Apr 16 2007

VA Tech Shootings

Published by at 12:14 pm under All General Discussions,VA Tech Massacre

Updates Added At The End:

The news of shootings at VA Tech are disturbing since I and many friends and family attended that great school nestled away in the hills of southwest VA. But there is some confusion and exaggeration in the reporting. I note this at LGF:

Local FOX affiliate WFXR-TV in Richmond reported that one shooting occurred between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, and another at 10 a.m. at Norris Hall. The school’s Web site confirmed the shooting at opposite ends of the 2,600-acre campus.

Police also said there is no evidence the two shootings at opposite ends of campus were related.

Being an old Agi school the campus is huge, but the main building center is not spread out across the entire property but collocated in a central area. The time to walk form Ambler to Norris is maximum 15 minutes. Driving (not surprising with satellite parking outside the ring of buildings) could take 40 minutes. So while there is no evidence of connection there clearly is plenty of time.

VA Tech has somewhere between 25-30,000 students with many living off campus. The basic point is finding two insane idiots in the population is not hard to do. And then there are number of other colleges nearby, and then there is the 15,000 locals in the area who have a love-hate relationship with the student population which annually arrives and outnumbers them 2-1. This is a historic tragedy and is possibly coordinated, possibly some retribution attack for the morning killing, if not the responsibility of one person. But time will tell.

Update: As suspected, this was the act of a lone, crazed individual. Now I am awaiting word of the gunman’s nationality and religious leanings, that will be critically telling. Lots of details here.

Update: Live blogging of the situation from nearby Roanoke. Clearly an assault weapon of some kind was used in the second, later shooting:

Freshman Hector Takahashi said he’d been in a class in Pamplin Hall, near Norris Hall, around 9:30 a.m. Students were talking about a shooting in West Ambler Johnston.

“Then all of a sudden, we were like, ‘Whoa — were those shots?'” he said. There were two quick bangs, then a pause, then a fusillade of at least 30 shots, he said.

Twenty of the victims were shot in Norris Hall, a classroom building, Flinchum said. One was shot early this morning in West Ambler-Johnston, a residence hall. A second person was shot in West Ambler-Johnston but survived.

Still awating word on the name or nationality of the shooter.

Update: Statement from VA-Tech President. Was the Shooter from Maryland? CORRECTION Reader Mike M reminded this Northern VA boy that Tech is in Montgomery County VA! My bad!

The Virginia Tech police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions including Montgomery County.

Montgomery County MD is 5+ hours by car from VA Tech, so this coordination is an interesting comment.

Major Update: This is turning out to be a horrific tragedy as now the death toll is heading over 30 people killed.

At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass shooting in American history — and the death toll may rise.

What every college across the country needs to know right now is this an isotated event or a hint of things to come.

Update: Sadly the death toll has now reached 32 as confirmed by the FBI. The fact MD officials and the FBI are involved means there could be a much broader situation at play here.

Update: Some reporting has the gunman as a young Asian looking for his girlfriend. Sadly, I would prefer this be a massacre of passion than one of terrorism.

Addendum: Some on the left are taking issue with my interest in the gunman’s religion and, clearly, whether he was motivated by Islamo Facsism. I have one daughter in a Southern VA College right now and family and friends with kids in just about every VA school there is, so excuse me for wanting to make sure, in this post 9-11 world, there is not something broader afoot. I recall watching the events unfold on 9-11 and how we all felt the first hit on the WTC was a plane accident. It tool a second hit for reality to sink in. I have no regrets in wanting to make sure this was an isolated incident and not al Qaeda’s latest attack plans. And those on the left who don’t get that too bad. No apologies here given the amount of death and carnage the Islamo Fascists have spread across the globe in the last 20 years. None.

Update: Some audio from a student who was shot and injured in Norris Hall with a description of the mayhem and shooter.

Update: Apparently from eyewitness reports here much of the campus wa shut down after the initial shooting in Ambler Johnson Hall. And from this report it seems the gunman went immediately from Ambler to Norris where police surrounded the man after an initial brief gun battle. Then the massacre started later around 10-10:30 AM. Clearly police did what they could to isolate and limit the destruction.

Update: Death toll is now 33. Campus authorities also made clear the earlier incident at Ambler Johnson which left two people dead was believed to be an isolated incident and that the shooter had left the campus. No more details on the shooter except he killed himself apparently. Too bad he did not think of that first.

