A man carrying a handgun has reportedly been spotted near Dietrick Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksbug today, and the school’s police have a released a sketch of the suspect, ABCNews is reporting. Three teens attending the university’s “Higher Achievement” camp reported seeing the man around 9:09 am, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum confirmed.
Flinchum added that the teens were interviewed, and officers confirmed “that their information is credible and that point we decided to issue the alert. We have not had any further reported sightings.” He added that classes were canceled, and students were urged to remain indoors. At 1pm, Virginia Tech officials sent out a notice to its students, stating “many officers from many police departments continue to search campus buildings. We have a very large campus and this will be a long process.”
The suspect, who Flinchman said wasn’t pointing the gun at anyone, was described by police as 6-feet tall with light brown hair. He was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals. He didn’t have facial hair or wear glasses.
The campus’ spokesman, Larry Hincker, said at a press conference that “This campus experienced something terrible four years ago,” in reference to the 2007 shooting committed by Seung-Hui Cho, which was the largest school massacre in American history. To avoid a repeat, Virginia Tech police are working with the Virigina State Police, the Blacksburg Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Written by: Karen Benardello