Multiple people were shot late Friday night in Blacksburg, Virginia, a college town that was shattered by one of the worst shootings in U.S. history nearly 15 years ago.
Authorities were pursuing up to four suspects, according to Montgomery County Public Safety scanner traffic, following initial reports of an active shooter. Multiple people were taken to local hospitals, police said, but didn’t share additional information about how many people or the extent of their injuries.
“Multiple law enforcement agencies are assisting in the area and following up on leads,” Blacksburg Police said in a statement early Saturday.
On Twitter, Virginia Tech urged students to “stay inside” and “call 911 for help” on Twitter. The campus was on lockdown. There were shots reported outside the Newman Library on campus around 1:25 a.m., according to scanner traffic.
“Reports of shots fired in Blacksburg. Stay inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help,” the university tweeted at 2:19 a.m.
Officers responded to reports of shots fired late Friday at the Melody Hookah Lounge in downtown Blacksburg, according to the police statement. The lounge, open until 2 a.m. Fridays, according to its website, is just blocks from the campus of Virginia Tech, where, in April 2007, an undergraduate student killed 32 people in the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
It stood as America’s worst mass shooting until the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and, then, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
It’s the second high-profile shooting this week in Virginia. A former student on Tuesday allegedly shot and killed two campus officers at Bridgewater College, a small private school about 135 miles from Blacksburg.
Bridgewater College police officer John E. Painter, 55, and campus safety officer Vashon “JJ” A. Jefferson, 48, were killed after responding to reports of a suspicious man on campus.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Source: GANNETT Syndication Service