April 16, 2007 – We Remember.

Six years ago today, horror struck Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Most of those who were freshmen at the time will be graduating, and most of the upperclassmen are gone, but the memories remain with the faculty and staff, the town residents, and especially with the police and EMS providers who responded.

We Remember…

West AJ

The killer shot his first victims around 7:15 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston Hall. At about that time, the killer entered the room that freshman Emily J. Hilscher shared with another student. Hilscher, a 19-year-old from Woodville, Virginia, was killed. After hearing the gunshots, a male resident assistant, Ryan C. Clark, attempted to aid Hilscher. Clark, a 22-year-old-senior from Martinez, Georgia, was fatally shot. Hilscher survived for another three hours.

The killer left the scene and returned to his dormitory room. While police and emergency medical services units were responding to the shootings in the dorm next door, the killer changed out of his bloodstained clothes. Police receive information leading them to consider Hilscher’s boyfriend as a suspect.

Almost two hours later, he walked to the nearby downtown post office and mailed a package of writings and video recordings to NBC News; the package was postmarked 9:01 a.m. He would then go to Norris Hall.

We Remember

Norris Hall

At about 9:40 a.m., just over two hours after the initial shootings at West Ambler-Johnston, the killer entered Norris Hall, which houses the Engineering Science and Mechanics program among others, and chained the three main entrance doors shut. He placed a note on at least one of the chained doors, claiming that attempts to open the door would cause a bomb to explode. Shortly before the shooting began, a faculty member found the note and took it to the building’s third floor to notify the school’s administration. At about the same time, the killer had begun shooting students and faculty on the second floor; the bomb threat was never called in.

At about 9:41, within one or two minutes of the first shots, the first 9-1-1 call was received. Because it came from a cell phone, it was routed to the Blacksburg Police dispatch center instead of the Virginia Tech Police. Despite some initial confusion, it takes only about one minute for the dispatcher to recognize that the call is coming from on campus and transfer the call. The first police officers arrive within three minutes of receiving the first 9-1-1 call, but cannot enter because the doors of all three exterior entrances are chained shut. Attempts to shoot out these locks are unsuccessful.

The killer’s first attack was in an advanced hydrology engineering class taught by Professor G. V. Loganathan in room 206. The killer first shot and killed the professor, then continued shooting, killing nine of the 13 students in the room and injuring two others. Next, the killer went across the hall to room 207, in which instructor Christopher James Bishop was teaching German. The killer killed Bishop and four students; six students were wounded. He then moved on to Norris 211 and 204. In both of these classrooms, the killer was initially prevented from entering the classroom by barricades erected by instructors and students. In room 204, Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, forcibly prevented the killer from entering the room. Librescu was able to hold the door closed until most of his students escaped through the windows, but he died after being shot multiple times through the door. One student in his classroom was killed. Instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak and student Henry Lee were killed in room 211 as they attempted to barricade the door.

The killer reloaded and revisited several of the classrooms. After the killer’s first visit to room 207, several students had barricaded the door and had begun tending the wounded. When the killer returned minutes later, Katelyn Carney and Derek O’Dell were injured while holding the door closed. The killer also returned to room 206. According to a student eyewitness, the movements of a wounded Waleed Shaalan distracted the killer from a nearby student after the shooter had returned to the room. Shaalan was shot a second time and died. Also in room 206, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan may have protected fellow student Guillermo Colman by diving on top of him. Colman’s various accounts make it unclear whether this act was intentional or the involuntary result of being shot. Multiple gunshots killed Lumbantoruan, but Colman was protected by Lumbantoruan’s body.

Students, including Zach Petkewicz, barricaded the door of room 205 with a large table after substitute professor Haiyan Cheng and a student saw the killer heading toward them. The killer shot several times through the door but failed to force his way in. No one in that classroom was wounded or killed.

Hearing the commotion on the floor below, Professor Kevin Granata brought 20 students from a nearby classroom into an office, where the door could be locked, on the third floor of Norris Hall. He then went downstairs to investigate and was fatally shot by the killer. None of the students locked in Granata’s office were injured.

At about 9:50, using a shotgun, police shoot open the ordinary key lock of a fourth entrance to Norris Hall that goes to a machine shop and that could not be chained. They hear gunshots as they enter the building and immediately follow the sounds to the second floor. As they reach the second floor, the killer fires his final shot, killing himself.

