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AP: Virginia Tech shooting PDF Print E-mail
Written by SUE LINDSEY, Associated Press Writer   
Monday, April 16, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Tech dorm and then, two hours later, shot up a classroom across campus Monday, killing 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history. The gunman committed suicide, bringing the death toll to 33.
Students complained that there were no public-address announcements or other warnings on campus after the first burst of gunfire. They said the first word they received from the university was an e-mail more than two hours into the rampage — around the time the gunman struck again.
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said authorities believed that the shooting at the dorm was a domestic dispute and mistakenly thought the gunman had fled the campus.
“We had no reason to suspect any other incident was going to occur,” he said.
He defending the university’s handling of the tragedy, saying: “We can only make decisions based on the information you had on the time. You don’t have hours to reflect on it.”
Steger said the university decided to rely on e-mail and other electronic means of notifying members of the university, but with 11,000 people driving onto campus first thing in the morning, it was difficult to get the word out to everyone.
Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum would not say how many weapons the gunman carried. But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was incomplete, said that the gunman had two pistols and multiple clips of ammunition.

 

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