Monday, April 16, 2007

Campus Carnage [Updating...]

[Posted by reader_iam]

NOTE: I'm jotting some notes from the news conference here.

LATER: See also About the shooter's ethnicity. Later yet: I'll be jotting some notes on the 2nd press conference here.

MSNBC hasn't updated its website yet, that I can see, but it is reporting that 22 people have been confirmed dead so far and 28 injured in a terrible series of shootings at a dormitory and a classroom building, at Virginia Tech. One shooter is among the dead, and perhaps he is the only one, but there is a concern because dormitory and classroom building are in opposite places on campus, and the onslaughts took place, it's being reported, a couple of hours apart. [As I finished this, MSNBC reported that there was just one shooter, and that he killed himself using one of the two 9mm handguns he had been wielding.]

Not surprisingly, the website of the school's independent student newspaper, The Collegiate Times, which MSNBC says has been constantly covering the story, is not currently available (the server is "not responding"). But this CNN story reports the paper's editor as saying the scene at the dormitory was "mass chaos." It also reports another student as saying that at least a couple of students jumped from a top floor window, but it's not clear which one.

And now, MSNBC is describing, chillingly, a line of 20 ambulances lined up, silently waiting to transport victims.

This may be the worse shooting on a university campus ever. (The one that springs to mind--there! coincidentally a TV reporter just mentioned it!--was the Texas Tower Sniper, back in the '60s.

Update1: Wikipedia lists the number of Whitman's victims as 31 wounded, and 15 to 17 dead, depending on how you count them. (Two of the definitely included were family members he'd killed the night before his rampage at the University of Texas.)

Update2: ABC is reporting that the death toll is now at (at least) 29. CNN also has the figure up on the TV screen, but not yet on its website.

Update3: CNN just reported on air that, according to the AP, the death toll is now at 31 and that the number of people wounded is at 29.

Update4: Instapundit makes an apt comment in response to an e-mail he'd received saying that Virginia Tech is a "gun-free" zone: "Well, for those who follow the law. Now, I certainly wouldn't advocate the arming wholesale of students, in particular, on college campuses, for a variety of good and in some cases obvious reasons. But it does seem to me that it might have been darn handy, today, to have a couple of well-trained, non-disturbed gun carriers at Norris Hall.

Unrelated to that #1: That two-hour gap bothers the hell out of me. How about you?

Unrelated to that #2: Editor & Publisher notes the coverage of the tragedy by that campus newspaper to which I referred in my original post. (You can now get there, since they have gone to a back-up server.) The paper has been updating the story "blog-style," as E&P describes, and also has put together a formal story.

Update5: The National Post notes the dozens of tribute pages already created, and the hundreds of condolences expressed, on Facebook.

Update6: Here's a post by an alumnus of Virginia Tech. He includes a map of the campus and a picture of the archway at Norris Hall, through which he used to walk regularly. (Hat tip, Memeorandum.

Unrelated #1: The reported chaining of doors at Norris Hall by the shooter is yet another chilling detail that makes that time-gap between the shooting at the dorm and the mass shooting at the engineering hall even more bothersome.

Update7: The Roanoke Times is regularly updating its coverage, which contains a variety of information, details, color reporting and so forth that's not just the same as everywhere else. Reportage from more local news sources tends to work that way.

Added after my press conference post (see top for link): Added: I should note that Hot Air has a very comprehensive round up of events and coverage (broadcast and blogposts) today; I did not go over there earlier, but it would probably have saved me some time! I'm just one person, but they seem have had the resources to really pull it together.

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