We Remember

The Aftermath

At about 9:52 a.m., the killing is over. The killer shot himself in the head just as police reached the second floor. Investigators believe that the police shotgun blast alerted him to the arrival of the police. The killer’s shooting spree in Norris Hall lasted about 11 minutes. He killed 30 people in Norris Hall, and wounded 17 others. It is the worst mass killing by a single gunman in U.S. history.

The horror continues. The police work to clear the second floor of Norris Hall. Two tactical medics attached to the Emergency Response Teams, one medic from Virginia Tech Rescue and one from Blacksburg Rescue, are allowed to enter to start their initial triage. Police are carrying out victims and handing them off to waiting Rescue Squads, still unsure if there is a second shooter waiting inside. High winds have grounded rescue helicopters, meaning that the most seriously wounded victims must instead be transported 30-45 minutes by ground to the closest Level 1 trauma center in Roanoke, Virginia. False reports of gunshots throughout the rest of the day mean a continuation of the fear and psychological trauma for students and local residents.

In the hours and days following the shooting, makeshift memorials to those killed or injured began appearing in several locations on the campus. Many people placed flowers and items of remembrance at the base of the Drillfield observation podium in front of Burruss Hall. Later, members of Hokies United placed 32 pieces of Hokie Stone, each labeled with the name of a victim, in a semicircle in front of the Drillfield viewing stand. This makeshift memorial was later made permanent.

We Remember.

(Information for these posts came from Wikipedia and from the Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel. The killer’s name is deliberately omitted, and shall never pass my lips nor contaminate my keyboard, save for the strictest necessity. He shall remain nameless to all men and women of honor, his identity cursed, and forever denied the infamy he sought.)

[This post is a consolidation of a series of posts I wrote for this date in 2010, with each post originally scheduled to appear at the same time that the events described within began.]

Breaking News!

The Virginia Tech Police Department has obtained a full confession in the most brazen crime our area has seen so far this year!

END OF LINE

Who needs a gun on campus? – Attempted Abduction

Update – 2012-06-29 @ 2200: The Roanoke Times is reporting that police have made an arrest. It appears that there was only one person involved, not two as originally reported. The man police arrested was employed by a contractor doing construction on campus.

From the Virginia Tech Police:

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 29, 2012 – The following information was reported to the Virginia Tech Police Department early this morning by the victim of an attempted abduction.

Early this morning (Friday, June 29, 2012), at approximately 2:15 a.m., a female was walking from College Avenue, across Henderson Lawn, toward Alumni Mall. She was approached by two males who grabbed her and attempted to drag her toward a pickup truck on Alumni Mall. She was able to escape from them and ran away from the scene toward College Avenue.

She is lucky that she could get away. What were their intentions? I certainly don’t doubt the possibility that it was just two VT students playing what they thought was a practical joke, but it’s far more likely that they had nefarious intent. Robbery? Rape? Murder? Only they know for sure.

Even worse, Virginia Tech has done everything they can to keep students, faculty, and visitors disarmed. They would prefer that a woman be dragged off by two men for who knows what purposes than be able to shoot them to protect herself. They fail to see that this policy failed to protect the victims on April 16, 2007. They fail to see that this policy failed to protect Xin Yang in 2009. They fail to see that this policy failed to protect Officer Deriek Crouse.

They fail to see – or simply don’t care – that gun bans only protect criminals. It’s a very lucky thing that the police are only investigating an attempted kidnapping, and not a missing person report, rape, or murder.

END OF LINE

[Source: Virginia Tech website, retrieved 6/29/12]

Memorial Day

Remember

US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Monument)

Every year we set aside a day to remember those who have fallen in service and defense of our country. The purpose of this day tends to get forgotten amidst the bustle of the summer three-day-weekend, but the reminders are usually easy to see. Here in Blacksburg, because of Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets, we have the War Memorial Chapel, with it’s Pylons honoring former cadets who have fallen.

Memorial Court atop War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech.

Memorial Court atop War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech.

Each pillar is engraved with the names and class year of VT alumni who have died while in service.

Each pillar is engraved with the names and class year of VT alumni who have died while in service.

Remember

An April 16 victim’s mother speaks out… in support of guns on campus.

Holly Adams, mother of Leslie Adams, one of the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, speaks out against the likes of Colin Goddard and other anti-Rights activists. I received this on Monday – the fifth anniversary of the shootings – by email from VCDL, and I will reproduce her entire statement here.

