• United States



by Bob Brown

Virginia Tech on Lockdown After 2 Fatal Shootings

Dec 08, 20112 mins
Data and Information SecuritySecurity

Virginia Tech, the Blacksburg, Va., school that was rocked in 2007 by the deadliest shooting rampage by a single gunman in U.S. history, has been locked down this afternoon in the wake of shootings that have resulted in at least two deaths.

According to the school, a campus police officer was shot and killed following a routine traffic stop at the school’s Coliseum parking lot near McComas Hall. Another person was found dead in a parking lot as well.

The suspect (described as a white male, with gray sweat pants, gray hat with neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backpack, and on foot) remained at large as of 2:20pm.

BACKGROUND: U.S. gets serious about fixing emergency communications

Virginia Tech, which was heavily criticized in the wake of the 2007 shootings for failing to provide students and others more timely information about the massacre as it was unfolding, has actually been the subject of court testimony this week. Virginia Tech has appealed a $55,000 fine slapped on the school by the Education Department, according to an Associated Press story.

As was the case with the 2007 event, those on campus turned to social media to spread the word about the event. One person used Twitter to post: “In case anyone is curious, I’m locked inside a room right next to performing arts. Honestly, never been this scared.”

The FCC in recent months has taken its first serious steps toward updating the nation’s 911 emergency dialing system to receive text messages, pictures and videos, in addition to voice calls.

Other tech-related fallout from the 2007 shooting: spammers and hackers were quick to exploit the tragedy to lure online users into their malware traps.

Virginia Tech has a top engineering school and has been a hotbed of research on advanced networking, especially in wireless.

Read more about wide area network in Network World’s Wide Area Network section.