Virginia Tech and Blacksburg are getting some national press this morning, though not in the best of circumstances. Apparently, an inmate shot a police officer while at the hospital and then escaped on foot. The last I heard was that the police had the student center surrounded and there was a possible hostage situation. CNN has a report and the Roanoke Times has a running update on their site. Police have closed down campus and the school canceled classes for the day. My office building at the Corporate Research Center, located beside campus, is even under lock-down.
The sliver lining in a story like this is how fast the town and campus heard about the situation this morning. The shooting occurred at 7:15am and by 8am I was receiving emails and learning all about what was happening. I think this shows two things. First, this is a concerned and connected town of citizens. Second, we saw an incredible response time from officials. We’ll see how this all plays out, but I can definitely say I’m impressed so far with the reaction and how things have been handled. Granted, I have very little information to go on, but nonetheless it appears to be a swift response.
UPDATE: Earlier rumor of hostage situation was false according to NRVtoday.com
UPDATE: The police have this guy in custody.
UPDATE: After more information has come out, I may have to recant some of my earlier comments on the handling of this situation. It turns out that he escaped at 2:30am on Sunday and that’s when the manhunt started. It looks like residents and students did not find out much of anything until he shot the officer Monday morning. With that information, the fact that this was happening under our noses is disturbing. To the commenter’s questions below, what Virginia Tech’s administration knew is unknown; but this situation should have been more widely distributed Sunday.