Officials at Virginia Tech University, the site of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, say a police officer and another person have been shot and killed on the school’s campus and the suspect remains on the loose.
A news release from the school says the police officer pulled someone over in what was a routine traffic stop Thursday. The officer was shot and killed during the traffic stop.
Witnesses told police the shooter ran toward a parking lot on campus. A second person was found dead in that parking lot.
The university issued a campuswide alert at 12:36 p.m. that said, “Gunshots reported – Coliseum parking lot. Stay inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help.”
A second alert at 1:12 said a suspect remained at large. “A police officer has been shot. A potential second victim is reported at the Cage lot. Stay indoors. Secure in place,” the alert said.
The university’s website reported the shooting suspect was described as a white male who was wearing gray sweat pants, a maroon hoodie and a gray hat and was carrying a backpack. The report said the subject was walking toward a campus building.
A law enforcement official, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said initial reports indicated the shooting occurred after a traffic stop.
Social media immediately lit up with posts about the report of shots fired on campus.
“VaTech is on lockdown,” one poster wrote on Twitter. “Hoping we don’t have repeat of the past. What part of no guns at school is apparently hard to get.”