage around the time the gunman struck again. Virginia Tech

President Charles Steger said authorities believed that the shooting at the dorm was a domestic dispute and mistakenly thought the gunman had fled the campus. We had no reason to suspect any other incident was going to occur, he said. He defended the university's handling of the tragedy, saying: We can only make decisions based on the information you had on the time.

You dont have hours to reflect on it. Investigators offered no motive for the attack. The gunmans name was not immediately released, and it was not known if he was a student. The shootings spread panic and confusion on campus. Witnesses reported students jumping out the windows of a classroom building to escape the gunfire.

End of update


Read here
At least 22 people, including the suspected gunman, were killed and many others were wounded at Virginia Tech university on Monday in the deadliest campus shooting incident in U.S. history.

The rampage took place in two separate areas of the huge campus about two hours apart during the morning. Police said they believed a single gunman was responsible.

"This is a tragedy of monumental proportions," Virginia Tech president Charles Steger told reporters.

Virginia Tech campus police chief Wendell Finchum said the suspected gunman was dead and that police were trying to determine whether he killed himself or was shot by officers.

"At this time we believe it's only one gunman," said Finchum.

The death toll was worse than a massacre at the University of Texas in Austin on August 1, 1966, when trained marksman Charles Whitman killed 15 people, including his mother and wife the night before, and wounded 31 others.

The first shooting on Virginia Tech, a state university known for its demanding science and engineering curriculum, was reported to campus police at about 7:15 a.m. (1115 GMT) in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a dormitory housing some 900 students. It was followed by more shooting at another campus building, Norris Hall, Steger said.

The wounded were taken to hospitals in the area for treatment, he said.

Virginia Tech, with 26,000 students, is located in the southwest corner of the state, about 240 miles from Washington.

The campus had been closed for one day last August during a search for another gunman, CNN reported. Classes were canceled for Monday and Tuesday and counselors were being brought in talk to the students.

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