On April 16, 2007, my child, Leslie Sherman, was killed by Seung-Hui Cho during the Virginia Tech massacre.  Today is the fifth anniversary of her death.  Always in my memories, every day I wish that this tragedy was a nightmare and I could wake up to hold my daughter even if it is just one more time.  That opportunity might have been possible if someone been able to defend and protect my daughter in her classroom before Cho took 30 precious lives.

There is an unfortunate drive for more gun control and the continuation of preventing guns on campus by parents whose children lived or survived during that fatal day.  Several family members of those victims have actively voiced their support for increased gun control measures.  As result, it has been assumed that they speak for all families of the Virginia Tech victims.  I am writing this to make it clear that this is not the case.  They do not represent me and my views.

Speaking for myself, I would give anything if someone on campus; a professor, one of the trained military or guardsman taking classes or another student could have saved my daughter by shooting Cho before he killed our loved ones.  Because professors, staff and students are precluded from protecting themselves on campus, Cho, a student at Virginia Tech himself, was able to simply walk on campus and go on a killing rampage with no worry that anyone would stop him.

I ask a simple question:  Would the other parents of victims be forever thankful if a professor or student was allowed to carry a firearm and could have stopped Seung-Hui Cho before their loved one was injured or killed?  I would be. I also suspect that the tragedy may not have occurred at all if Cho knew that either faculty members or students were permitted to carry their own weapons on campus.  Cho took his own life before campus police were able to reach him and put a stop to his killing spree.

A sad testament to this anniversary date is the number of similar killings in schools and public places that have taken place afterwards as if nothing has changed to help prevent such needless and heartbreaking events.  That is why I fully support the VCDL in their outstanding efforts to help prevent this type of tragedy and loss from occurring in the future.

Holly Adams

Given who is making the statement, and in order to keep it a faithful reproduction, I will make an exception to my normal policy of redacting the killer’s name.

This statement stands on its own. It is, in it’s entirety, today’s quote of the day. I can add nothing, except to note that you won’t see the mainstream media printing this, or even acknowledging its existence.

END OF LINE

(h/t to SayUncle and Robb Allen for reminding me about this.

Open carry police encounter in Blacksburg

First, let me make it clear (for reasons to do with my private life) that it is not me in or filming this video. I got the link by way of the VCDL email list.

I’m not going to say that this unnamed carrier handled this the right way or not. I’m not sure. But I will note that with this being a college town (with the attendant prevalence of liberal attitudes) and the high-profile events that have happened here over just the last few years, having the cops come to check you out if you’re open carrying is something that should be expected. Open carry is a bit of a touchy topic around here (as Linoge noted when he visited). Another thing to remember is that all thta the officers who show up usually know is “there’s someone with a gun walking around” and that someone else was worried enough about it – for some reason – to call 911.

A couple of points. First, notice the officer as he gets out of the car. His index of suspicion is obviously pegged solidly at “normal.” You can see his left hand adjusting the volume on his radio, which is necessary because they have to turn it down when they get in the car to avoid feedback, but his right hand is not resting on or near his gun. In fact, that right arm is swinging pretty freely the entire time it’s visible. That is not the approach of a cop who has any real concern at all about the person he is approaching. (Because guess what? It’s extremely rare for a criminal, or someone with criminal intentions, to walk around openly carrying a gun. They like to try and be sneaky about things like that.)

The second point is the officer’s reaction once he gets the “silent treatment”. You can see he goes from “open and friendly” to “open and friendly but irritated” to “purely businesslike”. Considering that, ordinarily, the full silent treatment is pretty rude, his reaction is understandable. Yet he remains courteous throughout the encounter, and never becomes demanding or unprofessional.

Now, here I do need to disclose my potential bias. I know this officer from my many professional encounters with him while running EMS. My impression has always been that he is friendly, easygoing where his job allows it, and generally a good guy. I have never seen him act unprofessionally to people he has to deal with in an adversarial or investigatory capacity, or aggressively when aggression wasn’t called for, even when off camera.

I know that the person taping the encounter had no way of knowing it, but from my knowledge of this officer, and his body language in that video, I can say with pretty good confidence that he didn’t expect this to be anything more than a quick “make contact and log that he’s not doing anything illegal” encounter. He was also doing everything in his power to make it a friendly and quick encounter, and defuse any implied insult that might arise in a law abiding person from being stopped and questioned like that.