43 responses so far

43 Responses to “VA Tech Shootings”

  1. crosspatch says:

    R05, the comment I think upset AJ is:

    “So to tell me that almost three hours later classes are still going on and you don’t have a problem with that is just plain nuts.”

    In that context the “you” in “you don’t have a problem with that” appears to be directed at AJ.

    This is AJ’s blog and as far as I am concerned he can ban you because he doesn’t like the color socks you are wearing. Nobody as a “right” to comment here.

  2. retire05 says:

    AJ, I pray your child is safe. I would assume they are or you would not be posting. Please, remember that they are all our kids today. The nation mourns.

  3. DaleinAtlanta says:

    AJ: trust me, thinking the probable shooter was a potential Jihadi, suffering from “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”, was about my second thought, when I saw the headlines on Drudge, and you are correct to think it, and it needs to be proven to me, that is NOT the case, because as Michele Malkin has pointed out many times, there have been many cases of SJS in the US, that have gone unreported by the MSM, and unidentified by the Administration, on purpose, to “protect” Muslims in this country; maybe you might want to post a link to Michele’s extensive research on the project, it is illuminating.

    That said, the Left can pound sand on this, someone has to show me it isn’t the case here with VT!

  4. retire05 says:

    Crosspatch, AJ has a right to do as he chooses. And if you can’t understand that the “you” used was a generalistic term, so be it. And I don’t think AJ needs you to “back” him up. He does pretty well on his own.
    But leave it to you to comment on my socks instead of the fact that the nation weeps.

  5. bopbottle says:

    AJ: If it is any consolation, “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” was my first thought, I am sorry to say. That is, however, the world we live in now. My thoughts and prayers to all in southern VA.

  6. Breaking: Shooting at Virginia Tech leaves 32 dead (UPDATE 15: FBI CONFIRMS 32 DEAD)…

    … with the gunman still on the loose. The Associated Press is on top of breaking developments in this story.
    Update I: The campus website posts this update:
    University Advisory:
    Gunman on campus; …

  7. crosspatch says:

    Retiree, I was pointing out what might have got AJ’s back up a little because in your reply where you claimed to have reread your posts you seemed to have missed that. I am not trying to “back” anyone and as a matter of fact, now I am getting a little irritated with your tone towards me. Just who the heck do you think you are? Maybe you should try a method different from intimidation and bullying ’cause that doesn’t go very far with me, pal.

  8. retire05 says:

    Who do I think I am, Crosspatch? I am a sibling of someone who was at the University of Texas during the day of carnage. So pardon me if I am just a little bit sensitive to the killing of our children.

    And feel free to be irritated. I really don’t care. People are dead and all you want to do is critize me. So your critique of me means nothing until you can relate to me that you understand what each and everyone of these families are going through BECAUSE YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH IT LIKE I HAVE.

    Fortunately, my brother went on to serve 21 years in the USN to protect people who worry about socks.

  9. Terrye says:

    Good grief people, we don’t even know what happened here and you are already passing judgment.

    I live near Bloomington In and I went to IU, that campus is huge and there is no way they could “lock it down”. I don’t know what this school looks like, but my understanding is that they believed the original shooting was a domestic.

    The president of the school made the point that there are 26,000 students on campus but only about 9,000 live there. That means people are constantly coming and going.

    I remember back when some schools at a public announcement system for things like civil service announcements, but those days are gone. I am surprised that with all the cell phones and the internet that more people were not calling for help earlier.

    Radical concept here, but what say we wait for more facts. As for who has gone through what, I doubt that the feelings of the people involved would be a lot different if the shooting took place in a mall or a public building or whatever.

  10. Terrye says:

    that should be civil emergency announcements

  11. AJStrata says:


    The school is enormous – the largest student body in VA I believe. There a many roads in, 100’s of buildings, tens of thousands of commuters and their cars. The student population is twice that of the host city of Blacksburg.

    You cannot shut it down immediately. With that said they did use the emergency notification system which is a PA based system I think – which is going to get more people than email.

  12. retire05 says:

    AJ, I read that the student population is 25,000. I don’t know if that is correct. The Blacksburg city web site states that the city’s population is 39,000. Do you know if that includes Va Tech’s student population?

