(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
Virginia Tech announced that gunshots were fired on campus Thursday and authorities are still seeking the suspect.
So far two have been reported killed, one being a police officer.
Reports began around noon with shooting reportedly occurring at the Coliseum parking lot, which is an area designated to the school’s athletic department.
There were no classes today, but students were on campus preparing for Friday’s finals.
The campus is currently on lockdown and all campus residents have been advised to remain inside. Officers have amassed, equipped with guns and bullet proof vests, and secured the campus.
Virginia Tech is equipped with an alarm system and emergency email system.
These precautions were put in place after the 2007 shooting spree by student Seung-Hui Cho, which ended in the death of 32 students and faculty. Cho, 23, was a senior English major at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.
It was the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history.
On the homepage of the university’s official website are messages from the school’s electronic alert system.
The first alert reads, “From VT Alerts (12:37 p.m.): Gun shots reported- Coliseum Parking lot. Stay Inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help.”
The second alert describes the suspect as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim, a maroon hoodie and a backpack.
An update posted at 1:49 p.m. reveals that the shooting occurred when a Virginia Tech police officer stopped a vehicle on campus during a routine traffic stop in the Coliseum parking lot. The officer was shot and killed and the gunman fled on foot. A second person was killed at another parking lot near Duck Pond Drive.
School officials plan to keep the current security measures in place until the gunman is found.