Personally, assuming I didn’t know the officer in question, I probably would have at least acknowledged the “Do you care not to speak” question. I think that was the point where he got irritated and shifted into “pure business” mode, and doing so might have avoided antagonizing someone who should be on our side, and who we want on our side. It also would not, I believe, have been anything that could be used against you legally. But I’m not going to go so far as to say that would have been the “right” way to handle it, or that the person in the video was wrong, just because I would have done something differently.

I would like to see an honest analysis from someone like LawDog or Matt G, or other LEO gunbloggers. I think it would be enlightening.

END OF LINE

April 16, 2007 – We Remember.

Five years ago today, horror struck Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Most of those who were freshmen at the time will be graduating, and most of the upperclassmen are gone, but the memories remain with the faculty and staff, the town residents, and especially with the police and EMS providers who responded.

We Remember…

West AJ

The killer shot his first victims around 7:15 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston Hall. At about that time, the killer entered the room that freshman Emily J. Hilscher shared with another student. Hilscher, a 19-year-old from Woodville, Virginia, was killed. After hearing the gunshots, a male resident assistant, Ryan C. Clark, attempted to aid Hilscher. Clark, a 22-year-old-senior from Martinez, Georgia, was fatally shot. Hilscher survived for another three hours.

The killer left the scene and returned to his dormitory room. While police and emergency medical services units were responding to the shootings in the dorm next door, the killer changed out of his bloodstained clothes. Police receive information leading them to consider Hilscher’s boyfriend as a suspect.

Almost two hours later, he walked to the nearby downtown post office and mailed a package of writings and video recordings to NBC News; the package was postmarked 9:01 a.m. He would then go to Norris Hall.

We Remember

Norris Hall

At about 9:40 a.m., just over two hours after the initial shootings at West Ambler-Johnston, the killer entered Norris Hall, which houses the Engineering Science and Mechanics program among others, and chained the three main entrance doors shut. He placed a note on at least one of the chained doors, claiming that attempts to open the door would cause a bomb to explode. Shortly before the shooting began, a faculty member found the note and took it to the building’s third floor to notify the school’s administration. At about the same time, the killer had begun shooting students and faculty on the second floor; the bomb threat was never called in.

At about 9:41, within one or two minutes of the first shots, the first 9-1-1 call was received. Because it came from a cell phone, it was routed to the Blacksburg Police dispatch center instead of the Virginia Tech Police. Despite some initial confusion, it takes only about one minute for the dispatcher to recognize that the call is coming from on campus and transfer the call. The first police officers arrive within three minutes of receiving the first 9-1-1 call, but cannot enter because the doors of all three exterior entrances are chained shut. Attempts to shoot out these locks are unsuccessful.

The killer’s first attack was in an advanced hydrology engineering class taught by Professor G. V. Loganathan in room 206. The killer first shot and killed the professor, then continued shooting, killing nine of the 13 students in the room and injuring two others. Next, the killer went across the hall to room 207, in which instructor Christopher James Bishop was teaching German. The killer killed Bishop and four students; six students were wounded. He then moved on to Norris 211 and 204. In both of these classrooms, the killer was initially prevented from entering the classroom by barricades erected by instructors and students. In room 204, Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, forcibly prevented the killer from entering the room. Librescu was able to hold the door closed until most of his students escaped through the windows, but he died after being shot multiple times through the door. One student in his classroom was killed. Instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak and student Henry Lee were killed in room 211 as they attempted to barricade the door.

The killer reloaded and revisited several of the classrooms. After the killer’s first visit to room 207, several students had barricaded the door and had begun tending the wounded. When the killer returned minutes later, Katelyn Carney and Derek O’Dell were injured while holding the door closed. The killer also returned to room 206. According to a student eyewitness, the movements of a wounded Waleed Shaalan distracted the killer from a nearby student after the shooter had returned to the room. Shaalan was shot a second time and died. Also in room 206, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan may have protected fellow student Guillermo Colman by diving on top of him. Colman’s various accounts make it unclear whether this act was intentional or the involuntary result of being shot. Multiple gunshots killed Lumbantoruan, but Colman was protected by Lumbantoruan’s body.

