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Report of gunman locks down Va. Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. - A address of a accessible apache at Virginia Tech bygone set off the longest, best all-encompassing lockdown and chase on campus back the binge four years ago that led the university to check its emergency procedures.
No apache was found, and the academy gave the all-clear aloof afore 3 p.m., about bristles hours afterwards sirens began bawl and acceptance and agents associates started accepting warnings by phone, e-mail, and argument bulletin to lock themselves indoors. Alerts were additionally acquaint on the university’s website and Twitter accounts.
Maddie Potter, 19, of Virginia Beach, holed up central a campus copse shop, area she had been alive on a chic project. Agents associates bound the doors and angry off the lights.
“I was appealing anxious. We had ancestors accompany who were up actuality back the cutting took abode in 2007, so it was affectionate of surreal,’’ she said. “I had my buzz with me, and I alleged both my parents.’’
The emergency active was triggered by three adolescence who were accessory a summertime affairs on campus and told badge they saw a man walking bound beyond the area with what ability accept been a blaster covered by a cloth, authorities said.
Police searched some 150 barrio on the square-mile campus and issued a blended account of a baby-faced man who was said to be cutting shorts and sandals, but they begin no assurance of him. They connected to convoying the area as a anticipation alike afterwards the lockdown was lifted.
“We’re in a fresh era,’’ said Larry Hincker, a Virginia Tech spokesman. “Obviously, this campus accomplished article appealing abhorrent four years ago. Regardless of what your intuition and your acquaintance as a accessible assurance administrator tells you, you are absolutely affected to affair an alert.’’
It was the aboriginal time that the absolute campus was bound bottomward back the cutting binge in 2007 that larboard 33 bodies dead, and the additional above analysis of Virginia Tech’s bigger emergency active system, which was revamped to add the use of argument letters and added agency besides e-mail of admonishing students.
The arrangement was additionally put to the analysis in 2008, back an exploding attach gun armament was mistaken for gunfire. But alone one abode was bound bottomward during that emergency, and it reopened two hours later.
Earlier this year, federal authorities fined Virginia Tech $55,000 for cat-and-mouse too continued to acquaint agents and acceptance afterwards two acceptance were attempt to afterlife at a abode during the 2007 rampage.
An e-mail active went out added than two hours afterwards that day, about the time apprentice Seung-Hui Cho was chaining the doors to a classroom building, area he dead 30 added bodies and himself.
It was the deadliest academy cutting in US history.
This time, several thousand acceptance and the school’s 6,500 advisers were on campus for summertime classes, admiral said. Best of Virginia Tech’s 30,000 acceptance are on summertime breach and will not acknowledgment until the abatement semester, which begins Aug. 22.
Michael Backus, 20, of Abingdon, Va., was belief in the apprentice centermost back a agents affiliate told him and a acquaintance to move abroad from the window because addition with a gun had been spotted.
During the lockdown, they watched TV, studied, and alleged and texted accompany and family.
“Everyone was affectionate of accomplishing their own business as if annihilation was activity on,’’ he said. “People were accomplishing homework, calling people. It wasn’t accumulation agitation like bodies ability imagine.’’
More than 45,000 subscribers to the university’s emergency active affairs accustomed the argument and buzz messages, said academy agent Mark Owczarski.
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