At Virginia, pain and fear hit home again

Published: Dec 10, 2011, 06:21 IST | Agencies |

A man shot a cop before turning the gun on himself -- at university that was rocked by a massacre 4 years ago

A man shot a cop before turning the gun on himself  -- at university that was rocked by a massacre 4 years ago

Once more there were gunshots, a lockdown and a campus community trapped in offices and classrooms, waiting in fear. Once more, there was terror at Virginia Tech. Less than five years after a deranged undergraduate carried out the bloodiest shooting by a lone gunman in US history, the sprawling, picturesque campus was paralysed by an incident that left dead a university police officer, as well as an unidentified man reported to have been the shooter.

The calm after the storm: Police officials collect evidence outside
Virginia Tech campus after an unidentified man shot at students

The slain officer was identified as Deriek Crouse of Christiansburg, Virginia, a four-year veteran of the Virginia Tech Police Department and a father of five, the university said. Details remained hazy as police would not divulge a motive. Nor would they confirm that the case was a murder-suicide -- even though the university said that there was "no longer an active threat".

"It's unimaginably sad," said Andrew Becker, associate chair of the Foreign Languages and Literatures department. After the Cho shooting the school implemented a sophisticated emergency notification system. It alerted faculty and students on phones, desktops and social media moments after the first shots were fired.

Two people died including a police official Deriek Crouse. Pics/AFP

Authorities said that about in the noon, campus officer Crouse was conducting a routine traffic stop in a parking lot near the Cassell Coliseum arena, when a gunman approached and fired at him in view of several witnesses. The suspect then fled across campus.

The massacre four years ago
The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. In two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before committing suicide. The massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in US history.

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