Students, including Zach Petkewicz, barricaded the door of room 205 with a large table after substitute professor Haiyan Cheng and a student saw the killer heading toward them. The killer shot several times through the door but failed to force his way in. No one in that classroom was wounded or killed.

Hearing the commotion on the floor below, Professor Kevin Granata brought 20 students from a nearby classroom into an office, where the door could be locked, on the third floor of Norris Hall. He then went downstairs to investigate and was fatally shot by the killer. None of the students locked in Granata’s office were injured.

At about 9:50, using a shotgun, police shoot open the ordinary key lock of a fourth entrance to Norris Hall that goes to a machine shop and that could not be chained. They hear gunshots as they enter the building and immediately follow the sounds to the second floor. As they reach the second floor, the killer fires his final shot, killing himself.

We Remember

The Aftermath

At about 9:52 a.m., the killing is over. The killer shot himself in the head just as police reached the second floor. Investigators believe that the police shotgun blast alerted him to the arrival of the police. The killer’s shooting spree in Norris Hall lasted about 11 minutes. He killed 30 people in Norris Hall, and wounded 17 others. It is the worst mass killing by a single gunman in U.S. history.

The horror continues. The police work to clear the second floor of Norris Hall. Two tactical medics attached to the Emergency Response Teams, one medic from Virginia Tech Rescue and one from Blacksburg Rescue, are allowed to enter to start their initial triage. Police are carrying out victims and handing them off to waiting Rescue Squads, still unsure if there is a second shooter waiting inside. High winds have grounded rescue helicopters, meaning that the most seriously wounded victims must instead be transported 30-45 minutes by ground to the closest Level 1 trauma center in Roanoke, Virginia. False reports of gunshots throughout the rest of the day mean a continuation of the fear and psychological trauma for students and local residents.

In the hours and days following the shooting, makeshift memorials to those killed or injured began appearing in several locations on the campus. Many people placed flowers and items of remembrance at the base of the Drillfield observation podium in front of Burruss Hall. Later, members of Hokies United placed 32 pieces of Hokie Stone, each labeled with the name of a victim, in a semicircle in front of the Drillfield viewing stand. This makeshift memorial was later made permanent.

We Remember.

(Information for these posts came from Wikipedia and from the Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel. The killer’s name is deliberately omitted, and shall never pass my lips nor contaminate my keyboard, save for the strictest necessity. He shall remain nameless to all men and women of honor, his identity cursed, and forever denied the infamy he sought.)

[This post is a consolidation of a series of posts I wrote for this date in 2010, with each post originally scheduled to appear at the same time that the events described within began.]

Presented without comment

The policeman stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, policeman. How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?”
The policeman squared his shoulders and said, “No Lord I guess I ain’t,
because those of us who carry badges can’t always be a Saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays, and at times my work was rough.
Sometimes I have been violent, because the streets are awfully tough.
But I never took a penny, that wasn’t mine to keep.
I worked a lot of overtime when the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, but if you don’t I’ll understand.”
There was a silence all around the throne Where the Saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly for the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman, You’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets You’ve done your time in Hell.”

Author: Unknown

Deriek W Crouse, VTPD

Deriek Wayne Crouse
August 17, 1972 – December 8, 2011

Fallen in the Line of Duty

R.I.P. – Officer Deriek W. Crouse, VTPD

The Virginia Tech press release (found at WDBJ7′s website – the Virginia Tech site is currently overloaded):

Virginia Tech Police have identified the officer murdered today during a traffic stop on campus as Deriek W. Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg. He joined the Virginia Tech Police Department on Oct. 27, 2007, and served in the patrol division. He is survived by his wife, five children and step-children, and his mother and brother.

He received his law enforcement certification on Feb. 12, 2008, from the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy. Officer Crouse was trained as a Crisis Intervention Officer, General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics instructor and most recently completed training for Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response and Mechanical and Ballistic Instructor.

Officer Crouse was a member of the Virginia Tech Police Emergency Response Team since February 2011. He received an award in 2008 for his commitment to the department’s Driving Under the Influence efforts.
He formerly worked at the New River Valley Jail, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, and was a U.S. Army veteran.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at later date.

Deriek W Crouse, VTPD

Godspeed, Officer Crouse.

END OF LINE

[Source: WDBJ7 website, retrieved 12/8/11]

Short Update – Today’s Shooting at Virginia Tech

I’m now free from my other activities – those who have been following my blog and my comments elsewhere can probably guess what I was doing – and can give a short follow-up.

