Posted at 02:26 PM ET, 08/04/2011

Virginia Tech gun scare revives too-recent memories of 2007 tragedy


Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker, left, and Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum hold a news conference on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg Thursday. (Rebecca Barnett - AP)
Thursday morning, Virginia Tech officials released an alert about reports that a person with a gun was sighted on campus and that emergency personnel were responding.

As Hokies began to react and provide stories from the ground, the memories of the 2007 campus shooting tragedy washed over those tuning into television stations or social media sites.

Addressing the public shortly after news of the alert broke, campus spokesman Larry Hincker alluded to the April 16, 2007 shootings, during which Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 25 others.

“Obviously this campus experienced something pretty terrible four years ago,” Hincker told the crowd. “Regardless of what your intuition and your experience as a public safety officer tells you, you are really forced to issue an alert.”

Four years later, those shootings suddenly felt much too recent as we followed along. In context, the sheer amount of Virginia Tech coverage produced by the Post in 2007 is a testament to the magnitude of the tragedy. View stories that told us of bravery, fear and loss:

- Student journalists tell their story

- Q & A with campus security

- Unlikely heroes

- A community mourns

Today, no further reports of a person with a gun have been reported, and the campus alert was lifted. In March, the school paid a $50,000 fine when the federal government ruled the alert system had failed students during the 2007 shootings.

By  |  02:26 PM ET, 08/04/2011

 
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