  13. DaleinAtlanta says:

    R05: when I attended my alma mater, in Happy Valley in the early 80’s; the supposed studend population of the Main Campus was 25K, and the town of State College supposedly had ~20K.

    I don’t know if those numbers were correct, but people used them all the time, and I’m sure, it’s probably pretty much the same now, if not worse.

    Anyway, the point is, I appreciate your anger over this, but there was NO WAY in Hades, that if a “domestic” shooting or any other kind ocurred on the PSU campus, it would take a Battalion of troops, to “shut down” the campus, at a minimum!

    PSU, like VT, is originally an Aggie school; and it’s on hundreds of acres, with hundreds of buildings, and hundreds of routes of egress and ingress, and there is NO WAY any overworked, underpaid, overweight Campus Security, even with Local and Statie Police support, is shutting that campus down!

    Without seeing any “facts”; I strongly suspect, that when the first shooting happened, early in the morning, the first responders thought it was a domestic incident, and that no one had a clue that the perpetrator was going across campus, to do more mayhem!

    So in that regard, R05, your anger is misplaced as of yet, towards AJ and the Campus.

    NOW; IF, it comes out, later, that the Campus Administration and the Police and Security, somehow KNEW, that the individual who did the shootings, somehow was loose, and looking for other victims, and they didn’t go out to all students/faculty, with an APB of some type, then that is cause for furor!

    Terrye; fine, technically you are correct; but I still want someone to show me it is not a “Middle Easterner” or “convert” or someone with “SJS”.

    I didn’t say it was, yet; but I said that based upon what I’ve seen over the past 5 years, possibility existed/does exist, that it COULD be that, until it is proven otherwise!

    That, is just being prudent!

    Please note: I did NOT say it WAS; I did not say it was “likely”, I did not say it was “probable”; I did not say let’s go out and execute all Muslims; I just said, that based upon the history of the past 5 years of SJS in this country, covered up because of PC in this country, and abetted by the DOJ and the Administration because of PC as well; that it is/was “possible”.

    Now, we shall, hopefully know, in a day or two, whether there was, or was not, any relation.

    If there was, I will say “I told you so…”

    If there wasn’t; I own no one, and nothing an apology, because the Jihadis have EARNED my contempt, and suspicion and my right to suspect, over the past 5 years!

  14. bopbottle says:

    There was no identification found on the shooter. Reports have him as 6′ tall and Asian. Part of his face is missing. It may be difficult to identify him unless his finger prints are on file somewhere.

  15. Terrye says:


    Correct about what? I was not talking about the shooter, I was talking about the people blaming the authorities rather than the shooter.

    IU has a student population of 35,000, that is more than my county and there are a million ways one to and off of that campus. Some through the streets, lanes, businesses, highways, theatres, cultural centers, museums, shopping centers etc. Can not be done.

  16. DaleinAtlanta says:


    This is what you said:

    “Good grief people, we don’t even know what happened here and you are already passing judgment. ”

    And I was agreeing that you were technically correct; but I also wanted to point out, that I wasn’t “passing judgement” by saying it WAS a Muslim that did it; I was saying, based upon the other stuff, that it was a ‘Possibility”; it was also a possibility that it was not a Muslim, that it was a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, or an atheist!

    All/and/some were/are “possible”; my only point was, though, that I was NOT ruling out a Jihadi, based upon the previous 5+ years of SJS!

    Does that make sense?

  17. Developing: Virginia Tech Shooting Incident – 31+…

    Since the reports indicate that there was a single assailant and police are conducting a search for a second assailant as a matter of routine, one has to wonder how if there was a single gunman that he managed to get across campus to continue his mur…..

  18. MerlinOS2 says:


    You and I are on the same wavelength here, and I hope all the others trim their sails when we are still dealing with only initial reporting of the incident with all the likely crap data coming out of all that.

    Everyone take a deep breath, since none of us are going to change what has already happened.

    For anyone here to get their hackles up from little confirmed evidence is not a good outcome.

    Let’s all wait until the facts shake out and then have a better basis for comment and arm chair quarterbacking.

  19. AJStrata says:

    I am reading on other sites the toll could reach 40. New post up on this matter.


  20. MerlinOS2 says:

    My only issue at this point is the magnitude of the grief that will spread like ripples of a rock thrown into a placid lake.

    My prayers and thoughts are for all those ravaged by this senseless slaughter.