Virginia Tech issues warnings about shooting
WASHINGTON (AP) - Virginia Tech issued a series of warnings to students about a shooting on campus Thursday soon after the conclusion of an administrative hearing examining the university's actions in 2007 when 32 students and faculty were massacred.
Following the 2007 shootings, Virginia Tech expanded its emergency notification systems. Alerts now go out by electronic message boards in classrooms, by text messages and other methods. Other colleges and universities have put in place similar systems
Virginia Tech officials said a police officer and another person were shot and killed on campus Thursday, and a suspect remained on the loose.
During about a one-hour period, the university issued four separate alerts.
Universities are required under the Clery Act to provide warnings in a timely manner and to report the number of crimes on campus.
Virginia Tech is appealing a $55,000 fine levied after the 2007 shootings because it says it acted appropriately based on protocols on campuses at that time.
The Education Department says the university violated the law by waiting more than two hours after two students were shot in a dorm on campus before sending an email warning.
By then, student gunman Seung-Hui Cho was chaining the doors to a classroom building where he killed 30 more people and then himself.
The university's police chief, Wendell Flinchum, testified Thursday morning that there were no immediate signs in the dorm to indicate a threat to the campus. He said the shootings were believed to be an isolated domestic incident and that the shooter had fled.
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