Though not yet confirmed, the gunman that was earlier reported to have been shot and killed two in Virginia is now believed to be dead.
Earlier today, at around 12:00 p.m., a campus police officer was gunned down while performing a routine traffic stop. The police officer’s identity has not yet been released.
“We’re not identifying the member at this time,” SGT Bob Carpentieri later said in a televised media briefing.
Shortly after the first shooting, a second victim was found dead in a parking lot of the Virginia Tech campus. A weapon was reportedly recovered at the second shooting.
“A weapon has been recover,” confirmed Carpentieri, who would not reveal the type of weapon, saying it was still under investigation.
The campus was put on lockdown, while students and faculty were told to stay inside and lock the doors as officials searched the grounds for the gunman. The gunman was described as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim, a maroon hoodie and a backpack.
“Gunshots reported — Coliseum parking lot. Stay inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help,” a message sent campus-wide read.
The alert has since been lifted and reportedly, the second body is said to be that of the shooter.
“We feel confident that the situation is under control,” said Carpentieri but wouldn’t confirm if the second body was that of the shooter.
When asked of the identity of the second body, Carpentieri said, “I can’t comment on that, it’s still being investigated.”
The shooting follows the 2007 shooting rampage considered the deadliest shooting rampage in United States history, when 33 people on the campus were gunned down by Seung-hiu Cho.
Cho eventually killed himself before he was arrested, but the rampage sparked sweeping security changes at institutions across the nation. Many were outraged that the school took almost two hours to notify students of the shooting via email, which is widely blamed for the high number of casualties.
As we previously reported, since the 2007 shootings, the campus was only put on full lockdown once, when reports of a possible gunman on Aug. 4 prompted an extensive search. A gunman was never found, and five hours later the university reopened.