Here’s a quick summary of what happened, from my perspective and based on what I was able to determine with information from publicly available sources.

At around 1230 today, a Virginia Tech police car came past my office running emergently, and clearly responding to something, not simply pulling someone over. A second officer did the same thing a few seconds later. I didn’t think anything in particular, because it’s not unheard of, but it caught my interest, so I opened up the local internet scanner to see what was up. There’s about a 10-15 second delay from the radio transmission to it being streamed onto the net, so I was in time to hear the location and the words “officer down.” There was traffic about a “suspect vehicle”, so while the thought of a shooting did enter my head I was also considering the possibility of a traffic accident involving an officer. I still don’t know if it was an officer who had arrived on scene, or a dispatcher relaying information from the caller, but what I heard shortly afterward chilled my blood.

The downed officer had stopped someone and was writing a ticket when another person just walked up and shot him. The shooter then took off running, and his location at the time was unknown.

Even worse was the initial description of the suspect: A white male in a maroon hoodie and grey sweatpants with a backpack.

Virginia Tech’s colours are maroon and orange, and grey sweatpants are very common. It was like issuing a BOL for a white male in a red and white striped shirt with a red and white bobble hat and black glasses at a Where’s Waldo convention.

Shortly afterwards, there was a second description of the suspect given that did not match the original, including a report that he had a rifle. This caused speculation about the possibility a second suspect. As I noted in my original post, very early on there were reports of the second person down at the parking lot known as “the cage”. That single radio report that I heard indicated that the person down matched the original description, and had a handgun but no rifle. What followed over the next two hours or so was confusing to follow, but at at least one point included reports of shots fired in various locations that were too far apart for them to all be real if there was only one person involved. Each of these reports was checked and the locations secured. None of them were accurate. There was early speculation that he had gotten into a vehicle and fled, and a description and license plate number were given. I don’t know specifically what happened with that except that it was fairly quickly determined that he was in fact on foot, but I suspect it may have been the description of the vehicle the murdered officer had originally stopped. Things eventually settled into what sounded like a practiced and orderly search of campus and the buildings.

At my office, I immediately locked the doors and notified my coworkers once I realized what was going on. I also adjusted my sidearm from it’s usual “deep concealment” to an easier to access but still concealed position. We settled in to monitoring the situation through the internet scanner, twitter, facebook, and the local news websites. All reports put the shooter moving away from my office, but some of the shots fired reports were uncomfortably close. At about 1430, the boss (who was out of the office at the time) made the decision to send everyone home. As I was the only one at the office carrying at the time, I made sure I was the last one out and stayed in the parking lot watching until everyone else was in their cars and in motion before getting into my car to leave.

—–

From this point on, I was involved in activities that exposed me to some privileged information. At this point, I need to be able to look over the news reports to sort out what has been publicly released and what I learned through those activities that hasn’t been released, so I can’t really say much more. I will note that it was approximately 5-10 minutes, maybe as much as 15, from the time I became aware of the shooting to the time the campus alert sirens went off and the information appeared on the website. If you consider that the first officers needed to get there, find out that it’s a real report, find out from witnesses what happened and that the shooter was not there and still on the loose, relay that to dispatch, and for the dispatchers to do what they need to do to initiate the alert system, that 5-15 minutes is actually pretty reasonable (especially on the lower end).

I hate the “mainstream media”, with a passion. Especially once they reach the point of “we’ve told you everything that anyone knows for certain, now we’re just talking to fill airtime.” Wild speculation, blatantly stupid statements, misleading statements, blatantly wrong statements, idle chatter for hours on end, and repeating themselves for hours on end, just so they can avoid not talking about the killing for more than five seconds. They did the same thing on April 16, four years ago, and it infuriated me then, too.

It will take me a little while to get the rest of what I can and can’t say sorted out. To make things more complicated, I have a family funeral to go to tomorrow (not related, not unexpected, and a situation where it was probably a blessing for the deceased, but still a funeral for a loved one), and internet access at my parents’ house is spotty, so I’ll be mostly away from the ‘net until late Saturday.

It’s also going to take me a bit to get my head sorted out. I was here for April 16, and for the Morva manhunt. So… it’s just going to take a bit.

Stay safe, stay alert, and keep Virginia Tech in your thoughts and prayers.

END OF LINE

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: