At Least 32 Dead in Virginia Tech Shootings

BlogHer Original Post

(Editor's note: This post has been updated since it was originally written this afternoon. The death toll has risen to 33 as of 4:54 p.m., according to the Washington Post.)

Once again the national breaking news headlines include the words "rampage", "spree", and "senseless," along with "students", "campus", and "classroom".

An as-yet unidentified shooter tore across the Virginia Polytechnic Institute's Blacksburg campus this morning, first opening fire in a dorm and then in a classroom in the engineering building. As is the case in all unfolding stories of this nature, tolls of death and injury seem to be ratcheting up with each refresh. The Washington Post is currently reporting "at least 32" dead, whereas CNN still reports "at least 21", as of this writing.

The gunman is widely reported to have been killed, although it is not specified whether he shot himself or was killed by police.

The server of the Collegiate Times, Tech's student newspaper, is down, but students are reporting from the paper's parent company, College Media. The official statement from Tech's President Charles Steger is here. This page was updated at 3:45 with more information about the campus and a podcast of the President's remarks. Local newspaper the Roanoke Times links to significant audio and photographic coverage.

NPR has posted several updates on the radio and online, including this "All Things Considered" piece that includes the text of e-mails sent to students from the University as events unfolded.

The Post offers a detailed map of the campus that indicates where the shootings occurred, and will also host a live chat today at 3 p.m. EST with Anthony Della Calce, Executive Editor of Planet Blacksburg.com, a news Website run by Virginia Tech students.

The comments on Planet Blacksburg's story about the shooting include an immediate post about the right to bear arms, condolences from around the country, calls for interviews and comments from news outlets, and several questioning the amount of time between the initial and second shootings.

One commenter, Victoria Revay of nowpublic.com linked to this "crowd powered media" site's coverage of the shootings.

Bloggers are also weighing in. Blogher Contributing Editor Nordette Adams has a very informative post here. Finance blogger Sarah Gilbert wants to know if this will have an impact on campus security. Lindor Reynolds blogs at the Winnipeg Free Press, asking for feedback and wondering if she should send her daughters to school on April 20 - the anniversary of the Columbine shootings (and the birthdate of Adolf Hitler.

Garance, an editor at The American Prospect, posted a link to CNN's iReport website, where videos and photos can be submitted. She also asks ,

What the hell kind of guns did the shooter have?

Contributing Editor Laurie White blogs here.

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