We Remember

Sequence of events of April 16, 2007

7:15 a.m.

Virginia Tech Police Department (VT PD) receives a 911 call to respond to a dormitory room at West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall.

Within minutes, Virginia Tech Police and Virginia Tech Rescue Squad respond to find two gunshot victims, a male and a female, inside a dormitory room within the Hall. The residence hall was immediately secured by VT PD, and students within the hall were notified and asked to remain in their rooms for their safety. VT PD immediately secured the room for evidence collection and began questioning dorm residents and identifying potential witnesses. In the preliminary stages of the investigation, it was believed the deaths were an isolated incident, domestic in nature.

Blacksburg Police Department was also on scene assisting VT PD with establishing a safety perimeter around the residence hall and securing Washington Street.

7:30 a.m.

Investigators were following up on leads concerning a person of interest in relation to the double homicide. Investigators from VT PD and Blacksburg PD were actively following up on various leads.

8:25 a.m.

Virginia Tech Leadership Team, which includes the university president, executive vice president, and provost, assembled to begin assessing the developing situation at the residence hall and determining a means of notifying students of the homicide.

9:00 a.m.

Leadership Team was briefed on the situation by VT PD Chief W.R. Flinchum on the latest developments in the ongoing investigation at the residence hall.

9:26 a.m.

The Virginia Tech community – all faculty and students – were notified by e-mail of the homicide investigation and scene at West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall, and asked to report any suspicious activity. The Virginia Tech Emergency/Weather Line recordings were also transmitted and a broadcast telephone message was made to campus phones. A press release was drafted and posted on the Virginia Tech website.

9:45 a.m.

The VT PD received a 911 call of a shooting at Norris Hall, which contains faculty offices, classrooms, and laboratories. VT PD and Blacksburg PD immediately responded to Norris Hall. Notice in leadership command center via our police rep of a shooting in Norris.

Upon arrival to Norris Hall, the officers found the front doors barricaded. Within a minute, the officers breached the doors, which had been chained shut from the inside.

Once inside the building, the officers heard gunshots. They followed the succession of gunshots to the second floor. Just as the officers reached the second floor, the gunshots stopped.

The officers discovered the gunman, who had taken his own life. There was never any engagement between the responding officers and the gunman.

9:55 a.m.

By the same means as prior notice, Virginia Tech notified campus community of the second murder scene. Other notifications followed via other means.

Editor's Note: All times are approximate.