by Kevin Caruso
Virginia Tech officials communicated with students by sending six e-mails to them on the day of the massacre
– April 16, 2007. Below are copies of those e-mails.
Note that the first e-mail was sent about 2 hours and 10 minutes after the first murder occurred. (The first murder occurred at about 7:15 a.m. and the first e-mail was sent out at 9:26 a.m.)
Time sent: 09:26:24 a.m.
Subject: Shooting on campus
A shooting incident occurred at West Ambler Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.
The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at [phone number removed].
Stay attuned to the www.vt.edu. We will post as soon as we have more information.
Time sent: 9:50 a.m.
Subject: Please stay put
A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.
Time sent: 10:16:40 a.m.
Subject: All Classes Canceled; Stay where you are
Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where they are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.
Time sent: 10:52:45 a.m.
Subject: Second Shooting Reported; Police have one gunman in custody
In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.
Police and EMS are on the scene.
Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.
All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.
All entrances to campus are closed.
Time sent: 12:41:44 p.m.
Subject: Statement by President Charles W. Steger
Shooting at Virginia Tech / Statement by President Charles W. Steger
The university was struck today with a tragedy of monumental proportions. There were two shootings on campus. In each case, there were fatalities. The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus. I want to extend my deepest, sincerest and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims, which include students. There are 22 confirmed deaths.
We currently are in the process of notifying families of victims. The Virginia Tech Police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions. Crime scenes are being investigated by the FBI, University Police, and State Police. We continue to work to identify the victims impacted by this tragedy. I cannot begin to convey my own personal sense of loss over this senselessness of such an incomprehensible and heinous act. The university will immediately set up counseling centers. So far centers have been identified in Ambler Johnston and the Cook Counseling Center to work with our campus community and families.
Here are some of the facts we know:
At about 7:15 a.m. this morning a 911 call came to the University Police Department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded. Victims have been transported to various hospitals in the immediate area in the region to receive emergency treatment.
We will proceed to contact the families of victims as identities are available.
All classes are canceled and the university is closed for the remainder of today. The university will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. but classes will be canceled on Tuesday. The police are currently staging the release of people from campus buildings.
Families wishing to reunite with the students are suggested to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech. We are making plans for a convocation tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon at Cassell Coliseum for the university community to come together to begin to deal with the tragedy.
Time sent: 16:31:29 p.m.
Subject: Campus Update on VT Shootings
Virginia Tech remains closed on Monday, April 16, 2007. Vehicular entrances to campus are severely restricted to essential personnel only. Additional security remains on campus as the investigation continues.
Counseling assistance for students in available at West Ambler Johnston and McComas Hall until 9 p.m. tonight. Students are encouraged to utilize these services. Counseling for faculty and staff is available at the Bowman Room in the Merriman Center (athletic complex). Students may also be together at the Old Dominion Ballroom at Squires Student Center.
The university will also close on Tuesday, April 17. Essential personal are to report for work. Classes will be canceled.
A public gathering will be held Tuesday, April 17, at Cassell Coliseum at 2 p.m. (a time change from the originally scheduled 10 a.m. gathering).
All students are urged to contact their parents as soon as possible to let them know individuals are safe.
Students, faculty, and staff who may have any information related to the incident at West Ambler Johnston Hall and Norris Hall are encouraged to go to the Blacksburg Police Department to make statements, or call [phone number removed], or [phone number removed].
Parents with concerns are asked to call the Dean of Students Office at [phone number removed].
Individuals injured in the two shootings have been taken to area hospitals.