Manhunt at Virginia Tech

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.

Tom currently works in developer relations for IBM Watson. A serial entrepreneur, he's been the founder of numerous startups including Investify and StatsMix, a Techstars alumni company. Tom lives outside Boulder, Colorado and in his free time he's an avid rock climber, skier, and trail runner.

11 comments On Manhunt at Virginia Tech

  • you said that this is a concerned and connected town but okay, they email the students and warm them of the sighting of this guy ON CAMPUS, and yet, we still had 8, 9, and 10 o’clock classes….real concern?

  • Good point, but I think you’re making a connection here that absolutely doesn’t exist. Town of Blacksburg does not equal Virginia Tech. These are two separate entities and don’t necessarily operate in conjunction. I received two degrees from Tech and I could write forever about how they run the place sometimes! 😉

    I received an email around 8am with an emergency warning about the situation and what was being done on campus. I can’t possibly know what the administration knew or didn’t know, but from what I’ve read it still appears to me that the proper precautions were taken when information became more available as to what was actually happening.

    If anyone has more information on this or thinks I’m off base, please leave a comment.

  • BTW, here’s the email I received at 8:13am with the subject line “Emergency Advisory”:

    The escaped prisoner from the Montgomery County Jail has been spotted on the Virginia Tech campus in the vicinity of the Huckleberry Trail and Tech
    Center Drive. He is armed and dangerous. For safety, the police have barricaded the south side of campus. Employees working anywhere south of
    Washington Street including the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center are advised not to come to work and if already at work, to remain in the
    building.

  • I updated my original post above with information I was not aware of at the time of my first posting.

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  • I saw this on the news but they didnt have much info. I have a friend that goes there and he’s been frusterated with classes. At least I know he didnt flip out and go postal.

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  • I think its interesting that there is no information on the cable news about an escaped inmate.

    carlos

  • @Carlos – this blog post was from the incident last year. I have a new post regarding today at https://www.tmarkiewicz.com/virginia-tech-tragedy/

  • I just noticed the date on the previous comments…crazy how there were two incidents in the same school year.

  • Media Bumble?

    I like to think that most people do their jobs to best of their abilities with the resources available. I also believe, because of the wonderful freedoms we enjoy, that our society is constantly forced to accept balance as a way of life. We must, as a society, accept “in balance” the tasteful with the distasteful, the bad with the good, tolerance with intolerance and, so on. In a country like ours I believe utopia is impossible to achieve. So then, I ask, concerning the killings at Virginia Tech, why wasn’t the news networks which pride themselves on being at news worthy scenes first, at the first murder scene in a timely manner? From my humble point of view, any early morning broadcast the network would have made would have supplemented the school’s efforts to inform the community of a disturbance. The media would have then been present to capture, first hand, the unfortunate subsequent event. Instead, I heard one televised news network asking for eyewitness cell phone videos and then later, heard the media questioning why more couldn’t have been done to notify the students by the security system that was already in place. I think more could have been done if other professionals were doing a better job too.

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