University of Texas shooting: Gunman dead; searching for second suspect
UPDATE 3:49 p.m.: Authorities have concluded that the gunman acted alone, and the lockdown has ended at the Austin campus.
A gunman fired "several shots" inside a library at the University of Texas and then shot himself, according to a breaking news report in the Austin American Statesman.
Police "are looking for a possible second suspect" as of late this morning, the report says.
UT was the scene of one of the most notorious university shootings in history: Charles Joseph Whitman, a student and ex-Marine, killed 14 and wounded 32 in a mass shooting in August 1966.
Tuesday's incident serves as a live test of the emergency response systems all universities have developed in the decades since, a trend that has accelerated in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
The speed and effectiveness of administrative response to violence resurfaced as a major issue in higher education after the Virginia Tech shootings. Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people in April 2007 and then himself, making it the deadliest college shooting attack in the nation's history.
In Tuesday's incident, the shooter is dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The UT campus was reported to be locked down. Officials said it appeared no one else was injured by the gunman, who was said by witnesses to be carrying an automatic weapon.
"The shooter is dead on the sixth floor of Perry-Castaneda Library, said Don Hale, a university spokesman, as quoted in the Austin newspaper. "No identification. Apparently took his own life."
Police told the paper they were concerned of a possible second suspect based on witness reports that raised that prospect.
Witnesses reportedly described eight to 10 shots fired, "in short bursts," the account said, by a gunman wearing a black ski mask.
From the article:
"[Broadcaster] KVUE talked to UT student Andrew McWaters who said he saw the shooter near Dobie Mall and heard four gunshots followed by two more. He said the gunman was wearing a black ski mask, smiling and waving the gun."
University officials sent an alert at 8:23 a.m., using text message, loudspeakers, sirens and an online posting.
Update, 12:12 p.m.: University of Texas President Bill Powers has canceled classes for today, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Daniel de Vise
| September 28, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories: Administration, Crime | Tags: UT shooting, University of Texas shooting, texas university, university of texas, university of texas Austin shooting, ut Austin, ut Austin shooting, ut gunman
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