As darkness fell over the Virginia Tech campus here on Monday night, hundreds of students clutched one another in tears at the Holtzman Alumni Center to wait for news about friends they feared had died in the deadliest shooting rampage in American history.
Hours earlier a gunman had opened fire in a classroom building, killing 30 people and injuring at least 30 others before turning the gun on himself. Before that, the police say, he killed two people in a dormitory.
The rampage stunned those on this close-knit but sprawling 2,600-acre campus that is nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains.
And even as Virginia Tech reeled from the massacre, many people questioned the university’s response. They wanted to know why it took more than two hours to notify the 26,000-student campus of the first shootings, and why more buildings were not locked down sooner. (more…)