ASSOCIATED PRESS: Virginia Tech officials said a police officer and another person were shot and killed on the school’s campus Thursday and the university locked down the campus, where 33 people died in 2007 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The gunman remained on the loose. A news release from the school said the police officer had pulled someone over for a traffic stop and was shot and killed. Witnesses told police the shooter ran toward a parking lot on campus. A second person was found dead in that parking lot. A police officer secures the scene where a gunman killed a police officer and another person after a traffic stop on Thursday. TV footage showed heavily armed officers walking around campus, caravans of SWAT vehicles and other police cars with emergency lights flashing as they patrolled nearby. Virginia State Police will be taking over the investigation, according to the news release. “The campus community should continue to shelter in place and visitors should not come to campus,” the school said. MORE
PREVIOIUSLY: The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. In two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before committing suicide. The massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history. It was also the worst act of mass murder on college students since Syracuse University lost 36 students in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
RELATED: The response to how gun laws affected the massacre was divided. According to a White House statement, “The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed”. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said that it was too easy for an individual to get powerful weapons and called for increased gun control measures. National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, commenting on CNN, called for an end to gun-free zones and contrasted the Virginia Tech massacre with other incidents in which mass shootings have been ended by law-abiding gun owners. Texas Governor Rick Perry proposed that licensed gun owners be allowed to carry their weapons anywhere in Texas. Some government officials in other countries joined in the criticism of U.S. gun laws and policies. For example, then Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that stringent legislation introduced after a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania had prevented a problematic gun culture in Australia. Virginia Governor Tim Kaine condemned the gun politics debate following the massacre, saying, “To those who want to make this into some sort of crusade, I say take this elsewhere.”
RELATED: Virginia House lawmakers have pushed through a series of bills making it easier to buy and carry guns. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the 20 gun-related bills include lifting the ban on buying more than one gun a month, allow guns to be taken into bars, emergency shelters and locked in cars. In addition, new legislation would allow the names of applicants for concealed handgun permits to remain undisclosed to the public unless the applicant gives written consent for disclosure of the application. Most of the bills passed out of the gun-friendly House of Delegates, but may face more scrutiny in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Some say the bills were able to muster enough votes with backing from nearly $1 million the National Rifle Association spent on Virginia elections last year. MORE
PHAWKER: And no, it’s not too soon. It’s too late.