Virgina Tech Lifts Security Alert After Gunman Scare

The campus alert enforced due to a reported gunman roaming the Virginia Tech grounds has been lifted, according to a statement on the Virginia Tech website.

“There will continue to be a large police presence on campus today,” the statement said.

“Police have not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning. The university community may resume normal campus activity.”

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum held a press conference shortly after the alert was lifted and was asked if the sources of the information, three teenagers visiting the campus from Washington D.C. with a youth group, were credible.

“I did not interview them,” Chief Flinchum said. “But the officer who did believed they were absolutely credible.”

The three teenagers who reported seeing the gunman described him as 6 feet tall with brown hair, wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals.

Nobody was discovered fitting that description. A sketch of the suspect was also released but provided no additional leads.

Chief Flinchum, who has been with the police department for almost 25 years has had his hands full since he was appointed to his current post in 2006. He was Chief of the Virginia Tech Police Department during the 2007 massacre that saw Seung Hui-Cho shoot 32 people to death before taking his own life as well as the 2009 decapitation murder of Xin Yang at the hands of Haiyang Zhu.

The state of Virginia has seen other school shootings in recent years. In 2002, three people were killed in a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy. Peter Odighizuwa, a student at the school, was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.

Despite the brief sigh of relief, the school is asking students and community members to remain cautious and provide any possible information by calling Virginia Tech Police at 911 or 231-6411.